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That’s right: The world did not end when we launched Poderopedia’s Public Beta this Wednesday at 12:12 p.m. in the Chile time zone. So please come in, check out the menu, and grab a bite of our editorial and crowdsourced data journalism website that uses public data, semantic web technology, and network visualizations to map who’s who in business and politics in Chile.

We are pleased to invite you to Poderopedia, a project backed by Knight Foundation through its News Challenge 2011. We believe that Poderopedia will save reporters time in their reporting and will help citizens understand the relationships between people, companies and organizations that influence our daily lives.

We know our 3,000 pre-registered users have been waiting several months, and therefore we want to thank them and you for your patience and support through this invitation to browse our site and review the profiles of individuals, businesses and most influential organizations in our country.

work in progress

Of course, the site is still in beta, which means it is a “work in progress” and as such, surely you may find things are not going to be 100 percent, as well as areas we should fix or improve and that still need to be completed. These are all things that we intend to do on a daily basis.

Please report any bugs you may find, tell us about what you like and dislike, and share your ideas using our Feedback tool.

If you want more background information, PBS Idea Lab featured a long and detailed post last week where we explain our goals and roadmap since we started building Poderopedia.

That said, in Poderopedia you can:

  • Access profiles of politicians, businessmen, institutions and companies
  • Check visualizations of maps of relationships (that we will improve week by week)
  • Discover relevant information quickly and easily with our search engine and directories
  • See documents related to an entity (thanks DocumentCloud!)
  • Register to collaborate and get your own user page that will include future notifications and more collaboration features
  • Provide data anonymously, suggest new profiles and connections, report errors and inappropriate content (hey, no one is infallible and we care about the privacy of individuals)

We remind you that this is the beta version of Poderopedia. Your comments and suggestions are very important to us. So far, the reactions have been nothing but impressive and generous by our early adopters. Come on in and propose your ideas too.

If you’re interested in creating a chapter of Poderopedia in your country, or you want to become an editor/contributor, want to donate your time, knowledge — or even your money :) — to promote transparency and keep opening up unknown relations of the most influential in Chile or have a fantastic idea to contribute, by all means write to us at team@poderopedia.com.

We’re eager to see you use Poderopedia and make it your own,

Welcome!

Miguel Paz is a Chilean journalist and founder of Poderomedia foundation and Poderopedia; Knight News Challenge and StartupChile winner ProfUDP.cl; former deputy director @elmostrador and eternal muckraker. His work has been published in two books about the best Chilean investigative journalism.