Okay, so I've talked about this before but -- Over here we've been working on a project for some time now. It's a state-wide discussion hub that will let people participate in discussions via the web, email, and at some point with SMS messages, Twitter, and a phone app. Think of it as a sort of cross between Uppity Wisconsin, Facebook, and a mailing list, all in one. People will be able to create their own communities on the site, and as time goes on we'll roll out more new functionality, depending on what people want and will use. I think this is a great opportunity for organizing, fundraising, work with nonprofits, and new media around the state. My intention here is to build a core platform, and to engage other non-traditional media including Public Access TV, low-power radio stations, hyperlocal sites, videographers, photographers, and others who are looking for an outlet. I'm also working through some plans for how we might be able to build this in a cooperative way that will allow people who contribute to at least make a little money at it, eventually. When it's all done, we'd like to release the whole kit and kaboodle as an open-source project so that other people will be able to easily replicate the model for their own uses.
The whole project is being built on the Open Atrium distribution of Drupal, with a lot of bells and whistles we're throwing in ourselves. But we need a little cash to get the core project finished and to get it up and running. Which is where you come in. We're doing an Indiegogo campaign to raise seed money for the project. You can make a small contribution and become an early user of the site. Yes, we're asking you to pay money to be able to use a site that will be less than smooth for the first few months - but it's an opportunity to start out with a great core group of people on an exciting new project - and beta invites are as low as $15. Come over and visit the fundraiser at the Indiegogo site, and let us know if you have any questions or ideas.