The NewsiT Blog

Bringing people together around interests and circumstances they share with people they trust. Create, collaborate and connect on the NewsiT mobile platform.

Visit us at: www.newsit.net
Twitter: @newsitnews | @NewsiT_editor | @younewsit
Facebook: Facebook.com/newsitnews

  1. NewsiT Version 2.2 Is Out

    Good news! NewsiT version 2.2 has been released on Apple!

    So what’s new on v2.2? You can now rate contributions to push the best to the top. You’ll also find advanced social sharing options and more. Check it out and please let us know what you think.

    If you have not downloaded the free NewsiT app yet, now is the perfect time to try it. The election is heating up and there is a huge storm bearing down on the east coast. These stories and more are unfolding on NewsiT and we’d love for you to join in the conversation… and the fun.

    Meanwhile, we’re hard at work on v2.3, which will debut in early November. We are excited to report that this release will feature a home screen. From here you’ll be able to see the latest from your NewsiT friends, be able to share content more widely and see how the community is rating your contributions and those of your friends.

    We are constantly working to make NewsiT better. Stay tuned for more updates as they roll out.

    Visit www.NewsiT.net to learn more and get the app.

  2. NewsiT was recently featured on the Must-Have Apps” segment on “The Daily Buzz,” with Brian von Dedenroth. Check out the clip. 

    Get the NewsiT App at www.newsit.net.

  3. Voter ID: Necessary Protection or Ballot Suppression?

    YOU AND YOUR CROWD CAN TELL THE WORLD

    Voter ID is a hot issue this Election. Voter laws have changed in many states. Confusion is growing amid legal challenges and claims the new laws will tilt a close race either way.

    Will voters in your state know what they need to vote? Will poll workers carry out the right laws? Will they protect the vote or deprive citizens of their rights? Could it impact the results on Nov. 6th? Help tell the story.  Here’s how:

    - Download the NewsiT app. It’s free.
    - Choose Voter ID as an interest
    - Browse threads
    - Contribute! Just tap the grey !T button and TelliT or SnapiT!
    - Ask friends to help: Tap AskiT and share on Facebook and Twitter
    - Use the #VoterID hashtag on Twitter

    Your contributions will be published in real time on the NewsiT app and www.NewsiT.net where you can make news – and history!

    REPORTING TIPS:

    When you vote, document what’s happening! What do poll workers ask you? Are they following the rules? Are people being turned away? Is there confusion?

    1. Any problems with early voting? Mail in or absentee ballots?

    2. Are Voter ID laws clear? How many people are being turned away? Why? Are people being allowed to vote without ID? If people forget their ID, what are they being told to do? Interview voters and ask them about their experiences.
    3. Keep an eye out for voter intimidation or misinformation.

    Share posts and photos by uploading to a thread – or creating a new thread in the NewsiT app. Vote elements up or down. Share with your friends!

    ———————————-

    Voter ID laws in your state? Click “Know what kind of ID to bring” at www.canivote.org/

     Snapping photos or video at your polling place? Make sure it’s legal: www.citmedialaw.org/legal-guide/documenting-your-vote

  4. 3, 2, 1 Blast Off! NewsiT 2.0 App Launches

    Today, NewsiT launches its 2.0 iPhone and iPad apps.

    We’ve worked hard this year to improve wildly on our original ‘minimum viable product’ - and for those of you who’ve been with us from the start, you’ll notice some very big differences. 

    A new ‘look and feel’, a complete re-think of the user experience, and improved architecture of what is now social, collaborative, interest-focused, and a full integration with Twitter and Facebook.

    At NewsiT people come together around interests they share with people they trust. Threads evolve and update over time, breaking the fleeting nature of traditional news. Our algorithms bring Tweets into the mix, appearing within original crowd-sourced NewsiT threads. These Tweets are being mined and sorted for hyper-relevance to each thread, and you will see functionality improve daily - as our technology platform is increasingly able to discern - in real time - the validity, authenticity, relevance and factual accuracy of each contributed element.

    A couple of notes for NewsiT members:

    For those of you downloaded NewsiT’s original iPhone app (versions 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2), you will not get the new app as an update. This is a long story about Apple rules, and relates to the fact this is a native iPhone app and we did not, when submitted last week to Apple, support the iPad. But as of today, we ARE on iPad too!

    To get the new app, you will have to download it again from the app store. It’s free and easy.   You can get it here:
     http://bit.ly/OrGh9Y

    One other difference: You will need to login using either Twitter or Facebook.

    You will also notice that the new website no longer supports content contribution. As more funds become available, this will change, but for the moment we have invested in iPhone and iPad, our powerful algorithms and we are hard at work on an API/SDK for our partners to use on their iPhones/iPads and websites. We will keep you posted.In the meantime, please ‘kick the tires’, contribute to threads, start threads, invite your friends, follow cool people … and tell us what you think. Ask your friends to check it out.

    And meantime, we want to use your feedback to shape current development iterations. We are working hard on improving the back end functionality (in particular making sure the Tweets aggregate properly within feeds), adding other aspects like rating/ranking, game layer and more.

    Watch out also for the 2.1 and 2.2 releases coming very soon - you will see continual improvements.

    Thanks again

    Melinda and our awesome team!

  5. Countdown to Apple Release

    We’re so excited to give everybody a sneak peek at our next generation iPhone app. We anticipate it’s going to be available from September 21, touch wood…

    Now you can discover facts and friends around interests you share with people you trust. You decide what interests you - and who you want to invite into your communities - and we make sure you have relevant, accurate ‘news you can use’ and trust. It’s fun, easy, and here’s what it looks like!

  6. Meet the New Team

    We’re excited to announce that Kevin Survance has joined NewsiT as its acting CTO. Kevin is an innovator, results-driver and all round good guy. Most recently he founded Eleos Technologies, which enables enterprises to use smart phones to document field events with photos and high-quality document images. Kevin was also the CTO of M33 Integrated Solutions (2008-2011) and MapQuest (2006-2008), where he led development and operation of MapQuest’s consumer site with 45 million unique visitors per month and 3,600 requests per second, as well as B2B and mobile products. He also led the 50-member development team at American Express that developed the company’s system for instant credit decisions. Luckily for us, Kevin brings with him a team of developers with senior level expertise at Microsoft, Pfizer, MapQuest, BlackBerry and several Department of Defense contractors. The team includes: Ryan Crum, a Big Data and Algorithm specialist, who is also the developer of Resounder, the best selling iPhone soundboard app; Phillip Calvin, an iPhone and iPad developer and user experience expert who’s been known to spend hours at the local shopping mall, asking shoppers to try an app and then furiously writing code in the food court to fix the issues that caused the hesitation or confusing in testing; and Matthew Maravillas, a ‘polyglot’ programmer with multiple languages who finds tough algorithmic problems “irresistible”. The team develops in iOS (Objective-C), Android (Java), Ruby, Rails, Python, CSS, Grails, C, C++, Hadoop, MySQL / NoSQL, PostgrSQL, Lucene, Oracle, JavaScript, HTML5, Erlang, Linux, Cucumber and more.  At NewsiT Kevin and team are laser-focused on meeting consumer demands and business imperatives with elegant, speedy, functional and intuitive solutions for consumers and content partners.


    "I’m honored and delighted to join NewsiT in the quest to transform the way people consume - and make - the news.  The NewsiT vision is brilliantly audacious and demands a unique, scalable technology platform.  I’m looking forward to working with Melinda and her talented team to develop the platform and bring to life the company’s bold production vision." - Kevin Survance

    Time also to introduce you to Matt Prohaska, a 20-year media veteran and leading expert in digital advertising, social media and technology. Matt is our guru of all things revenue, and good thing too because he has sold or managed teams that have sold a total $2.5 billion in online and mobile advertising in the past 13 years. 

    His career spans Sesame Workshop, Hulu, NBC, CNET and AOL, where he lead a 160-person sales team in account management and handled $1 billion in sales revenue. The AOL sales team was awarded the #1 rating for quality sales by more than 200 agency and advertising executives in 2009. Matt was also SVP, Media and Data Solutions for [x+1], a leading digital marketing firm specializing in audience targeting, analytics and website optimization. Matt has managed six different regional and national sales teams, consulted for more than 30 companies and founded four others. At NewsiT Matt focuses on identifying revenue opportunities, crafting ‘win-win’ collaborative relationships with content and other partners, and identifying key sponsors and advertising networks.

    Now meet Michael Harper, a talented iPhone, iPad, Android and Ruby on Rails developer whose career spans Apple, Symantec and Taligent, Sun Microsystems, AT&T Wireless and Stanford University. Michael’s iPhone apps range from the polling app Show of Hands, the Norton Online backup app, and a portal app for Regence Healthcare, to Circle 8, an app that helps tourist navigate Sunriver, OR and its 33 miles of bike paths, and Live like a Local for tourists in DC.

    And Olga Howard, the user experience maven behind PBS Kids, AARP and MTV among others. Olga has created an intuitive and innovative user experience for NewsiT. Also Joel Springer,the talented designer behind Cadillac, MapQuest, RedCode Technology, White Hat Capital and many others,is on board for app and web design.

    Michael Harper

  7. Attention Vacationers and Travel Bloggers!

    Here is a little more information about OE Travel Blogs, a travel site that is encouraging their readers to participate in NewsIT’s running story rating airline seats. OE Travel Blogs is a site that offers first hand travel experience from like-minded travellers. If you are venturing out on vacation or an adventure, be sure to check them out. If you are a travel blogger, OE Travel Blogs welcomes guest blogs and reviews as well.
    (See below for more.)

     If you are taking a trip this summer, be sure to download our iPhone app and let us know how your airplane seats were.

  8. Women Entrepreneurs Panel Featuring Melinda Wittstock

    Women entrepreneurs are a growing force in the economy but they face a unique set of challenges too. Join NewsiT Founder and CEO Melinda Wittstock and a group of distinguished panelists as they explore the issues and answer some of the questions surrounding this fascinating and important topic.

    The Milken Institute and the George Washington University Present
    Women Entrepreneurs:
    Innovative Approaches to Financing New Businesses

    When

    Monday, June 18, 2012
    5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

    Where

    George Washington University
    Media and Public Affairs Building
    805 21st St NW
    Jack Morton Auditorium
    Washington, District of Columbia 20052

    Click here for more information.

  9. For Immediate Release: AirGuide Begins Crowd-Reporting with NewsiT

    New York (AirGuide – Pyramid Media Group) May 8, 2012 – AirGuide has begun crowd-reporting by recently collaborating with NewsiT. AirGuide articles are being used by NewsiT to reach a new and growing audience capturing news as it happens with their mobile phones or the NewsiT Mobile App.

    The first in a series of NewsiT assignment starts with our series of articles on the best seats in the air. The story featured this week is “What’s Your Pitch? Best, Worst Airline Seats Ranked”:

    Are airline seats getting smaller? And what do you do when that big guy in front of you reclines his seat so far it pushes your knees against your chest?

    Help NewsiT and AirGuideOnline.com rate airline seatsJoin the story and answer some simple questions.

    AirGuideOnline is releasing its latest rankings of the largest and smallest seats on North American airlines. In the rankings for economy class seats, Jet Blue has the biggest seats in its A320-200 short-haul aircraft. Those seats were measured at a pitch (distance between seats) of 34 inches and width (armrest to armrest) of 18 inches.

    NewsiT segments can also be found on their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/newsitnews

    This will be a long term collaboration, we strongly encourage you to take a look at their site and personally participate with any comments you may have.

    For More Information or an Interview Please Contact:

    Aram Gesar, Director of Content
    Direct Tel: +1646 770 2764 / +1561 777 2055
    Skype: pyramidmediagroup
    E-Mail: agesar@AirGuideOnline.com
    Bruce Potter, VP, Editorial Business Development, NewsiT
    E-Mail: bruce@newsit.net
    About:
    AirGuide for the Frequent Flyer Magazine & AirGuideOnline.com are dedicated to air travel and designed for leisure and business travelers. AirGuide is filled with tips and advice and provides everything global travelers need to know to make intelligent decisions before, during and after a voyage. AirGuide features weekly airline and travel news, information on great travel deals, plus dynamic travel articles and provides indispensable information on all the world’s airlines and airports from check-in to check out. Web site: http://www.AirGuideOnline.com
    AirGuide for the Frequent Flyer, AirGuide Business, CruiseGuide and Pyramid Media publications and content (news, reviews, advice and features) are delivered daily and weekly to more than 330,000 subscribers and to over 3.5 million though our syndication partners in more than 100 countries in over 20+ languages.
    About NewsiT:
    NewsiT is a mobile crowd-reporting platform for creating and sharing quality news of personal relevance. NewsiT believes people want their news portable, personalized and participatory. Our mission is to ‘reinvent’ news content creation by engaging citizens as mobile reporters all collaborating via social networks to produce multimedia coverage of relevance, quality and value.

    Visit us as at: www.newsit.net
    Twitter: @YouNewsiT
    Facebook: Facebook.com/newsitnews

  10. An update on our earlier Whooping Cough story post. Here is the full Senator Larsen clip with both the question and answer.

    Click here to jump the the NewsiT Whooping Cough Assignment.
    See the original blog post here.