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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 Texas Tribune is a nonprofit online news organization based in Austin, Texas, that focuses on political and civic issues. The site was founded in 2009 by venture capitalist John Thornton and former Texas Monthly editor Evan Smith. Thornton raised $4 million in startup funds for the site, including $1 million of his own money…