HistoryCommons

January 1, 2014

Fundraiser for History Commons 2.0

Filed under: community,fundraising,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 3:59 pm

It’s officially on. 🙂 http://www.razoo.com/story/Historycommons

The new application and paradigm for the History Commons is in development right now (currently in alpha, soon to go into private beta). But to make this happen, the History Commons needs your help.

We don’t like to solicit donations, and we have largely refrained from doing so in the past. But the History Commons 2.0 is too important not to happen because of financial shortfalls.

From the fundraising page:

A new version of the History Commons crowdsource journalism app is under development now. The app will make the History Commons an increasingly important tool in empowering the public to keep tabs on the very powerful interests that are destroying our planet and impoverishing most of its inhabitants.

The new app will make it very easy for people to collaborate with each other on investigative efforts to shine a bright light on the people and organizations most responsible for destroying the planet and impoverishing its people. The app will leverage all the advances in social media that we have seen during the last 10 years so its content can be easily embedded in other published pieces, shared across multiple platforms, and then published in a format that can easily go viral.

The new app will offer the public an API so others can leverage the History Commons data and intelligence analysis capabilities to create other activist-oriented apps.

We will develop a mobile version of the app so that people can access History Commons data and source information easily and quickly wherever they are. This is an immensely important feature for people who often find themselves in situations where they have an opportunity to educate people, but lack a means to access the facts they need at that particular moment.

Help us make this happen. We need your donations and we need your participation. Remember, anyone can contribute — some of the best material on the Commons comes from anonymous contributors who write material based on their own interests, knowledge and passions.

The direct fundraising page for the History Commons is here: http://historycommons.org/fundraiser.jsp

The personal fundraiser from executive director Derek Mitchell is here: http://www.razoo.com/story/Turn-Every-One-Into-A-Muckraker/

Thank you!

June 16, 2012

Fundraising Update

Filed under: community,fundraising,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 1:56 am

Some kind and wonderful people have been generous enough to donate. We have enough in the kitty to stave off imminent disappearance, at least throughout the summer. Thank you!!!

However, we are going to continue asking for donations, for several reasons. One, expenses are ongoing (i.e. paying the host, re-registering the domains, etc). Two, we’re considering upgrading our hosting, which would go a long way towards ending the annoying downtime we’re suffering. Three, we want to resume some other adjunct services we have provided our users and contributors in the past, but have had to suspend due to financial constraints. (Wondering why you haven’t gotten an email update lately? This is why.) And lastly, we want to begin (finally!) working on the long-anticipated and much-needed app and site upgrade.

As always, our community of users and contributors are keeping us alive and kicking. We ask that you continue to donate, for all the above reasons and more. We have big plans for the future, both for new and expanded coverage (LGBTQ rights and Wikileaks are two big subjects that are planned for in-depth coverage) and for upgrading and modernizing the site for easier usage.

Thank you again.

Donate via credit card
Donate via check
Donate via PayPal

“Your timeline has been invaluable to me over the years.” — New York Times reporter, and 9/11 researcher and author Philip Shenon

April 29, 2012

Fundraising Appeal for Spring/Summer 2012

Filed under: community,fundraising,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 9:31 pm

The History Commons is facing a financial emergency. While we have been working to upgrade the Web site and web application, we have been struggling to keep the site up and running. We may not have the money to keep the site hosted for the rest of the summer – which would mean the History Commons could disappear from the Internet. Now we need your financial support like never before. We accept donations through PayPal, credit cards, and personal checks. We sincerely appreciate all you do to make the History Commons a viable resource for information and citizen activism. Please make your tax-deductible donation today and help us remain a viable informational resource for the 21st century.

Donate via PayPal

Donate via check (ignore the error message, there’s a glitch in the code that generates it)

Donate via credit card

Thank you so much for your support!

September 11, 2011

Presentations w/Elevate’s Daniel Erlacher

Filed under: community,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 2:39 pm
Tags: ,

Just finished a Skype presentation with Daniel Erlacher in Graz, Austria. Daniel runs the annual Elevate Festival in that lovely town, and is a huge HC supporter. I spoke for about 15 minutes on HC in general and our 9/11 coverage in specific. Kevin Fenton also did a presentation a bit earlier. I’ll let him discuss that.

What I’d really like to see is a more “international” presence for HC. We are very US-oriented, with the vast majority of our coverage focusing on events that primarily impact the US in one sense or another. (Two exceptions that come to mind are the Kosovar Albanian and European Football projects.)

We need more international coverage. I’d also like to see a version of HC in, say, German, either using our information in a translated form, and/or a version incorporating German-language original research.

Cross-posted at the History Commons Groups blog.

April 15, 2011

History Commons Is Changing its Updates….

Filed under: community,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 12:01 pm

Hi, Commons community,

You haven’t seen an email update from us in a while. That’s because there haven’t been any. I won’t go into they whys, except they center mostly around personal and family issues that have precluded the admins (i.e. me) from getting them done. And they’re not coming back! At least not in the way they have been….

Find out more at the History Commons Groups blog: http://wp.me/phFo6-tg

September 10, 2010

The Votes Are In!

Filed under: community,History Commons 2.0,site redesign — Max @ 9:56 pm

Okay, the votes are in, and it’s an interesting set of results and comments.

To the question, “Do you feel the History Commons is an inaccessible ‘walled garden’?” the votes are as follows:

Yes: 13
No: 58

That’s over 80% of respondents who don’t feel the History Commons is a “walled garden.” Here are some of the comments, reproduced from the poll results at PollDaddy:

“Tenstring” writes: “I would just say that the website is very raw, that is it’s just basically a collection of data — and that’s probably good. People can come and follow the timelines and come to their own conclusions. It would open a can of worms to provide analysis, although I wouldn’t be against it. It would certainly potentially complicate things, though.” Agreed. We weren’t suggesting analysis, you can get that just about anywhere and in any flavor, from hard-right to hard-left and anywhere in between. That has never been what HC is about. JZ disagrees with the idea that the Commons is “just basically a collection of data,” and has some very nice things to say about HC stacking up well against Wikipedia “in regards to value from the interconnections it reveals due to its format.” I agree with that 100%; it’s one reason why I write for the Commons instead of Wikipedia. HC contributor Erik Larson writes that HC offers “great insight into the big picture and small details are available from MSM and govt reports, but they are often ignored by the majority of pols and pundits, and missed by the general public, as they may be buried deep in the reports, at the ends of articles or on the inner pages, or only reported by a single news outlet, or only make sense in context with other information, which is not provided by MSM journalists; this is what historycommons.org does so well, and the org deserves greater attention.” Rick Mason sums it up well: “I always considered CCR as an information gathering site with verified and accurate contributions from responsible journalists. It’s where I go when I wish to make sure I’m talking about facts, not rumors. It would be great if it were interactive.”

Commentator Kevin Boulton recommends a program like Visual Thesaurus to “visually link” some of the events on the HC projects; we have considered something like this, and while I’m personally not sure VT is itself the solution, there are some very, very good visual information organizers out there that I’d love to see implemented as corollaries to our existing projects. JZ recommends looking at visual organizers such as The Brain, and steers us towards a TED video by David McCandless. The Brain looks terrific at first glance, and the video is very informative. I would welcome further discussion along these lines.

JZ asks about HC having “its own forum that is part of the site but not simply a commenting system for each entry which I think would fragment the feedback,” and recommends something along the lines of the Citizen Investigation Team forum. I would love to see such a forum implemented. If anyone has any ideas about implementing — and hosting and moderating! — such a forum, please let us know.

Overall, I find the responses heartening. We originally conceived of the idea of “History Commons 2.0” as essentially revamping the application and redesigning the site to be more user-friendly, along with adding some more interactive features. We’ve come to see that approach as lacking a fundamental understanding of what the History Commons is. As I wrote in a working draft for the HC staff: “History Commons 2.0 is not a revised app and a redone design, it’s a new community of contributors and participants.” The app will grow out of the needs and participation of the community, not the other way around. Discussions like this one are the first steps in growing a new and vibrant History Commons community. Let’s extend it by talking over some of the points above in the comments.

August 22, 2009

Why No New Entries?

Filed under: community,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 1:19 pm
Tags:

History Commons hasn’t added a new entry in three days. What gives?

We haven’t all gone on vacation. Instead, we’re in the process of moving the entire site to a new server. Hopefully, the move will save us some much-needed bucks (more of your contributions can go to bettering the site and less to simply hosting it). As with all things of this nature, there have been some holdups getting it up and running, so the site is on “hold” while we solve the problems.

It won’t be long before the site is publishing new and vibrant material. Keep checking back!

July 17, 2009

Conceptual Summary for the History Commons


We’ve written a new conceptual summation for the Commons: you can read it here (there’s also a link in the sidebar).

We welcome your comments and feedback. Thanks.

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