The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

Viva la DocumentCloud

The Knight Foundation made an announcement about its News Challenge today and it made me think a little about the program overall. It’s had a really remarkable run for the past few years; I’m sure tons of other foundations have looked at the News Challenge as a model for 21st-century grant-giving.

Knight would never be this blunt, but I’d love to know which of all the projects so far they think has been most successful; which one delivered best on the aims of the program; which one most engenders high-fives down in Miami.

Here’s my nomination: DocumentCloud. I think it’s easily the most successful News Challenge project in terms of making a deep, durable difference in the world…

And it’s not because of the journalism.

Rather, it’s because of the technology. The tools that the DocumentCloud team built—I’m thinking specifically of Backbone and Underscore—have become almost ubiquitous in the JavaScript community. The coolest startups are using Backbone. The new hotness has Underscore at its core. I mean—this never happens! News organizations are usually consumers of these great open-source tools, almost never originators. But DocumentCloud built world-class stuff, and now it’s everywhere. It’s really stunning.

Maybe that kind of impact and influence is hard to quantify—maybe it’s not even very interesting to Knight?—but it’s real.

Any other nominations?

The snarkmatrix awaits you

Below, you can use basic HTML tags and/or Markdown syntax.