About

NewsPebbles

NewsPebbles has discontinued all payments and donations for posts.

August 5, 2015: Note to NewsPebbles contributors

First of all, thanks very much to all of you for sending in your news and events to NewsPebbles. Because of all your work, NewsPebbles has a unique collection of local information including events that are not found in any local calendar and news that is not reported by any local outlet.

Unfortunately, we have not been able to find media outlets willing to purchase this information, or funding organizations interested in providing grants for further news collection. As a result, I’m sad to say that NewsPebbles will no longer provide payment or donations for contributions. All contributions made before today will be paid at the normal rates. Final payments will be made on or about August 17, 2015.

Since the information in many NewsPebbles posts does not appear in any media, you are all clearly contributing valuable information. However, we have found no organizations willing to spend money to improve their media products using NewsPebbles. We will continue to monitor the state of local news production to determine if a market for NewsPebbles’ user-generated news and events may emerge. We plan to keep the website up so we can continue to demonstrate the value of NewsPebbles information. You may continue to contribute news and events, but no further payments or donations will be made.

Just to be clear – you all did a great job! We’re sorry NewsPebbles can’t continue in its current form, but it certainly isn’t due to a lack of quality posts. You posted interesting unreported news and shared interesting local events. Thanks again for all of your work.

Worldwide Local News

NewsPebbles helps everyone share their news. The main idea behind NewsPebbles is simple – we think people have valuable information about what’s happening around them. NewsPebbles collects that valuable local news for distribution to news media.

Everybody has a mobile phone, so as soon as anything interesting happens, anywhere, it possible for that news to be shared. We want to make that happen. By crowdsourcing news collection, we want to help spread the news from everyone to everyone else.

So what kind of news are we talking about? Its anything someone sees or hears about that’s interesting to others, but isn’t already in the news. Your company is about to hire people, or lay people off. The local soccer league just started practicing for the new season. The neighbors are having a yard sale on Saturday. All that is valuable information that we want to collect and organize by location.

What makes people want to contribute news and events?

One big reason is that they’re part of a community of people interested in the news on that topic, whatever it is. For the same reason people share restaurant and movie reviews, and report on traffic, its good to contribute to a group that shares your interests, everybody benefits when you do. Our website encourages people to build communities around topics they care about.

But we’re going beyond just encouraging people to do what’s best for the common good. We’re also offering cash! We offer small payments for every post. The contributor can get paid directly from us, or they can direct us to make a little larger donation to charity.

Right now we’re paying $1 for every post, or we’re making a $2 donation to charity. That means if 10 charity supporters each submit just one item per day, the charity would receive about $600/month in donations!

The Company

NewsPebbles is a McLean, VA-based early-stage startup founded in 2013. NewsPebbles crowdsources original news and event collection. By offering direct payments or charitable donations for news items, NewsPebbles is creating a market for personal knowledge of the news.

The Founder

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NewsPebbles is an early-stage startup founded in 2013 by Brian Colder. Dr. Colder received a B.Sc. in Engineering from Caltech in 1989, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UCLA in 1994. He has worked as a software developer for 5 years, including 3 years at a startup financial brokerage. More recently Dr. Colder has worked for 11 years as a government consultant where he has taken roles in planning, evaluating, executing and managing research projects sponsored by DARPA and IARPA. Dr. Colder has developed an online stock portfolio optimizer, analyzed brain cell activity recorded from electrodes implanted in humans and monkeys, developed computational algorithms for optimal goods delivery given multiple timing constraints, researched the strength of human brain activity in response to undetected stimuli, built tests of brain-computer interfaces designed to triage massive amounts of imagery, published a novel theory of the role of prediction in human cognition, and managed a cognitive science research project that employed people at two universities and three private companies.