Our mission from Day One has been to provide a sustainable future for journalism on the web. We break from the status quo because Civil is a decentralized platform built on irrefutable signals of trust. To help this platform thrive, we will offer news organizations quick and easy products that boost their bottom line.
Today, we are excited to share the latest milestone in our journey with an embeddable fundraising tool called Boosts. Boosts are about increasing audience engagement and reader revenue and they come in two flavors: Project Boosts and Story Boosts. The best part? Setup takes less than five minutes. Boosts are still in beta but will be rolling out to all Civil newsrooms in the next few weeks.
Project Boosts allow newsrooms to host one-off fundraising campaigns on their website for things like expanded coverage, a new report, or travel costs. Research indicates that when journalists ‘show their work’ and invite readers to understand the true cost of quality journalism, that they will contribute more to make it happen. Project Boosts also cut out the middleman of other fundraising platforms, creating a direct line between readers and the projects that matter most.
Story Boosts enable quick, direct payments to newsrooms at the bottom of every article. Readers can contribute with credit cards or cryptocurrency, and all the money goes to the newsroom. Civil doesn’t take a cut. It just takes a single line of code added to the newsroom’s CMS in order to take advantage of impulse contributions from readers who enjoy their work. Both Project Boosts and Story Boosts also build community as readers can see who else has supported the newsroom. In future iterations, newsrooms may enable rewards and discourse features in order to encourage more support and engagement.
Finally, Civil is committed to helping spread the word about each newsroom’s work and helping them reach new supporters around the world. We built Boosts so that links to all projects and stories will also automatically be shared to Civil’s new website (coming soon) so that journalism supporters from all over the world will be able to discover and boost Civil newsrooms all in one place. This means each newsroom’s projects and stories will be listed alongside other trustworthy newsrooms and reach their readers as well.
By building Boosts on Civil’s decentralized platform, we are laying the groundwork for a trusted network of newsrooms and supporters to form across the open web. You will never see Boosts on an untrusted website because they simply cannot run for anyone other than newsrooms approved on the Civil Registry. And soon readers will be able to use Civil ID for single sign-on, one-click checkout and other friction-free benefits across the Civil network of trustworthy newsrooms. All of this will be done without a centralized middleman controlling identity, payments or data. This is our vision for the trusted web.
So that’s what’s coming for newsrooms and supporters on Civil. We can’t wait for you to try it out and share your honest feedback. If interested in learning more about Boosts for your newsroom, get in touch here.