We like to think that Baristanet offers a full-service, tightly-curated online experience. We’ve got news, features, restaurant reviews, listings, ticket giveaways — and always interesting conversation.
But when we were approached last summer by Jeff Reifman, a Seattle web developer and entrepreneur, about the possibility of a new way for people to experience Baristanet, we were intrigued.
Reifman is the founder of NewsCloud, which allows local news sites to have a second presence inside Facebook. Earlier this month, the Boston Globe launched a beta version of NewsCloud’s product, which they call Your Boston. Today we’re delighted to announce the launch of a NewsCloud-powered Facebook app called Baristanet Community.
Why visit? What can you get at Baristanet Community that you couldn’t get on Baristanet?
For one, it’s much less curated. Baristanet Community grabs our RSS feed with our latest headlines, but you can post stories there too, either grabbed from other news sources or written by yourself.
You can ask questions of your fellow Baristaville denizens — as I did in the small test with a handful of users we conducted over the last few days. Already I’ve gotten names of a handyman and an upholsterer.
There are also forums. And here’s a big difference between this application and other online forums, or even our regular Baristanet conversations, these are forums without anonymity. Because everybody who participates is already a Facebook member, they’re using real names. We think this could make for a lively conversation that’s perhaps a little more polite than the usual online fray.
So, what’s the conversation over at Baristanet Community? You decide. Kristie Cattafi wants to talk about pub quiz nights. Jenn Schiffer wants to talk vegan. Maybe you want to meet other singles Or organize moms of special needs kids to see how services are offered from town to town. What’s on your mind? Go over, play a little — and see what you discover.
NewsCloud has been funded by two grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It supports news organizations using its Facebook application technology and offers it freely via open source license to anyone interested in using it. For more information, visit them online or follow them on Twitter @newscloud.
A note on privacy: Users of our new Facebook app will have the same access to your data that they do now. Check your privacy settings. Any questions, write to us here.