Knight Blog

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

Awards recognize South Floridians using tech to increase access to info

Nov. 1, 2012, 9:21 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

Tonight the Universal Access Awards will recognize South Floridians making a positive impact by using technology to increase people’s access to information.

The awards are designed to bring greater recognition to the community’s innovators who support enhanced connectivity. Specifically they celebrate ways that groups, companies and governments are using broadband and other forms of technology to increase the community’s access to computing, the Internet and the digital economy.

Tonight’s awards, beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET, will be presented in six categories: healthcare, education, government, non-profit, corporate and individuals.

The featured keynote speaker will be Francisco Moisés, the education industry general manager at Microsoft. Amanda Gonzalez, assistant vice president of marketing and public relations at Baptist Health South Florida will emcee the event, which is being held at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center.

SuperPAC App mines data for election insight

Oct. 31, 2012, 9:13 a.m., Posted by Daniel Siegel

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As part of its efforts to engage more Americans in the democratic process, Knight helped support the launch of a SuperPAC App, which lets people use their phone to identify political advertisements and receive objective, third-party information. It also allows the user to rate the ad, while understanding who and how much money is behind it, what claims it makes, and whether they’re based on facts. Below, its co-creator Dan Siegel writes about what they’re learning from the data collected.

Boom, Kapow, Wow!

Do Super PACs matter?

That has been the question heading into campaign season, the first in history in which anyone can contribute any amount to run any ad to influence the presidential election.

Before a single ad was aired, Mitt Romney called Super Pacs a "disaster" and President Obama singled them out as a "threat to our democracy." Yikes.

We at Super PAC App recently dug into some of our data to see what we’ve got to offer to this conversation. We looked at how users are rating TV ads by geography, and force-ranked states as most pro-Obama (deepest blue) vs. most pro-Romney (deepest red), leaving a collection of states in the middle. It's worth noting that this is just one slice of our data, and TV ads are just one piece of the campaign pie. We plan to publish all Super PAC App data after the election and hope other interesting findings emerge. In the above infographic, we analyzed 3,492 user-provided ratings collected from Sept. 24 through Oct. 23. 

Boom: swings are swings

Of the moving target of states whose outcomes are considered unknown today—let’s call them Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin—four of them (Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia) were indeed among our most divided states. This means that users in these states felt equally positively (or negatively, for you glass-half-empties) about Romney and Obama ads; Florida and Virginia in particular had nearly dead-even rankings on how they viewed Romney and Obama ads.

Entrepreneurs wanted: Tech accelerator brings Silicon Valley to Miami

Oct. 30, 2012, 2:22 p.m., Posted by Andrew Sherry

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NewME Accelerator, a nationally acclaimed program to jump-start tech businesses, is coming to Miami. NewME will run its first ever Popup, an intensive three-night version of its Silicon Valley program, in Miami on Nov. 12-14, with sponsorship from Knight Foundation.

Miami entrepreneurs will get critical advice from leading venture capitalists, participate in hands-on classes, and prepare for a Demo Night competition. All participating entrepreneurs will benefit, but one startup will be selected for the critically acclaimed, 12-week NewME Accelerator program, along with services valued at $25,000. All applicants are welcome, but advance registration is required and places are limited. NewME's Silicon Valley program has gained critical acclaim for helping women and others who are minorities in tech.

Leading Silicon Valley VCs Scott Kupor, COO of Andreessen Horowitz and Erik Moore, managing director of Base Ventures, will attend as coaches and judges. Moore was a seed investor in Zappos.com, which was sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion. Others attending include Angela Benton, founder and CEO of NewME Accelerator.

Knight Foundation, which promotes informed and engaged communities, is supporting efforts to jump start Miami's start-up culture and ensure that it is connected to the broader community.