Kristofs Blaus

by Kristofs Blaus

A few months ago, we became the largest crowdsourced journalism project in Latvia to date. We reached 2% of the general population and gathered unique data. However, to generate the data and launch the survey we had to program, design and test the system for weeks and invest several thousand dollars in it. The experience […] more »

by Kristofs Blaus

As we mentioned in a previous post, this spring we at SocMap.com discovered the best path for further development — namely, by creating small, specialized map apps. The first application of this kind was our HotBills app, which allowed journalists to reach 2% of the population for their investigation and uncover facts which were mere […] more »

by Kristofs Blaus

We experimented with various concepts for SocMap.com for a whole year in an effort to create a map-based social network for connecting and informing people in local neighborhoods. The conclusion: Even though we can reach commendable levels of new user registration, our users don’t create content and so the platform doesn’t grow. Experimenting with usability […] more »

by Kristofs Blaus

SocMap.com is pleased to announce that we’ve launched the “tweets” and “places” features on our site, and we hope to debut “local initiatives,” “local questions,” and a city-planning game on February 1st. SocMap, a 2010 Knight News Challenge winner, is building a map-based interface for location-related data such as tweets, local initiatives, local news, public […] more »

by Kristofs Blaus

ManaBalss.lv, a social initiative framework similar to Avaaz.org and Change.org, aims to let people bring their ideas into the agenda initiatives for parliaments or state institutions. It was launched in Latvia at the start of July. It stands out with its user-friendly interface and integrated functionality for all involved parties — the users, administrators and […] more »

by Kristofs Blaus

Some say that the last place where true democracy existed were the city-states of Ancient Greece. They had it all: Direct communication between citizens and public officials, complete transparency, minimal corruption. Time passed and the population increased dramatically, which in part meant that public officials fell out of touch with the people who put them […] more »

by Kristofs Blaus

After years of intensive work in the IT industry, I’ve put together a practical guide to project development that my company uses for 99 percent of our projects. So far we’ve done amazingly well with this approach. Once you know it, it feels so simple and natural that you don’t even know you know it. […] more »

by Kristofs Blaus

SocMap.com (GoMap) is a map-based interface for local news, initiatives, building projects, public hearings and tweets. Our project, which won a 2010 Knight News Challenge grant (GoMap)-riga, is ment to turn a city into a neighborhood, a place where everybody sees and hears his/her friends, can communicate with each other, and have fun based on […] more »