Local News Site EveryBlock To Go Open Source; Seeks Business Model

imageOver a year and one grant after its inception, EveryBlock has announced plans to open-source its publishing system, enabling users to create their own sites. The local news site, which had been awarded a $1.1 million grant from the Knight Foundation’s 2007 Challenge, allows users to aggregate news and info as locally as their own neighborhood. Under the terms of the grant, which ends on June 30, EveryBlock must release its code, enabling people across the globe to benefit from its technology. While the exposure will ultimately prove beneficial, the site faces a problem: put simply, it needs a business model. So far, it plans to build a local advertising engine and/or host versions of the open-source software, but founder Adrian Holovaty has implored innovators and potential partners to help the site properly sustain itself.

Holovaty earlier developed web apps for washingtonpost.com and had gained recognition for chicagocrime.org, which he created with Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Maps’ data. For this, he won the $10,000 grand prize in the 2005 Batten Aware for “innovations in journalism.” He also co-created open-source framework Django.