Tom has helped created a few useful websites in his time at MySociety and the BBC and now thinks that 4iP can deliver, too.
Santa of the Social Internet
He has already handed out lumps of dosh ranging from £3k to £25k and this Santa of the social Internet has more in his sack.
4iP has more than £40 million from Channel 4 and various other partners (mainly regional development authorities) which is a lot of dosh in these straightened times.
What does Tom want?
What is he looking for? well go to the 4iP website for details but basically it is online ideas that will have a positive social impact. The format can be journalism, gaming, social networking or something else that you dream up.
I was interested to see that he is backing one of my favourite political journalism websites, Slugger O’Toole. I don’t read it much because it is mainly about Northern Irish politics. But I know it is a very good group blog that has done a lot to open up Northern Irish political reporting over the last few years. 4iP are hoping to take it to ‘the next level’.
I wish Tom well, but it does make you wonder why other authorities who spend millions on communications are not doing more of this? why aren’t health authorities backing independent patient or practitioner websites, for example?
Tom’s ambitious aim to create ten socially significant websites is interesting. He will measure it by whether they become essential reading for MPs.
I wonder what 10 independent (i.e. non-mainstream media) websites there are out there (apart from Wikipedia and Mysociety) that would be in that category now?