KNC12 DATA | INVSTG8.NET: Deep data sourcing via simple data matching | Knight News Challenge 2012

One of my entries for the Knight News Challenge: Data.

INVSTG8.NET | Deep data sourcing via simple data matching

1. What do you propose to do? [20 words]
Invstg8.net aims to create a keyword/concept matching tool to help connect journalists to story-crucial peer-sourced data.

2. How will your project make data more useful? [50 words]
Invstg8.net enables journalists get access to, and use, otherwise inaccessible/unused, crucial data for stories in a highly targeted manner.

3. How is your project different from what already exists? [30 words]
The invstg8.net tool uses simple data in a trusted, secured framework to focus on the human connection to obtaining deep, targeted, existent but unsurfaced data.

4. Why will it work? [100 words]
Invstg8.net eliminates structural, practical, technological and financial barriers by linking journalists anywhere, who find it impossible to get data, to peers with access.
The invstg8.net tool will filter and match journalists seeking data with those likely to have access to it, in a highly targeted manner.
Invstg8.net will accelerate reporting on stories it would take months or years to tell, or that wouldn’t be told at all for lack of data.
Invstg8.net was inspired by an African journalist unable to obtain data crucial to his foreign mining investigation. He said it would take him months to get data I could get in minutes.

5. Who is working on it? [100 words]
Saleem Khan: Project leader, journalist [editor and reporter, ex- CBC, Metro International, Toronto Star newspapers; chairman/director, Canadian Association of Journalists]; advisor, University of Toronto ThingTank Lab [Faculty of Information]

Support:
Advisors:

  • K. Khan: User experience strategist and designer, OCAD University sLab advisor; leader of UXI, Canada’s largest UX professionals group
  • H. Leson: Director of community engagement, Ushahidi; open source community developer, library and information technician.
  • M. Saniga, CA: President and co-founder, near-realtime business intelligence/data insight generation software firm Quant Inc.; former finance director and manager at Cara, Dell.

Code team:
Various ad hoc/pro bono.

6. What part of the project have you already built? [100 words]
A functioning development-environment prototype of the query, receipt and request-handling mechanism that accepts open SMS has been built. Code is available at http://j.mp/skinvstg8netgit [ Github.com/saleemkhan/invstg8net ].
The keyword/concept based request engine that forms the core of invstg8.net is still needed.

7. How would you use News Challenge funds? [50 words]
Funds would be applied toward development of the invstg8.net keyword/concept request-matching engine and related support. At its core, this means hiring dedicated developers to advance the project at a pace far faster than the current, incrmental rate of progress.

8. How would you sustain the project after the funding expires? [50 words]
We have encountered venture capitalists, private companies, NGOs and news organizations that have expressed interest in investing in invstg8.net once a working prototype is available, or in purchasing beta or release-candidate licences.
We will also sustain the project by selling consulting services and training, a freemium pricing model, and ancillary merchandise.

Requested amount: $350,000
Expected number of months to complete project: 12
Total Project Cost: $525,000
Name: Saleem Khan
Twitter: @saleemkhan http://twitter.com/saleemkhan
Email address [optional]: saleem.khan@invstg8.net
Organization: invstg8.net / Technovica
City: Toronto
Country: Canada
How did you learn about the contest? I have been following and participating in the Knight News Challenge for years.

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