Update: You did it — we’re funded! And now we are most certainly looking for one or maybe two mobile developers to work with on this. Spread the word.
Have you heard? We’ve got a plan to make Portland Afoot’s monthly newsmagazine, our primary focus and best-loved product, free.
We want to start designing a version for mobile phones – a 10-minute newsmagazine app. And we’re using Kickstarter, the awesome crowdfunding site, to see if there’s support. Here’s the video we made:
It’s going really well so far. After 19 days, we’ve raised 90% of our target, with 11 days to go. Amazing!
We’re not there yet, so you should definitely chip in. All you need is an Amazon account, and if we don’t make it to $5,000, you’ll owe nothing — but if we do make it, we’ll be able to get Portland Afoot to the mobile phones of thousands of Portlanders for free (including, y’know, you). Every bit of support helps, and the rewards you can get for backing the project are pretty hilarious (and selling out fast).
But I’m not writing about how we’re going to raise the money. I’m writing about how we’re going to spend it.
Assuming we’re funded (and things are looking great so far), we’ll have enough to hire an out-of-state company that specializes in cookie-cutter magazine apps to set this up for us. And hey, that’d be great. This’ll still be like no magazine you’ve ever seen. But we’d rather keep these dollars in Portland. And we’d rather spend them on something that the whole world, not just us, could benefit from.
If it’s possible, we’re hoping to hire a developer, preferably but not necessarily a Portlander, to put this little app together under an open-source license — so anybody else can build a free mobile magazine, too. An added bonus of this: It’d let this app do a few extremely cool tricks that could be useful not only for Portland Afoot’s future cover stories but for anyone interested in interactive narratives — comic artists, indie game designers, and more.
I’m talking about branching “choose your own adventure” decision trees as people flip from page to page. Panels that reverse mid-stream. One-way doors. Really neat stuff.
Obviously, our budget is tiny for a custom mobile app — $4,500 after fees, unless we look for further funding, which is a possibility. But our specifications are so simple that we think this is plausible. Brian Smith, one of our board members, has written up a draft specification for the project. Check it out.
If you have any experience with mobile development and are interested in talking more, or know someone else who might be, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to make this happen.