Protestify Is Now Live! www.weprotestify.com
Problem and Solution
Protestify frees journalists from the manual and uncertain process of finding breaking news through social media by organizing and curating public protest news. Our offer is microstock and data visualization.
With a strong built in viral element, our focus is on connecting those on the street with those in the newsroom. When a “citizen journalist” snaps a picture or a video during a protest, they will hashtag #protestify on Twitter and it will be then be sent straight to us. We reply with a link back to them with a copyright agreement. If a news agency buys their content, they will be compensated and recognized as a “citizen journalist.”
Our goal is to map the entire social media space for protest news, which will bring awareness to truly amazing data visualizations that news agencies can integrate into their stories. Data visualization is a type of communication that uses schematic forms such as graphs and charts to relay vital information to the public. For example, newsrooms can purchase a data visualization on the life of visual uploads for one protest hashtag over a few months time span, along with the raw data to back it up.
We now have 18 million visuals of protests posted on social media stored in our database, which our system automatically tracks and displays. When we started this Kickstarter it was upwards of 13 million. This number is increasing at a rate of more than 42 thousand visual uploads per day and 1.25 million per month. With this protest data, we now offer supreme data and an innovative way of viewing news content. You can purchase a trial through our kickstarter today!
Ultimately, PROTESTIFY empowers individuals to use pictures and videos to tell personalized stories. By aggregating and illustrating these stories, PROTESTIFY aims to offer unbiased and objective accounts of protests while providing greater and global context to movements around the world. We also want to contextualize local protests, especially where journalists cannot reach and therefore report on. In the words of a journalist; "PROTESTIFY will serve as the platform that Twitter has not been for journalists and citizen-journalists."
PROTESTIFY will give you visuals where you can see people all over the world campaigning for a better social, economic, and political future. We are looking for your support to keep us innovating and developing and to ultimately turn this site into a marketplace. Your contributions will turn the front page into the most viral real-time content. The top banner will contain the latest photos and videos from protests around the globe. Ultimately, we will get your breaking news images to the newsroom in less than 5 minutes, with editorial rights.
We have been working on PROTESTIFY for the past two years at Columbia University. We are now based out of Columbia's Startup Lab and finished with Columbia’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program. Diving into policy, business, activism, data visualization and high technology, we have now made PROTESTIFY a reality. We have taken our passion for free press, youth unemployment, social movements and the future of visualization to drive us to revolutionize citizen journalism. Our team works diligently, making use of all available resources to make this happen for those who are filming under chaotic conditions and dire time constraints and are desperate to share their news content. Our generation is a visual generation that is eager to keep up with current affairs.
Risks and challenges
Creating a new value proposition in the field of news inherently has some risks and challenges. Our aim is to amplify the voices of protesters through visuals, a large portion of whom are unemployed youth all around the world, risking their lives (and phones) for social justice. When you're working to bring a concept to life, there are bound to be some hurdles that you'll have to overcome.
Thankfully we've had some great support along the way to help us make sure we are understanding our two markets ("citizen journalists", and news agencies), and are prepared for any startup mishaps. We are now in Columbia's Startup Lab in Wework Labs. Great advisors have coached us on international business strategy and the microstock industry. We have established our copyright agreements with a prominent Getty Images Lawyer, and were primped and prepped by the creme of Columbia's innovators and advisors in Columbia's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program. There is no one better suited to take on this task than our CTO Manoj Pooleery. He has developed the ins & outs of innovating citizen journalism, with technology to ensure that this product is robust and real-time for our customers, news agencies and the concerned citizen. His plans to map and lead a team to develop a single subject news source through social media is an ambitious task. We have identified the challenges and are prepared to see this through with your support.
Our implementation team of three, with each over 15 years of experience in IT, has been helping us bootstrap as economically and efficiently as the tech world has ever seen for over 1 year. We've worked hard to get our technology, business plan and sales strategy in place. We've had hundreds of conversations with "citizen journalists" around the world and news agencies; field experience in Istanbul, the Middle East and North America; successful Kickstarter campaign runners and (fiercely) smart friends that have been our field researchers, pitch coaches, and videographers.
Our biggest challenge is spreading the word and getting enough backers to support us as we push this technology forward and keep our team going. We are very excited and ready to get through our beta and to our first sale. We want to get your view into the newsroom. Help us move forward! This money will go to turn our site into a marketplace, set up our payment section, with a verification piece built in, to share your news.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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