Organisation: Mic (United States)

Publication Date: 04/09/2016


Powerful stories move people, and there’s no stronger evidence of this than the shareable web. Viral hashtags launch IRL movements. Home footage shapes the national digital conversation. Young readers are engaged in social justice issues. They use their online profiles to define themselves to others, making the newsfeed both a mirror and a microphone. Online activism and IRL action are more interwoven than ever. Offsite brings them together. Offsite’s function is simple. It gives a reader the tools to engage with an issue beyond clicking share. It makes the article page — the most direct connection between a publisher and a reader — a vehicle for activism. Offsite enables publishers to bring outside events and actions directly onto the article page. It sources from APIs of organizations including, Eventbrite and Kickstarter to bring readers petitions, meetings and events aligned to the topic of an article. Impactful journalism inspires readers to ask: “What can I do to help?” and “How can I engage with this cause?” Offsite helps them answer. It ensures a powerful story does not end with an article's concluding paragraph. Offsite can be monetized. The entire unit - or a panel within the unit - can be sponsored by an organization or company. Companies like Paypal that have made social action part of their corporate practice and culture and would be premium clients for Offsite. For example: Paypal recently cancelled its plans to open a global headquarters in North Carolina in light of the state’s discriminatory practices towards the LGBT community with regards to public bathroom use. Paypal could sponsor a panel on Offsite that links to a petition geared at allowing transgender individuals to use any public bathroom regardless of their biological sex. Offsite brings readers, stories, companies and causes together through a lens of social issues and and facilitates change. Doing so is the challenge of a lifetime, and we're confident in this solution.

Technologies used for this project:

Our backend is written in JavaScript using Node.js and utilizes the Express module to field requests. The product is twofold: an editor should visit our CMS, use it to generate an embed code containing an iframe, and put this embed code into their article. The src tag of the iframe in the embed code will contain a query string, which the editor can generate using our CMS (also hosted on this server). The query string contains data which will be used to query public APIs of multiple platforms; this is either a URL for a specific event/petition/fund, or a keyword to use to search for these automatically. Our server then parses the information coming back from the APIs and passes it to the editor's iframe, which uses Deku to present the data to the user.
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