What barriers have hindered the success of your project to date? How do you plan to overcome these and other challenges as you grow your solution?
Stable funding has been our largest problem to date. While the Knight Foundation grant will ensure that the outlined technology development will be completed, we have identified several revenue streams to sustain The Tiziano Project moving forward. First, we will position the platform as a tool for selling our services as a work-for-hire training organization. Second, we will integrate revenue generation into the platform through print sales and licensing, reporter funding, and donations. Finally, we will explore licensing models for commercial implementation of the platform in anything from large scale Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives to personal travel websites.
How do you see the information-technology and media sectors shifting over the next decade? How will your solution adapt to and/or drive that changing environment?
Consumer attention will continue to veer from traditional news sources as community produced content floods the market. Already, many people get their news via Twitter and Facebook. Our platform’s verification system will provide a needed level of checks on community producers and their content. This becomes a tool for both consumer to consumer information sharing, as well as for news organizations to interact with active participants in local communities.
Failure is not always an option. If your solution fails to gain traction in the next two years, what other applications of the idea could you explore?
Our platform at its core is a container for community media and verification. We plan to implement it for journalism, however, this container can be applied to an infinite number of industries should it fail to gain traction. Examples include a Corporate Social Responsibility team wanting to present stories of their company’s local impact or a Hollywood studio creating a movie campaign around user submitted content and community dialogue.
Expand on your selections, explaining how you will sustain funding
While our community provides small and recurring donations, we also actively pursue foundational, corporate, and governmental support. This has come from both J.P. Morgan Chase and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (through the Knight News Challenge in collaboration with Google).
We have also received assistance from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and are currently in discussions with the Broadcasting Board of Governors and the State Department to support US funded initiatives overseas. In addition, we are collaborating with the National Constitution Center to develop programs in Afghanistan and Latvia.
Finally, we plan to integrate revenue into the platform via direct print sales and image licensing, reporter and organizational funding, donations, and platform licensing.
Tell us about your partnerships
While we have not received support from any of the above organizations to date, we have received generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation through the Knight News Challenge and JP Morgan Chase through the Chase Community Giving Program.
We are also currently working through details for potential Alpha test projects with the Broadcasting Board of Governors (Voice of America), the National Constitution Center, and the Pennington Foundation. And have had discussions with both Al Jazeera and YouTube for distribution.
What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section?
CoFounder & Executive Director, Jon Vidar (photojournalist and new media strategist);
Advancement & Outreach Director, Victoria Fine (Journalist / former Managing Editor Huffington Post Impact & Education);
Business Development Director, Mara Abrams (Formerly Executive Director Remedee Foundation);
Technology Director, Chris Mendez (KUSC and formerly Channel One News);
Video Producer & Mentor, Grant Slater (KPCC);
Designer, Grant Kindrick (Has worked for Channel One News, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards).
Changemakers is a collaborative and supportive space. Please specify any community resources you would need to grow and sustain your initiative. Select all that apply
Investment, Human resources or talent, Marketing or media, Collaboration or networking, Pro-bono help (legal, financial, etc.), Innovation or ideas, Mentorship.
Specify any resources you might offer to support other initiatives. Select all that apply
Human resources or talent, Marketing or media, Research or information, Collaboration or networking, Innovation or ideas, Mentorship.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren’t specified within the list
We strongly believe that people are the key to a successful project. As such, we are always looking for innovators, collaborators, developers, professionals, mentors, and generally amazing individuals who actively believe in the work we are doing. If you would like to support The Tiziano Project in any way, please do not hesitate to reach out to us and see if there are ways in which we can work together.
More specifically, we are actively looking for an Intellectual Property Lawyer willing to provide Pro-bono advice and legal counsel on our platform, as well as developers looking to contribute to the system and designers interested in helping to extend our brand and marketing material.