Ever since Adrian Holovaty got his bachelor’s degree in journalism from University of Missouri–Columbia in 2001, he has been building Web sites that let people find the information they want in contrast to old media that mass produce content from which readers must choose. His projects and credits include:
a searchable crime database for his hometown of Chicago that marries maps to the Web to the police blotter;
he worked for a time at WashingtonPost.com (with his old Lawrence, Kansas, boss Robb Curley).
In 2007 Holovaty won a $1 million grant from the Knight 21st Century News Challenge. He used it to pull together the team that is launching EveryBlock.com – a grander version of earlier data-aggregation efforts.
It’s early days and there’s not much to see or do yet. Read the EveryBlock launch announcement to learn where things are headed. Find more details in the Poynter Institute interview where Holovat talks about ”geocoding” the news because:
“people tend to be more interested in news that happens near them. It’s as simple as that!”
EveryBlock is the data spine of a localized information kiosk. I hope this spine, in DNA-like fashion, will become the core of a local ecosystem of the other uses we derive from media: discussion, entertainment, commentary, sales and commerce.
Not yet clear, at least to me, is the business model to support local news and search; how will EveryBlock interoperate with blogs and local news producers, old and new? how will it build or interoperate with community forum efforts like Topix.com? how will it sell advertising and then move beyond advertising to some form of localized e-commerce?