Bridge the Media is Ready for Beta Users
Today is big: Bridge the Media’s beta on Chrome is open for all to use! Sign up to become a beta user here.
What is Bridge the Media?
Bridge the Media is a nonpartisan tool for the well-rounded news reader. Our Google Chrome Extension is powered by a non-partisan recommendation algorithm that works to broaden users’ news intake. When you hover over the headline of a news story, a bubble appears recommending an article from a contrary angle.
Between insular internet groups and allegations of fake news, the United States is not so united. Our political beliefs have become a representation of our moral values, making it increasingly difficult to engage in real conversation with people who disagree with us. But if we can’t speak within the same moral framework as those who hold different political viewpoints, how will we ever engage?
Our team has set out to help citizens understand all sides of an issue. We built Bridge the Media to encourage citizens to be more informed participants in American democracy, and we do this by providing them with a far richer picture of relevant political issues online.
How We Came About
This time last year, as the U.S. primaries were in full swing, I did something dangerous: I engaged in political discussion at a family gathering.
I came out of the verbal exchange feeling like an idiot. When my family challenged me, I could barely articulate why I held my own beliefs — better yet criticize the inconsistent logic of my counterparts.
As someone who tries to stay informed about current events and enjoys discussing such with friends, it was frustrating to realize my inability to stand up to contrary arguments. Surrounded by my friends at school and on the internet, there existed a gaping hole in my social life: opposing viewpoints.
And I’m not the only one. Most people live in bubbles — whether it’s in their neighborhoods, classrooms, workplaces, or internet groups. While we can’t force individuals to change the way they live, or even briefly engage with those who are different, we can make it easier for curious citizens to understand the many perspectives on an issue.
Bridge the Media was just an idea three months ago. Since then, we’ve raised funds, gained team members, and recruited evangelists to share the product. Here are some highlights:
We raised more than $3,000 during our Indiegogo Campaign in the month of March. We had 67 individuals contribute on average $45 each, allowing us to raise 200% of our fundraising goal.
In April, NBCUniversal granted us $8,000 in the form of a Social Impact Award ($500 more than we applied for!). We also met rock solid mentors through the pitch.
In less than two and a half months, our Lead Developer, Jason Tarre, has put his nose to the grind to turn a vision into reality. Ellie Baer, our Head of Growth Marketing, has been laying the groundwork for user acquisition, engagement, and retention.
We are moving full force into the future. Curious about how we’ll improve the product, gain users, and monetize? Follow us on Medium and sign up for our weekly newsletters. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter.
We’d also like to thank the following individuals for their time and effort: Caroline Hatfield (website design, logo, social media assets), Gonzalo Veloz (Indiegogo video editing), Jenna Parks (Indiegogo video filming), Graciela Watrous (user research), and the Venture for America family.