Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

EveryBlock.com sale highlights open-source projects' potential for market success

Aug. 20, 2009, 6:46 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Gary Kebbel is Knight Foundation's Journalism program director

 
The sale of EveryBlock.com to MSNBC.com is significant for EveryBlock and for Knight Foundation, EveryBlock's original funder through a $1.1 million Knight News Challenge grant in 2007.
 
At the end of a grant period, Knight grantees are as free as anyone to make entrepreneurial decisions regarding the future of their projects. Founder Adrian Holovaty's decision to sell EveryBlock was his. The sale is an important validation from the marketplace. EveryBlock's code will remain publicly available so that anyone may use it (download the code here). Everyone wins.
 
Everything we do at Knight Foundation connects to our mission: advancing journalism excellence in the digital age and investing in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers.
 
Our News Challenge projects create open-source software that anyone -- and anyone includes businesses -- can use to speed the digital transition of news to benefit communities. The open source aspect is very important. The private sector will be among those that also will develop that open source code.
 
Knight Foundation's role could' include additional grants for further development, technology lab projects to help create community around the open-source code and grant agreement terms that might provide revenue streams for continued open-source development. We are working on new ideas and will have more to say in coming months.