Harnessing the power of storytelling to change the world™

Entity Extraction & Content API Evaluation

Posted on May 18th, 2010 by Rob DiCiuccio

The platform utilizes several third-party APIs to perform semantic content analysis and related content aggregation. The technologies developed by these partners have allowed us to leverage powerful tools for entity extraction and content discovery, and facilitate integration with the emerging Semantic Web. These tools allow us to focus more of our efforts on creating an engaging user experience, as well as building new open source tools for content curation, without duplicating the efforts of others.

There are several open APIs that provide semantic analysis and content discovery services. The following evaluation was conducted in February 2010, in order to assess the available APIs and their compatibility with the needs of the platform. The API tests were performed using a custom PHP application for querying and displaying API results. If you would like the source for the test application, send me a message.
Read the rest of this entry » at the 2010 Global Philanthropy Forum

Posted on May 11th, 2010 by Keith Laidlaw

Rahim Kanani has written an informative roundup of the 2010 Global Philanthropy Forum for the Huffington Post. He says that one of the most important themes to emerge at the conference was “harnessing mobile and internet technology for change, social impact, and accountability,” and talks about

“Start-ups focusing on mobile technology are not the only new kids on the block redefining the industry of social change and social impact, for heavy-hitting philanthropic organizations are also investing in the power of technology to amplify voices in the field, hoping to shift long-standing perceptions on critical issues of our time such as public opinion on U.S. foreign aid and global development. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Link TV recently launched — a digital media hub that highlights progress in reducing hunger, poverty, and disease in developing nations. It combines powerful video stories with the latest Web technology to make videos, articles, blogs, and actions readily available to key audiences working in global development.”

The full text is available here.


Posted on April 30th, 2010 by Keith Laidlaw

This week has been a busy one here at headquarters.

First, as you may have noticed, we’ve started a blog. This will be the place to hear all our news as we prepare to launch our beta site in June and the full site in November. Check back here for updates on the progress of the project, technology work we’re doing behind the scenes, info on our top partners, and reports from our diligent group of screeners, who are looking for the best content on global development from around the world.

Second, our awesome ViewChange Online Film Contest is now open for entries. We’re looking for powerful new stories about the progress being made in achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), told in short videos of five minutes or less. Your film can be any genre, from documentary to drama, and you have until August 31 to enter.

Online voters will help determine the finalists, while the winners will be selected by a distinguished panel of judges including Danny Glover, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Wim Wenders, Angélique Kidjo, and Gael García Bernal. We’re offering prizes totaling $50,000, including up to $25,000 for the Grand Prize winner. Best of all, the videos of winners and finalists will be broadcast on Link TV and other television channels worldwide, and be available for high-quality streaming right here at

We know that stories are powerful. They can change how we think and how we act. That’s why we’re launching this site. But now we’re calling on storytellers and filmmakers: Tell your story. Change the world.