MSNBC.com acquires EveryBlock

Aug172009

We’ve got some huge news today: EveryBlock has been acquired by MSNBC.com.

If you’ve been following along with us, you’ll know that we were funded for our first two years by a grant from the Knight Foundation. That grant ended on June 30, and we’ve been spending the last few months figuring out how to keep this site alive and make it sustainable. After considering a number of options (some wildly different from others), we decided that working with MSNBC.com was the best fit for our site and our team.

What does this mean for EveryBlock users? A couple of things.

First, obviously, it means that we’re going to keep the site going. We’ll continue to run the first and best microlocal news Web site on the planet, with the same six people, with the same logo and design, with the same everyblock.com domain. MSNBC.com has hired our whole team, and they’ve made it clear to us that we’ll be driving the site’s strategy and implementation, and that our site will remain an independent destination as a community service. Plus, while MSNBC.com is based in the Seattle area, our headquarters will continue to be in Chicago.

(Of course, we’re always looking out for more local information. If you’re a government official with local data to share, contact us.)

Second, it means that we’ll have resources to expand EveryBlock profoundly. MSNBC.com is the most-visited news Web site in the U.S. and is in solid financial shape in a time when news organizations around the world are struggling. We’re excited about the possibilities of pointing a massive audience at EveryBlock and having the resources to beef up our technological infrastructure and staff.

Our site is very young — it’s only been live for about a year and a half — and we have a lot of ideas and expansion plans. I often tell friends and industry colleagues that EveryBlock in is current incarnation is only about 5 percent of what we want to do with it. We’re now in a position to make this happen.

Finally, we’d like to thank the Knight Foundation, the many people who have helped advise us over the last two years, and, of course, the people who use our site. Here’s to a bright future.

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