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The Publc Press is San Francisco's new online news website that aspires to provide real investigative journalism for the San Francisco community, supported by members. The plight of the news industry is dire. It has been supported for so long by advertising money that few people recognize the value or cost of investigative journalism, yet our society depends on it. There have been regional papers around the country that have risen to the challenge (to greater or lesser success) of filling the news gap left by the rapidly contracting news industry. Most of them are entirely online. The Public Press aspires to deliver papers and forgoe advertising income. The key to their success will be to create an engaged news consuming membership.

When I first got involved, several months ago, I learned that the site was Drupal and that they had little at all going on for a database. Communication was hampered by having to pull different lists from different areas, etc. Also there was realitively data, so I volunteered to create a CiviCRM DB if someone else could install it CiviCR< on the server for me. A few weeks ago it was installed and I have just finished the first import of data and the configuration.

Plusses:

- I'm very excited by the mapping function. Setting up the google geocoding API was a snap. I think there's a huge potential for this to enhance the Public Press member's relationship to the news - somewhat in the way everyblock.com does.

- second time around I've learned how better to set it up and where to draw the distinction between custom data, groups and tags, and other little things that sucked up too much time the first time around.

- I also benefit from having written training materials that I can reuse.

- The manual has been SO helpful to me.Thank you to all of you who worked on it.

minusses:

- having the toughest time getting the tabs to show up on the top of the record. I think it' because there are some items that have to go into the drupal settings.php file that haven't been added. It took too long to figure this out.

- double-edged sword of there not being a clear data plan. I'm falling into the role of creating one, which is a bit more than I thought I was biting off.

That's it for now. As the project continues I'll provide updates. Anyone who wants to help with this project please feel free to contact me. I think there are some interesting possibilities that would create new tools with wide applications - for instance integrating mobile phone contributions into civicrm - has anyone done this?

Andrew Page

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