The Guardian’s n0tice Launches to the Public

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The Guardian Media Group has publicly launched its newest endeavor in the world of open platform media, n0tice. Access to the community publishing platform, which has been in an invite-only beta since mid-October, is live, but community participation — i.e. posting to the network — will remain limited to select users for the time being, project lead and director of digital strategy at GMG Matt McAlister told Street Fight on Monday.

The newest creation in a line of open platform products launched by the innovative Guardian, n0tice enables groups and individuals to bring their community bulletins online through customizable noticeboards, then tags the posts based on location. N0ticeboards allow already formed segments within a community to create a branded presence online and share seamlessly with others in their neighborhood.

To spread the word, the n0tice team has relied on users inviting others to the site to build out its base, which now stands at 2,000 active users. “We want participation to spread through people’s contact to maintain high-quality relevance in these early stages while the tone is being set,” said McAlister about the decision to keep posting privileges on an invite-only basis.

The U.K.- based project has also announced a few forthcoming monetization efforts — including revenue sharing via classifieds as well as a fee-for-access restricted community notice board service — that are slated to launch in the upcoming months.

Currently, users who post an offer can buy a featured position for the advertisement across the n0tice network, with the cost pegged to radius and length of the campaign.

With a lat/long attributed to each noticeboard, location-based advertising lends well to the platform. The pay-per-radius model is difficult to scale evenly across more fragmented local advertising network, and requires a content density that is tough to achieve on a closed hyperlocal network like Patch.

As Gigaom’s Bobbie Johnson points out, n0tice marks a big step by the Guardian into the media platform space. McAlister, who has spearheaded other platform-oriented endeavors like the paper’s news-to-api project, says the lack of control in a platform does not jeopardize the company’s editorial reputation.

“None of these things are in conflict with a strong editorial organization,” says McAlister about n0tice and the group’s other open projects. “Being an open and innovative digital platform is precisely what makes the Guardian such an influential force in journalism today.”

McAlister and company are taking an “if you build it, they will come” approach to defining the platforms use-case. “We’re trying to stay very open minded and agnostic about what this platform will mean to people.” The team has done a lot to make the noticeboards brand-friendly, building in rich text and media as well as some substantive traffic analytics for noticeboard operators.

Steven Jacobs is an associate editor at Street Fight.