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« Permanence Matters | Main | CNN Does RSS »

January 10, 2005



fyi, the "details here" link doesn't work

Dan Gillmor

Whoops, thanks -- fixed it.

Karl (aka PhillyFuture)

This is exciting news. The question for me is... should I apply for Philly Future? Can I? Would I be able to take what is a volunteer thing I do and turn it into a living?

I believe that Philly Future fits the profile in many ways and could be the catalyst to make this happen in my region. I think Philly Future, since it does not attempt to replace the local blog community - but work as part of it - has a unique opportunity.

I guess this isn't the kind of question to post in a comments thread :) But I have high regard for the folks here. I'd love to know what you all think.

Maybe the question isn't so out of place? I'm sure there are plenty of others who have a passion for this kind of thing and want to turn that into something meaningful in their lives - but just don't know how.

Anspar Jonte

"Funding is available for start-up news initiatives only. Ongoing efforts are not eligible to apply unless they are proposing a new venture."

Karl (aka PhillyFuture)

I saw that. Define "Ongoing efforts". Being a regional meta blog aggregator as a one person volunteer effort vs. moving to encourage citizen journalism as a funded organization are related - but not the same. Philly Future has no funding. It's just me. Doing it part time on off work hours.

I would hate to think that the only reason Philly Future shouldn't participate is because it was started *too* early.


Actually, I don't want to hijack the thread. Apologies. If folks want to email me (kmartino at pobox dot com) - that's ok :) I really want/need the feedback.


Thanks so much, does anyone else have information about grants: for writers and community focused blog projects.

Where can I find more info?



The One True b!X

The question for me is... should I apply for Philly Future? Can I? Would I be able to take what is a volunteer thing I do and turn it into a living?

Your project has a better chance than mine, certainly, heh. One of the great challenges in turning what I do into some sort of sustainable self-sufficient thing now that my own money has run out is that grants are pretty much out ofthe question, since most grants go to non-profit organizations, which are required to refrain from partisan political activity. While I could in theory become a non-profit organization in order to chase grant money, I'd have to abandon endorsing candidates in local races to do so.

But my real point is: What do you have to lose by applying? Nothing, so I would say just do it.


Wouldn't it be nice if New Voices had a blog?


Alex, keep in mind that "up to 17k, nonrenewable" is a rather finite pile of money, especially if you were to try to make a living from it. So if you're weighing freedom vs. security, ...

The One True b!X

Altho, I should add, you will have to become a non-profit if you aren't already, because for-profit companies and individuals are not eligible.

The One True b!X

Actually, correction to that. Read the FAQ for the bit about getting an existing non-profit to be your fiscal agent.


Ok - I'll participate then :)

You both bring up big questions....

b!x, I'm pretty concerned about mass transit funding right now. Would it be partisan to start posting (sharing other's blog posts is more the PF model) activist items? I think the FAQ answer this for me, but I'm not sure.

And Anna, the more I look at that money, this seems to be set up for organizations who already have some kind of funding. I couldn't live off of 17k. I'd imagine it would become an goal to find other sources of funding.

PF isn't a registered 501(c)3 (yet - don't know what to do with it financially really), so I would have to go the route of finding a partnership with an existing non-profit if I went this way with it.


I spoke with Jan Schaffer of New voices a while ago and the program is only open to education institutions, civic groups, community organizations, grade schools, colleges and universities. Maybe few other types of groups. The program is based on a grant so it's pretty obvious what is and isn't allowed.

For the past 15 months I've been working on a community based project and I recently just released a feature that took a while to bang out It's just a fun news project for aspiring journalist and bloggers to showcase there writing skills.

Travis Smith

Anna, the New Voices project does have a blog. There aren't many posts yet, but the site did just launch today. Speaking as the site's designer, we welcome your comments there.

Bill Costley

[{aside}] I felt {all} this 'coming' back in 1967 at MIT during Project Intrex (Information Exchange) when I asked its {then} director whether (figuratively) Einstein's marginal notes written on a college textbook shouldn't be preserved for posterity {somewhere} in relation to the (soon to be obsolete} book. His answer: "Van(nevar Bush) would have asked that!" Now, 38 yrs later, interactive Blogs (like this) enable {us to do} this. Conclusion: More of us need 2B able 2 blog=journal. Whether that 'qualifies' us as quasi-Einsteinian 'journalists' will B up for grabs; I think it will; radical 'journalism' will win out.

Jan Schaffer

Many questions... some answers. Why can't New Voices give grants to independent entrepreneurs? As we explain in our blog ( the terms of the Knight grant simply don't allow us to re-grant the money to anyone who does not have nonprofit status.

But we are soliciting independent ideas. If you want to share them, I'm working to raise funding for them.

For now, an independent creator would need to be affiliated with a 501(c)3. That's explained in our FAQ's, as you previously noted.

What might be an example of an ongoing project vs. a new venture? I don't want to limit the creativity of any of the applicants, but it might consist of a community web site that wants to add a low powered FM radio newscast. Or a weekly newspaper that wants to add an online component.

New Voices funding is not intended to pay anyone's salary. It is intended to help create a project that we hope proves to be so valuable that you can then use it to leverage other financial support. We aspire for these initiatives to try to become self-sustaining.


Hi Jan and Travis, what if there is someone... let's say me... who needs advice on what to do next - or even if it is something that should be pursued? Someone who has been doing this, not to earn a dime (so far) but doesn't know if what he is doing should be a non-profit or for-profit venture. Someone who just wants the work to go towards the community a nd become something at least be self sustaining (read - can pay its own bills)?


Just wanted to say thanks to Jan for coming over here and explaining.

Jan Schaffer

To Karl and anyone,

We'll do our best to be a sounding board. You're welcome to call us at J-Lab or email me.


Thanks Jan. I really appreciate it. I need the advice :)

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