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Windy Citizen was a Chicago-based local news site that used crowd curation to determine its lead stories. It was founded in 2008 and shut down in 2012.
Windy Citizen relied on user submissions for its content. It used a Digg-like mechanism for determining stories’ popularity, asking users — whose identity on the site was tied to their social networking accounts — to vote stories up or down. The site’s front page consisted of the most popular posts on the site at any given moment. At one point, Windy Citizen had about 100,000 unique monthly users.
In 2010, Flora won a $250,000 Knight News Challenge grant to develop NowSpots, an experiment in real-time advertising that works by syndicating social media-based messages from sponsors. Flora experimented with the advertising on the Windy Citizen site, and the site remained operational after Windy Citizen’s closing.
The Zonie Report was a local online news site that covered the state of Arizona. The Report ran from 2006 to March 2010, when its founder and editor, Adam Klawonn, shut it down to focus on his work at Phoenix magazine and a mobile light-rail publication called CityCircles. The Report lost money and had a…