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
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  1. 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

  2. Rate Your Airline Seats!
    Join the NewsiT Crowd-Sourced News Story

    Is it just your imagination, or are airline seats smaller and tighter than ever? NewsiT, the source for crowd-reported news, is partnering with AirGuideOnline.com to report on the size and comfort of airplane seats and other amenities. Read our first story, about economy class seats, then sign up, accept a task and help us continue to report this developing story. http://newsit.net/assignments (Or download the free NewsiT app on your iPhone.)

  3. A Message From Melinda

    Keen to share our progress!
    The new iPhone release is just days away now - improved workflows, display of contributor ‘raw’ content, design tweaks, and integration with Facebook and Twitter. We can hardly wait to share it with you - and get your feedback as we iterate and improve our web and mobile user experience ahead over the summer.

    Here are some of the things you will see in the coming weeks and months:

    • Enhanced social functionality will include the ability to follow and friends within the NewsiT community, the beginnings of user collaboration around story threads and contributions
    • Story threads will combine ‘assignments’ and ‘latest news’ - we are building feedback loops in which you can find relevant information to you as well as people and sources you can trust around information that is important and relevant to you
    • Reorganization of the site and app around specific topics or ‘communities of interest’
    • Enhanced UI around game layer
    • And more!

    We hope to work to a tight two-week iteration and delivery schedule so you will start seeing changes and improvements. Keep letting us know how we are doing!

    NewsiT was founded by CEO Melinda Wittstock. Melinda is an award-winning journalist, serial entrepreneur and an evangelist on all things socially-networked and ‘gamified’. She is passionate about improving the quality and relevance of news and information, and has learned in her long journalistic career that there is more expertise outside the newsroom than in it.

  4. 
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The Plains and Rockies are in for a hot summer. And the Mid-Atlantic will be in a severe storm area, according to AccuWeather’s summer forecast.What signs have you seen of an early summer? Drought hit your area? Join the story; help NewsiT and AccuWeather follow weather trends across the county.

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    The Plains and Rockies are in for a hot summer. And the Mid-Atlantic will be in a severe storm area, according to AccuWeather’s summer forecast.

    What signs have you seen of an early summer? Drought hit your area? Join the story; help NewsiT and AccuWeather follow weather trends across the county.

  5. Update On The Whooping Cough Story

    New Audio Clip

    In April 2012, Rep. Rick Larsen, (D- Washington) was interviewed by
    AskYourLawmaker.com, NewsiT’s sister site. Representative Larsen was asked about the possibility of introducing legislation requiring the public to be notified directly about epidemics such as pertussis.
     
    Hear the quote here and read more about it at Newsit.

  6. Sunny Days or Stormy Weather?

    NewsiT & AccuWeather team up for this Community Weather Report.

    Many areas of the country have had an early spring and summer… following an unusually warm winter. High temperatures, thunderstorms, tornadoes and drought have been in the news. AccuWeather predicts in its summer forecast that some relief may be in sight.

    But what signs have you seen of an early summer? Join other citizen reporters around the country and help us with this evolving story. Sign up, accept a task and help NewsiT and AccuWeather report on the weather in your area. Then follow the results at www.newsit.net.

    Anyone can be a NewsiT correspondent. It’s fun, social and rewarding. If you can snap a photo, ask a question, shoot a video, search for data or write a short report — or if you simply have a great idea you want others in the NewsiT community to investigate - you’re a valued member of our community.

  7. NewsiT Developing Story: Best & Worst Airline Seats Ranked

    Airline_economy_seats

    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?

    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.

    Help NewsiT and AirGuideOnline.com rate airline seats. Join the story and answer some simple questions. Details at NewsiT.net.

  8. A Sneak Peek at NewsiT’s iPhone Release

    Your Crowd; Your Story

    The NewsiT team has been hard at work improving the design and user experience on the iPhone app for release later this month. We’re excited to share our progress and unveil the beginnings of our new look. We’re planning two Apple releases: the first with some much needed fixes and updates, the next with full social functionality. Tell us what you think of the new design direction!

  9. Noteworthy Newsmaker: Henrietta Morrison

    UK based Lily’s Kitchen makes delicious organic and holistic pet food for dogs and cats. Henrietta Morrison, Founder and MD of Lily’s Kitchen Pet Food, is a respected entrepreneur, leader in the canine community and quite simply a dog lover. That’s why we are delighted that she has joined in the latest NewsiT story; Don’t Lock the Dogs Out!

    In cities and towns everywhere, stores and businesses have different policies about dogs. Some allow only service dogs inside; some don’t allow dogs at all and some welcome pooches with open arms. (or paws.)

    Henrietta is leading her London-based friends and fans on the NewsiT assignment to see what the story is in her neck of the woods. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as the story evolves.

    In one afternoon or one hour, how many places of business can you bring your dog in?
    Are you a dog lover, professional or leader in the doggie community? We hope you’ll take a page out of Henrietta ‘s book and report what you find from your neighborhood… and see what your friends and followers can find out too. How many businesses can you (
    Details here.)

    About Lily’s Kitchen:
    Henrietta began cooking for her dog Lily after she realized that many dogs food contained strange ingredients that gave her dog various health problems, like itchy ears and skin.

    After a few weeks, Henrietta was delighted by the improvements in Lily’s health, she decided that someone needed to produce really healthy, proper food that would make a real difference to pets - and owners. So that’s how Lily’s Kitchen was born.

    Lily’s Kitchen natural pet food is made with real meat, organic grains, organic vegetables, organic fruit and herbs. They don’t use any colorings, flavorings, sweeteners or artificial preservatives.

    Lily’s Kitchen believes pet food should be made from proper ingredients - delicious, recognizable ones that you would love to dish up every day for your best friend.

    For more information, please visit their website: http://www.lilyskitchen.co.uk/

     Henrietta Morrison and Lily