DigiDave | American Public Media
American Public Media has acquired Spot.Us and will integrate it with its crowdsourcing platform Public Insight Network. The two operations "create a media that is more responsive and responsible to the public’s needs," writes Spot.Us founder David Cohn on his blog.
Cohn tells me by email that at some point, journalists working on a single story could utilize both the crowdfunding and crowdsourcing parts of the operation:
Some people prefer to donate talent, others prefer to donate funds. If a single organization used both PIN/Spot (which will become easier as the two merge at a technical level) they could do create a relationship with the audience that includes both possibilities. We did one early example of this at Spot.Us. We raised funds for an Oakland Tribune reporter to cover potholes in oakland. The money went to the freelancer to do the reporting. But we also got 15 bikers together and we biked in all different directions in Oakland and created a map of the worst potholes we could find (the bikers were donating talent). The result was a well reported story funded by the community along with some insight that only the community could provide (or a single reporter who did a LOT of biking).
One thing will not change, he said: "On Spot.Us, sources cannot donate to a story. ... We may put in a restriction that somebody can donate talent OR funds - but maybe not both."