The NewsiT Blog

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Twitter: @newsitnews | @NewsiT_editor | @younewsit

  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. The Next Big Thing in Digital News Innovation

    Today in New York City, NewsiT CEO Melinda Wittstock was one of the featured presenters at The Next Big Thing in Digital News Innovation, an event series where emerging entrepreneurs meet media industry leaders.

    Held at The Paley Center for Media and co-presented by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Next Big Thing is a series of forums in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles showcasing news and information startups for an audience of high-level media executives and investors.

     Follow @newsitnews or #paleynext to follow the conversation on Twitter.

  3. Melinda Wittstock, Founder and CEO of NewsiT talks with Tech Cocktail at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2012.

  4. iPad contest - earn 50 points now!

    NewsiT users,

    We’re excited to announce two quick updates to our SxSW iPad contest:

           - All content uploaded through Saturday is eligible for points toward the iPad. Maybe you couldn’t upload from Austin because of connectivity issues, or didn’t have time.  Take another look now at the assignments, find one that interests you, and upload text, photos or video. 

           - Earn 50 extra points now just by liking NewsiT on Facebook!  Not only do you get the extra points, but you can keep up with all our updates and the latest news stories and assignments.

    Thanks - and good luck!

  5. Look for NewsiT at SXSW

    NewsiT will be all over South By Southwest. Here are some of the events we will be attending. If you are going to be in Austin, please let us know. We’d love to see you!

    Startup Spotlight: The Startup Spotlight Reception will be held from 4-6PM on Friday, March 9th at Startup Village on the 4th Floor of the Hilton Hotel. 

    Startup Debut: Startup Debut is the only top-tier media showcase at South by Southwest. Held on the opening night of the SXSW Interactive Festival, Saturday, March 10, from 6:00 – 10:00 pm at the Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar.  Fleming’s is directly across the street from the convention center.

    HATCH Pitch Competition: Held at the new SXSW Startup Village, HATCH will be featuring 15 revolutionary startups certain to change your world, including NewsiT. Come hear them pitch to investors. And when it is done, tell your friends you heard about the next big thing at HATCH.

    Sunday, March 11, 2012 from 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM
    SXSW Interactive Startup Village
    Salon B
    Hilton Austin Downtown
    500 East 4th Street, Austin, TX.

    Java Jive:  Look for NewsiT at the Java Jive in the Hilton. We’ll be handing out NewsiT coffee sleeves, sipping coffee and chatting with the crowd. Look for us in our black NewsiT shirts.

    We will also be at various lounges and events throughout the week and will have a booth in the exhibition hall. Watch #SXNewsit on Twitter for live updates on our whereabouts throughout the week.

    Trade Show:  NewsiT will have a booth at the SXSW Trade Show, “where the future of media is defined.”  Please stop by and visit us there.  The first two days of the Trade Show overlap with the final two days of the Interactive Festival.

    Exhibit Halls 3 & 4 on the first floor of the Austin Convention Center
    Booth Number 744

    Monday, March 12 - 11:00-6:00PM
    Tuesday, March 13 - 11:00-6:00PM
    Wednesday, March 14 - 11:00-6:00PM
    Thursday, March 15 - 11:00-4:00PM


    Follow us on Twitter at @younewsit - @newsitnews - @newsit_editor
    and tag your tweets with hashtag #SXnewsit

    Watch this blog and our Facebook page for daily updates.

    Current News Assignments
    Join in the open news assignments at  

    Women Rising: Our newest assignment, on women entrepreneurs, is a topic that will be a focus of discussion at SXSW this year.  Help NewsiT report on Women Rising: Are you the next tech titan? 

    A variety of other topics are driving user contributions this week as we lead up to SXSW. Among them:
    - Who’s Going to Be Big at SXSW? Companies that will be at SXSW can start building buzz
    - Is the GI Bill Working? Student-veterans can report on the effectiveness of the post-9/11 G.I. Bill
    - Student Loans: College students and recent graduates can tell us how student loans and college debt has affected or will affect their lives. 

    Log in and contribute to the news that matters to you. It’s quick, easy and fun.

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