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Feb. 17, 2010, 3 p.m.

Baseless speculation: Who might be Knight News Challenge favorites?

Let’s play oddsmaker for a moment. I’m unaware of any sports books offering prop bets on who’ll win the 2010 Knight News Challenge. We’re still early in the application process, and wannabe grantees must still navigate a multi-layered process that no one can predict. But just for fun: Who might be some early favorites?

The closed applications are anyone’s guess. But the 222 open ones are posted for anyone to see — and to critique. Setting aside subjective opinions, there are two publicly visible datapoints that can give us an indication of how an app is doing: how many times each application has been viewed by the public — suggesting the level of interest in the proposal — and the average rating (on a five-star scale) each app has received from site users.

So, by those measures, who are the leaders in the clubhouse? Here are the five most-viewed applications:

1. Citizen DAN — a request for $235,000 to build a framework for local data for citizen journalists

2. GoMap Riga — $300,000 to create a map-based social platform for Latvia’s capital

3. Hollaback! — $200,000 to build a platform for women to easily report street harassment

4. Names Behind the Numbers — $125,000 for “a project that gives a human face to the statistics” of deaths in poor parts of Washington, D.C.

5. NPOffice — $58,050 for a set of web tools to provide information about nonprofits in São Paulo.

And the five highest-rated (lots of overlap here):

1. GoMap Riga

2. Hollaback!

3. Names Behind the Numbers

4. NewsShift — $585,000 to build “a collaborative research layer to online news stories”

5. NPOffice

In addition, of the five News Challenge we profiled as interesting back in December, two are apparently still in the running: 101 Source and FollowIndy. (Sorry, Journalism Shop, Homicide Watch D.C., and NewsGraf.)

In any event, the News Challenge won’t be decided by pageviews or public popularity — we’ll have to wait until June to see who the judges picked. Go poke around the entries that remain — any seem of particular interest to you?

[EDITOR’S NOTE: See Dan’s comment below. This post originally used the list of still-in-the-running entries linked on the front page of the News Challenge. Turns out that’s not the right list; this one is. The post has been corrected.]

[Disclosure: The Knight Foundation is a financial supporter of the Nieman Journalism Lab.]

POSTED     Feb. 17, 2010, 3 p.m.
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