While you may enjoy some of the new features across all these products, the most significant change is in the engine powering what we do.
Some background first…last fall you may have joined one of the campaigns we developed with our marketing partners at LBi.
We tried to raise awareness around the changes and things to celebrate in the local high streets across the UK. We initiated a campaign encouraging people to #keepcycling through the cold and dark months (are they over, yet?). We developed a crowdmap for live music gigs in partnership with Guardian Music. And we developed a similar campaign encouraging people to shop locally at independent retailers.
That effort led to some new partnerships – from marketing (Divine Chocolate) to shopping (BigBarn) to publishing (…coming soon).
We suddenly realized that our original vision for the n0tice platform and partner ecosystem was nearly mature enough to offer commercially. It just needed a little more juice.
For example, while our search index Solr was great at powering the API, we knew it would get expensive and suffer performance problems in about a year’s time. So, Tony used the quiet Christmas period to move the API over to Elastic Search…in a matter of weeks, magically.
We improved our client libraries and also upgraded our testing, deployment and security profile. The user authentication service was completed…we now support OAuth 1.0a. And we’re adding bug and issue tracking, performance monitoring and health checking – the types of things any commercial SLA would expect to us to provide.
There are also several new tools that our partners wanted which we’ll be able to offer more broadly soon.
So, after all this enterprise-level architectural work, we needed to eat our own dog food.
The n0tice web site, iPhone and Android apps were able to take advantage of this new power (not without a few unfortunate interruptions during the transition, of course) and upgraded the way they interact with the platform.
In the short term, you’ll feel the results as a user in terms of speed, reliability and visual impact. In the long term, more tools and technologies and partners and apps and campaigns and all sorts will be available to you both as a user and as a noticeboard owner.
Whether you’re a publisher, an editor, a broadcaster, a community leader, a local government authority, a campaigner, a marketer, a developer, a platform, etc. we are going to give you some really useful resources to help you with mobile publishing.
If you want to see and share what’s happening nearby, or if you want to give the power to your customers or your local community to see and share what’s happening nearby, then n0tice is there for you.
We haven’t unveiled all the details of what’s available to partners or how to partner with us, yet. But we’re happy to talk to folks who want to learn more.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or have a look at the developer platform web site to see the most current technical documentation.
Meantime, we hope you enjoy the upgraded n0tice web site, iPhone and Android apps. As always, please join the conversation in the n0tice Google Group:
There are lots of reasons to be reflective today and to think about the past year. It has been a very serious time with some very serious human stories resulting in many testing questions about fate and destiny and our responsibilities in a civil society.
I intended to write some sort of happy-clappy “what a great year!” type of message today, but I’d prefer to write about the challenges ahead.
Of course, it has been a truly amazing year for n0tice. We moved the service out of beta in the Spring, launched a robust developer platform, rolled out our first sponsored partnership, kicked off an exciting social marketing campaign, rebuilt the n0tice iOS app, launched our new Android app, developed some fun new curation tools, and integrated with the Guardian in some creative ways.
The team, everyone participating on the platform, and the many observers wanting to know how this project unfolds will surely feel the progress we’ve made and hopefully enjoy being part of this journey.
But n0tice is still very far from playing the role it could and should play in the world.
There are many forces challenging the civic fabric that keeps people engaged in the idea of progress. This is happening both in our local communities and the world at large – threats to the shape of the Internet itself, how it is governed and what people can do with it; deep issues of trust in our institutions; economic disparity and shrinking resources; and, worst of all, physical threats both from mother nature and our own kind.
On an admittedly hopeful and probably shallow level I always thought that n0tice could help people to address problems that face us by becoming a more integral part of the spaces we inhabit. Starting with a shared digital platform for reporting what’s happening nearby right now and what’s going to happen tomorrow we could improve local discourse which could then turn into action.
The public noticeboard is the perfect metaphor for what we’re doing. It facilitates a public conversation about our local communities – a space that is open to all, where leadership is flattened and authority is distributed and perhaps even competitive.
The technologies making this possible have pros and cons, of course.
There can be no doubt that being present and aware in the physical world we inhabit will get harder and harder as the digital distractions continue to fight for our focus. It’s also true that the immediacy of today’s digital media is training people to think that everything can happen fast, but sometimes meaning has a longer gestation period which affects cultural evolution at glacial pace.
There’s a big gap between noticing a dangerous street corner to getting a new sign posted which is a far cry from changing the law and even further from changing people’s behaviors.
But maybe these new technologies can enhance our experiences in the real world rather than compete with them. And maybe our local communities will improve as a result of what people accomplish using the digital network.
Sometimes a spark is all that’s needed to put momentum behind a movement.
When we kicked off the #keepcycling campaign we had a feeling it would resonate, but we certainly didn’t expect people to spread it across Twitter as far as it has gone now. Similarly, we were hoping the #localshopping and #gdngig campaigns would trigger an interest in sharing the best of people’s local experiences, and, sure enough, hundreds of reviews and photos later we have some wonderful social maps of what’s happening in small neighborhoods and big cities alike.
#GdnGig Live Music Map
These are just little tastes of where this journey could start going – turning observation into action. Awareness is the first step toward empathy. And once people start to care about the little things happening around them they might think more about the bigger things.
n0tice may not be able to put fate and destiny back into our own hands. The world is full of surprises – both horror and magic. But we can certainly progress as individuals and as communities by democratizing information about the spaces we inhabit and making that information actionable.
n0tice has had a great year. The n0tice team – Daniel, Sarah and Tony – have been brilliant – creative, hard-working, thoughtful, collaborative, skillful, etc. The n0tice community has been incredibly helpful in steering us and telling us openly and honestly what they think. Our partners have been invaluable as we evolve the tools and strategy – Talk About Local, LBi, Mentally Friendly, Tyrell Mobile, Ture & North. And we’ve had some amazing support from the Guardian, CEO Andrew Miller, in particular, and several editors, community leaders, and the sales team who have pushed us in smart new directions.
Next year is going to be more challenging, in many ways – a more serious test of what this platform can achieve. We know we can build useful social software. Can we also help people actually make a difference?
n0tice has introduced a series of new developments and improvements to its service with the launch of n0tice 2.0 today, making it one of the most open community-based platforms available, focusing on supporting local communities and information sharing.
- The website (http://n0tice.com/) has been upgraded with a new streamlined design and functionality giving added emphasis to the community noticeboards and aiding exposure to local issues, as well as the mapping function which is now much more visible and integral to the user experience. Also included are new social sharing and personalisation features, which help build stronger ties between members of local communities.
- A new version of the iPhone app reflecting the changes to the website.
- A new Android app built by Tyrell Mobile which allows users to browse and map notices on the move and was commissioned following prototyping at a Hack Day in July 2012 organised by LeedsHack.
- New curation tools, available at FeedWax.com, for local publishers to feed tweets, Instagram photos, YouTube videos, news and other local data into their noticeboards.
- Changes to the development platform to allow web developers to post data into n0tice as well as take data out.
- Code from the n0tice platform is being published and shared with an open licence (http://n0tice.org/developers/).
In addition, n0tice is collaborating with global marketing and technology agency, LBi, to raise awareness of the many ways it can be used by civic-minded people and local activists to improve their neighbourhoods collectively. The first campaign in the series will address the changing high street (http://highstreet.n0tice.com/. Subsequent campaigns will address cycling safety and supporting independent local shops.
For further information please call 020 3353 2427 or email email@example.com
n0tice-er extraordinaire EllieNor has been building up her Jubilee noticeboard at http://jubilee.n0tice.com/ in time for the weekend. After trying a few different tactics for crowdmapping she turned to the Google Group for a little help. We helped her but didn’t know what would happen.
Have a look here.
It’s really odd thinking about what’s happening here…it’s a crowdmap of posts from this noticeboard embedded in a report to this noticeboard. Fascinating experiement.
We are thrilled to announce the launch of the n0tice iPhone app – the see it, snap it, share it tool for geo-tagged breaking news.
You can download it now via iTunes here:
The app is free of charge, the latest development of the n0tice citizen journalism platform.
For those who are new to n0tice, the n0tice.com website came out of beta in March, a n0tice Facebook app was launched in April, and n0tice.org – the open journalism toolkit – was launched in May to serve B2B partners including publishers, brands, communities and developers.
Today’s addition to the suite of services from n0tice means users can now see and post geo-tagged reports and pictures on the move from their iPhones.
Matt has posted some of the thinking behind this project and the iPhone app on his blog:
“This idea is not new. It’s pretty old, actually. It is basically just an evolution of the public noticeboard or shared bulletin board. Email tackled this idea with mailing lists back in the ’80′s. The web made it possible for open directories to do the same. And now that the social, local and mobile worlds have collided it is happening once again.
But rather than try to centralize the entire networked universe on a single platform to rule them all, we’ve worked very hard to put the power of this idea into people’s hands in ways that helps them in what they already do out there today using tools that they already know.”
The app has been created by Mentally Friendly’s Shoreditch-based interface & device specialist team. The team that worked on n0tice includes Michael May, who was previously involved in the creation of the Shazam and Guardian Eyewitness apps, and Rob Boyett who has worked on mobile products with Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Intel and some of the top retail brands.
The technology used to build the n0tice iPhone app includes the n0tice API, which is open and available to the wider developer community via n0tice.org. The tools on n0tice.org are already enabling partners to build apps with n0tice such as the crowdmapping projects recently deployed on guardian.co.uk and a new WordPress plugin.
Today’s release is v1, but rest assured that we will keep evolving it. We will add more sharing capabilities so it really feels as open as the rest of the platform, better discovery mechanisms and additional content, such as events. Android is not in the immediate short term plans, but we’ll get there, as well.
As with everything we’ve done to date, we will listen carefully to your feedback. Please contribute your thoughts in the n0tice Google Group.
We hope you enjoy using it as much as we enjoy making it.
Today is an important day in the n0tice journey. We are opening up the platform for publishers, brands, communities and developers.
Visit n0tice.org, the open journalism toolkit:
It was always our intention to operate n0tice as a service, more like a utility than a destination. And this is the next piece of critical infrastructure needed to achieve that vision.
At n0tice.org you will find a new web site that explains how the platform can fuel open journalism projects.
The tools on offer enable a range of different capabilities for any type of media partner — from large publishing organisations to brands running engagement campaigns to local and special interest communities to media platform developers who need open APIs to build things. These are the same tools we use for n0tice.com and the soon-to-be-released iPhone app.
Among other things partners can now run their own crowdmapping projects, such as a short-term investigation requiring eyewitness accounts, a brand campaign looking to activate people on a journey, a community committed to surfacing important information openly, or a location-based app or integration with another geo platform. We’ve now done several crowdmapping projects at the Guardian since the n0tice.com web site launched several week ago.
Documentation, features and case studies are all available on n0tice.org.
With n0tice.com for users and n0tice.org for partners now both publicly available the n0tice service is only missing one thing — a native mobile app. But that will change very soon. Stay tuned for that announcement.
Meantime, spend a moment with n0tice.org and consider how it might help your business today.
We are planning to release the n0tice API soon, and we need some partners who can help demonstrate what can be done with it.
One of the key principles guiding what we’re doing at n0tice is the idea that it’s a service, a public space that many people will use in many different ways. And if we get that right then the technology making that possible will be mostly invisible.
If you then take that idea to its extreme and strip back everything to its core what you have is open pipes and raw data.
We’re now working on how to expose what is flowing through the n0tice platform so that anyone can use it, add to it and make money with it.
If you would like to be part of the platform launch we would love to speak with you about it. Some things are documented, and some things are still changing. But there’s some fascinating stuff to play with here.
If you want to build something with us that we can then showcase for our launch then please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should these bills become law a new power structure will form that can decide on our behalf where and how we participate on the Internet. The n0tice team believes that is anathema to the open Internet and that it should be stopped.
As noted by EFF: “There are already laws and procedures in place for taking down sites that violate the law. These acts would allow the US Attorney General, and even individuals, to create a blacklist to censor sites when no court has found that they have infringed copyright or any other law.”
We think this is bad for people and bad for business.
Open systems like the Internet create space for many different things to happen. The network has changed the way we learn, what we know and how we know it, social structures and who we communicate with, political engagement and awareness, new business models, new economic structures, personal artistic expression, and on and on and on.
And while many of the outcomes of open systems are positive, human nature’s dark side will undoubtedly appear in any space where many people gather, too.
What to do about bad behavior on the Internet?
We believe the role of law and politics in an open environment like the Internet should not be to create weapons for fighting bad behavior but rather to set boundaries and to mediate acceptable behavior.
As Joi Ito of MIT Media Lab stated in a letter SOPA and PIPA would:
- supersede the “notice and takedown” method of policing for copyrighted material on Internet services and require service providers to police content uploaded by users or prevent users from uploading copyrighted content
- require Internet Service Providers to change their DNS servers and block resolution of the domain names of websites in other countries that host illegal copies of content
- require search engines to modify their search results to exclude foreign websites that illegally host copyrighted material
- order payment processors like PayPal and ad services like Google AdSense to cease doing business with foreign websites that illegally host copyrighted content
Our concern is that the powers enabled by these bills will be deployed by governments and commercial interests selfishly and without appropriate checks and balances.
Do you trust the interests behind these requirements to use them fairly? Are you comfortable with the idea that an online service that you use could be removed from the Internet based on a copyright claim that may or may not be legitimate?
Who is policing the police?
We also believe that the arguments used to conceive this solution are poorly formed.
First, we don’t believe that media piracy costs the U.S. economy $200–250 billion per year, which is commonly quoted, or that it has eliminated 750,000 American jobs. These are misleading figures, as Julian Sanchez explains. These numbers were publicized 20 and 30 years ago and have been positioned inappropriately.
Second, nobody is entitled to their place in the global economy.
As Bill Gurley notes, the big media businesses will fight hard to protect the stability of their value chains. For example, affiliate fee revenue at companies like Viacom and Disney is $1.5B and $2.0B respectively. Reductions in affiliate revenue at the corporate level will mean reductions in fees paid out to creative people. That’s not good.
But government should not be used to protect and enforce those business models at the expense of others. Nobody is entitled to a market size or position.
Capitalism is an adaptive system, and the TV and music industries will find other ways, perhaps better ways to make money and fund creative works. There are many models and success stories appearing everywhere including within their own businesses that will help them transition to more network-friendly, digitally sophisticated business models.
They don’t need and shouldn’t have the power to take down an entire web site because of a copyright claim.
The premise of protecting creative people is one we support wholeheartedly at n0tice. We’ve devised a commercial model that we think aims to do precisely that. People create spaces on n0tice where they can share writing, photos and videos with others, and they can support their efforts through the ad revenue sharing model built into those spaces.
As Rachel Botsman explains in her book Collaborative Consumption, there are many models for creative people to get value back for their work. We may in fact be in the midst of a worldwide revolution of creativity where more people can participate in creative activities because there are known and practiced economic models for doing so.
This is a good thing for people. It’s a good thing for business. And it’s a direct result of an open Internet.
And inasmuch as the initial concept for these bills questioned the state of protections for people and businesses on open networks, we are in agreement. We want laws that protect people from harm. We want politicians to raise awareness of threats to civility.
The solution to those problems, as we see it, is about supporting open spaces, protecting open spaces and collectively reinforcing positive behaviors.
- the n0tice team
More resources courtesy of Craigslist:
Tell Congress you OPPOSE H.R. 3261 “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) and S. 968 “Protect IP Act” (PIPA):
- Reverse Robocall ALL pro-SOPA MOC + Key Lobbyists (Genius! More info on Ars Technica)
- Phone your Member of Congress the old fashioned way (House) (Senate)
- Contact Senators who are refusing to meet with constituents about SOPA/PIPA.
- EFF Congressional Emailer – Oppose Internet Blacklisting (SOPA & PIPA)
- ECA Congressional Emailer - Don’t Censor Our Internet!
- OpenCongress Congressional Emailer – Oppose SOPA
- Generic Congressional Emailer (You’ll need your Zip+4)
- Outside the US? Sign Petition Opposing US Censorship of Global Sites (EFF)
Learn more about SOPA, Protect IP (PIPA), and Internet Blacklisting:
- Growing Chorus of Opposition to SOPA
- Open Letter against SOPA from 83 Prominent Internet Engineers
- Why SOPA and Protect IP (PIPA) are Bad, Bad Ideas (Techdirt)
- Piracy not a problem, SOPA/PIPA unnecessary (Tim O’Reilly on GigaOM)
- SOPA News (Google News)
- SOPA Wikipedia entry
- SOPA FAQ (CNET)