Knight News Challenge winners announced


The 19 winners of the Knight News Challenge have been announced, and will share a total award of $3,466,000. The Challenge was launched in February with the question: How can we strengthen the Internet for free expression and innovation? Each of the winners addressed issues of increased access, transparency, and safety across the internet.

EveryBlock congratulates our partners, Chicago Public Library, on their award, as well as all the winners and all who entered the challenge!

For the full winner’s list read more:

Popular In Chicago: Summer Solstice Edition


Hope everyone enjoys the longest day of the year tomorrow! Here are some of the happening threads of the week on EveryBlock.


Discovering the unseen artists in Rogers Park.

Advice on abandoned vehicles.

Portage Park swimming pools – schedule.

The best spots to purchase city stickers.

Finally, a repost of places to watch the USA – Portugal World Cup game this Sunday.

Have a great weekend everyone!

EveryBlock Don’t: Spam


One of the frequent topics of discussion regarding the management of all online forums is Spam. While the definition of Spam can vary between sites, here’s how it’s written in the EveryBlock community guidelines.

  • Spam - Don’t spam the community. Avoid repeatedly sending the same or substantially similar messages, empty messages, or messages which contain no substantive content.

Example: repeatedly posting duplicate messages (either by accident or intentially), posting links to outside content without any description or context, posting messages that are off-topic and don’t address the subject of the thread or category.

Some sites consider threads that simply have the word “Thanks” in response to previous comments as Spam, because they aren’t contributing anything to further the conversation. We don’t go that far, and think it’s all right to thank users if they answer questions or post something helpful.

However, if a user tries to purposely distract others from the topic of discussion by posting multiple one-word or off-topic posts, we consider that Spam. As a reminder, anything flagged as Unneighborly will be examined and, if our moderation team finds it necessary, removed.

‘Doable City’ forum focuses on practical ways of making communities more livable


What makes communities more livable? Focusing on human needs like personal interaction, physical activity, and proximity. The Doable City Forum is happening now in Chicago, and looking to further the discussion. From the Knight Foundation.

Innovation can be a lonely task. But not this week in Chicago, where more than 150 civic innovators are gathering for the “8-80 Cities Forum: The Doable City” through Wednesday.

“Doable doesn’t mean easy. It means possible,” said urban expert Gil Penalosa, executive director of 8-80 Cities.

Read more:

Which States and Cities Have Chief Data Officers?


We’ve worked closely with the Chicago Chief Data Officer in implementing Open311 data into EveryBlock, and have worked with other CDOs around the country. GovTech has an interactive map of the state and local governments who have CDO positions. It shows the growing value of open data initiatives and the need for innovation.

In 2010, Colorado became the first state to appoint a chief data officer (CDO). A year later, New York City pioneered the position in local government.

Since then, the ranks of CDOs in state and local government have grown steadily, driven by expanding interest in predictive analytics, civic hacking and performance measurement. Research by Government Technology located more than a dozen CDOs in states and localities across the U.S. And that number seems poised to multiply as governments seek to harness the power of big data.

Read more:

On EveryBlock: Popular in Chicago


Hope everyone had a great week! We had a blast at GoodWorkChicago and looking forward to WordCamp Chicago today through Sunday. Here are some of the popular threads on EveryBlock this past week.

Sometimes it’s worth just saying good morning to the person you see on the street.

Please, please, please, pick up after your dog.

Lawrence Ave. streetscape: what should be done?

Last week, it was chickens, this week, roosters.

Are you ready for epic delays in and out of downtown this weekend?

Have a great weekend everyone! And don’t forget to stop by our table at University Center Chicago if you’re going to be at WordCamp!


WordCamp Chicago, June 13-15


As GoodWorkChicago winds down, starting tomorrow and through weekend is the WordCamp Chicago conference, covering everything related to WordPress and the Chicago WordPress Community. EveryBlock will be in full attendance and will have a booth in the University Center Chicago lobby, where you can learn about the site and our work with the WordPress and Open Source communities. If you’re attending the conference, please stop by to say hello!


User query: Why was my post deleted?


Some users have asked why we remove certain neighbor messages and comments, and in some cases close or delete conversations. Here’s a quick rundown.

Deleting a comment – Something in the comment violated the community guidelines, so we deleted it.

Deleting an entire thread – this can happen for a couple different reasons. The neighbor message itself might have been in violation of our community guidelines. This could be for a minor issue, like an accidental duplicate post, or something more serious like libel or offensive content. In some cases, we might ask the user to post the message again, but omit whatever might have been wrong with it. Secondly, if many comments about the message are violating the guidelines, rather than delete every one of the comments, which may make the thread confusing, we might choose to delete the entire thread.

Closing comments, but leaving the thread viewable – sometimes a thread contains valuable information for neighbors, such as info on city services, or tips on how to solve problems. In these cases, even though the thread or some comments within it may violate the guidelines, we’ll freeze it so others can see the helpful information. In both cases, closing comments or deleting a thread also helps prevent a single, out-of-hand conversation from clogging up your timelines.

Thank you for your continued feedback and use of the ‘unneighborly’ button to help us identify guideline violations. For more information on our community guidelines, click here. As always, we rely on you to help shape the EveryBlock community.


GoodWorkChicago Starts Today


Over the next three days EveryBlock will be participating in GoodWorkChicago, a forum designed to bring together and mobilize individuals, connect with each other around our communities, inspire investment of both human and financial capital in our causes, and look at innovative ways of addressing our most pressing issues. There’s going to be a lot of great discussion about public innovation, social start-ups, philanthropy and more.

Along with speakers and sessions, the final night of the forum will feature five new social ventures pitching their ideas to the crowd.  This year’s finalists are The ‘S’ Word Project, Second Chance Renovations, YogaCare, The Yellow Tractor Project, and Alumni in Business. If you want to stay up to date about the events happening during GoodWorkChicago, follow @goodworkchi or @everyblock on Twitter.


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