NPR is applying for a Knight News Challenge grant of $340,000 to develop an app, GeoGraph, based on its successful experiment last year that drove visitors to Seattle's KPLU.org via geotargeted posts on the NPR Facebook page.
"The project could have an impact on how other media companies — and possibly brands — distribute content through Facebook," noted the Inside Facebook website.
In its News Challenge application, NPR said, "We will enable publishing through specific pages on Facebook, starting with NPR’s 2.3 million 'likers' in partnership with our 268 member stations. We will build our GeoGraph tool using Facebook’s Graph API. We worked with Facebook during a proof of concept; they committed to assisting us with it moving forward." After launching with the grant from Knight, "member fees will provide ongoing funding," it said. They anticipate the project will take seven months.
UPDATE: PBS also has been geotargeting Facebook posts for member stations, reports Kevin Dando, director of digital marketing and communications for the network. "In any given week, we probably have 10 to 20 geotargeted posts on the PBS Facebook page," Dando told Current. More than 100 stations have been geotargeted on the site over nearly two years, he said. "Depending on the size of the geotarget (sometimes it’s an entire state, sometimes it’s just a few small cities), the traffic from the PBS Facebook page can range from hundreds of people on up to tens of thousands." Stations may learn more here.
Other public media applicants to the Knight News Challenge include:
— Public Radio International, for the iGeoQuiz, a mobile and online game based on the GeoQuiz segment from PRI’s global news program, The World;
— Audiofiles from WBUR in Boston, which describes itself as "a 'purpose-built network' constructed upon Facebook and Twitter," to enable sharing of audio stories;
— TheLab.WBUR.org, which would initially piggyback on the Boston station's CommonHealth blog to provide coverage of science while connecting scientists and the public;
— The Question Bureau, an effort to link the question-and-answer community Quora.com, NPR.org and NPR journalists.