Knight Blog

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

Using online forums to boost deep dish pizza sales - and engage people least likely to participate online

Feb. 16, 2012, 9:09 a.m., Posted by Minnesota E-Democracy.Org

By Steven Clift, founder and executive director of

Do you have a “go to” place online where you connect with your neighbors?  A place where you can get to know people who live near you with incredibly different backgrounds, cultures and interests?

Isn’t it awesome? I think so.

In my own neighborhood of Standish and Ericsson in Minneapolis, I am digitally surrounded by almost 1,000 of my neighbors - about 20% of the households in my area - on a public online “neighbors forum.”

In just the last few weeks, we sent deep dish pizza sales through the roof at a new pizza delivery place struggling to get established, generated local elected officials’ help to take on the FAA over surprise airplane route changes rattling windows, directed neighbors to local Girl Scouts for cookies, and helped a mom find out how to request a new stop sign at a dangerous intersection after she posted saying, “I want my children alive.” Last fall when I started a topic about what are we thankful for, a Dakota neighbor spoke of traditional Native American sites walking distance from all of us.

Media books in a networked, digital journalism universe, Part 3

Feb. 15, 2012, 11:27 a.m., Posted by Eric Newton


Jeff Jarvis, along with students and faculty at the opening of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism in New York City.

Over the past week, I've written about the steady stream of books written by Knight journalism and media innovation partners. Here’s the third and for the time being final batch of highlights:

·       Jeff Jarvis chronicles in Public Parts how sharing in the digital age improves the way we work and live.  Says the USA TODAY review: “Jarvis offers a persuasive and personal look at why sharing things publicly on the Web should become the norm. It makes us better and makes the Web more usable, he argues.”

Jarvis directs the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, where the nation’s first master’s degree in entrepreneurial journalism is offered.

For community foundation media projects: Rules of the road for partnership

Feb. 15, 2012, 8:56 a.m., Posted by Michele McLellan



As community foundations become active leaders in local news and information, many are learning they don’t need to go it alone. A variety of different partnership models are emerging and they are detailed in a new report by FSG for Knight Foundation

The report is aimed primarily at foundations entering the news and information field, but other players, such as traditional news organizations, nonprofit community media organizations, and universities are prominent members of an emerging constellation of potential partners.

Foundations, the report says, are learning that, “Partnerships are vital to their success, whether they are developing online platforms for community dialogue, financing new online professional news outlets or otherwise providing venues for community engagement about important issues affecting residents’ lives. “

For example, community media organizations may have more experience than the foundations in creating news content, while established news organizations can add reach as distribution partners. University partners might help with technology or students may help create content. Community nonprofits may bring valuable experience with community outreach.