Today, we're excited to announce that we are open sourcing the code for NewsTrust.net, our social news platform.
This SocialNews code will enable developers to create their own social news sites, using our platform to help people find good journalism together. We are really happy to make our tools and methodologies available to a broader community.
Last month, we announced a new direction for NewsTrust on our blog, and this open source project is part of that transition. NewsTrust is now pivoting from a standalone news curation site to a consultancy that will serve the needs of larger partners and help their communities become better informed about important public issues.
We are very grateful to our partners at Transitions for providing the funding to make this open source project possible. This will enable them to test new applications of our social news platform in Eastern Europe and other world regions.
Developers can download SocialNews Version 1.0. here and read our technical documentation here. This open source code is licensed by NewsTrust Communications under the terms of the Berkeley Software Distribution ("BSD") license. We are moving on to new projects and don't plan to actively develop or support this code base in the short-term, but we will post code updates on Github from time to time, along with corresponding notes on this page.
NewsTrust also offers a range of consulting services to organizations that wish to help their communities become better informed and more engaged about public issues. For example, NewsTrust can provide development services to help your organization adapt this SocialNews code to create your own social news site. To inquire about our partner services, email us at partners-at-newstrust-dot-net.
The NewsTrust and SocialNews projects were a team effort and we are grateful to all our contributors for their work over the past six years. This SocialNews open source code was prepared by Subramanya Sastry, NewsTrust's engineering manager. The NewsTrust code was written by the following developers: Adam Florin, David Fox, Caleb Waldorf, Subramanya Sastry and Mark Daggett. The following editorial staff members played an important role in developing the various features of this application: Kaizar Campwala, Derek Hawkins, Jon Mitchell, Mary Hartney, Gin Ferrara, Andrew Hazlett. Special thanks to Ezra Fox and the members of the larger NewsTrust community for testing and feedback.
Last but not least, we would like to thank our many funders for helping us develop and improve this software platform over the years. They include the MacArthur Foundation, Omidyar Network, Open Society Foundations, Ashoka, Ayrshire Foundation, Mitch Kapor Foundation, Sunlight Foundation -- as well as private donors such as Craig Newmark and Doug Carlston.
We can't wait to see what new creative uses come out of this open source project. We ourselves benefited greatly from the open source code movement while developing our application and we are happy to return the favor with SocialNews.
Executive Director and Founder
UPDATE - Jan. 24, 2012: Here is a NewsTrust Guide for Administrators, which describes how NewsTrust and SocialNews work. This guide includes short tips on how to use our tools, with different sections for members, hosts and admins. It is particularly useful if you have installed SocialNews on your site and would like an overview of its services, with short operating instructions for each tool.