Over at IdeaLab, I’ve been way past deadline for a post, after (again) making all sorts of promises about helping out more over there. Until now.
After playing the modern equivalent of phone tag (Twitter DMs and e-mail across two operating systems and one ocean) for a week or so, Paul Bradshaw and I landed on Skype at the same time for 15 minutes for a quick chat about his freshly funded project, Help Me Investigate.
If you want to head directly to the background on this, read Paul’s post about the funding and the next steps for the project.
Here’s why I’m so interested in this project, and in my Knight News Challenge project ReportingOn, and David Cohn’s efforts with Spot.Us, and in the Collaborative Reporting tools we launched at Publish2 recently:
I really, REALLY, REALLY want there to be easy ways to gather structured data from readers, users, journalists, and editors, and I want that data to be attached to their identity whenever possible. I want that data to be portable and exportable, so it can be displayed in any and all useful formats. I want profiles for everyone so I can track their participation, reliability, and levels of knowledge about different topics, beats, locations, and stories.
I’m becoming more and more passionate about this, with my level of surprise that no one has built the right tools for this job yet growing by the day. But we’re getting closer. Platforms are emerging. Standards will follow. Collaboration is key.