Editor’s note: A guest post from Jaisen Mathai, WebFWD fellow and co-founder of the The OpenPhoto Project.
OpenPhoto is entering the Knight News Challenge, an international media innovation contest. The application window closes tomorrow, Saturday, March 17. Please show your support for OpenPhoto now by liking or reblogging the OpenPhoto entry on the Knight Challenge tumblr site. Here’s a bit more background.
OpenPhoto at SXSW
I made a trip to my first SXSW this year on behalf of The OpenPhoto Project. It was a quick 48-hour stay and my main purpose was to have a table at the Knight/Mozilla/MIT Media Lab Innovation Fair. Long name, I know, but it was basically a science fair and after-party in a tent adjacent to the Convention Center.
We participated alongside other teams working on awesome software. The first group I talked with was working on Mozilla’s Open Badge project. Next I chatted with a developer on ScraperWiki. Afterwards I proceeded to set up my table located between ScrollKit and the Poderopedia table.
Shortly after setting up, the crowds arrived. My goal was to talk to people and get a better understanding of their frustration with managing digital photos and how The OpenPhoto Project could address their problems. Typically, the frustrations I hear about are pretty consistent across users, and that seemed to be the case at SXSW as well.
I had conversations with a photographer with tens of thousands of photos who hasn’t yet “moved to the cloud”, a man who runs a business with a high volume of unorganized photos, and a lot of regular people who simply take a lot of photos.
As always, it was great to get out and talk to our potential users. Being in the company of others doing great work, along with Mozilla, The Knight Foundation and the MIT Media Lab, meant we were all working to solve big problems in a collaborative way. After all, isn’t that the point of it all?
Why The Knight Foundation makes sense for OpenPhoto
“Knight Foundation aims to help sustain democracy by leading journalism to its best possible future in the 21st century.” — Knight Foundation, News Challenge for Journalism and Media Innovation.
The premise of The OpenPhoto Project is to provide everyone with software that lets them choose how they organize, archive and share their photographs. For journalists this has significant impact. Perhaps the most important right of a journalist is freedom of the press. But in order to have freedom one must have choice.
The OpenPhoto Project is applying to the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge to raise funding to continue building tools that enable freedom and choice. We’ve already released a suite of open source tools available on Github as well as a hosted version of the core software. We’re not only building the software, we also want to make it easy for everyone to use it. There are lots of exciting plans in our future and we need your help to get there.
I hope you’ll visit to our tumblr application page to like, reblog or leave a comment. Voting closes tomorrow, so please do it now, Thanks!
The OpenPhoto Project