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Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

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.

Windy Citizen was founded by Brad Flora, a developer and journalist. Flora shut the site down in 2012 because of a lack of revenue needed to keep it running.

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.

Peers, allies, & competitors:
Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
June 22, 2010 / Megan Garber
Knight News Challenge: NowSpots wants to help publishers sell and serve “local ads that actually work” — One thing we’ve learned about online advertising, says Brad Flora, founder and president of Chicago’s Windy Citizen: “Banner ads suck.” Big time. “They’re static, they’re boring,...
June 25, 2009 / Zachary M. Seward
Reinventing classifieds: MinnPost launches “real-time advertising” — MinnPost, the non-profit news startup in Minneapolis, has rolled out a new form of advertising that looks a little bit like print classifieds, a lot like Twitter, and nothing like traditional marketing on the Internet. T...

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Primary author: Megan Garber. Main text last updated: June 21, 2012.
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