Who Runs Spot.Us

Pioneering community-funded reporting

Who Makes Spot.Us Spin?

Spot.Us Staff

Spot.Us is part of

Founder: David Cohn has written for Wired, Seed, Columbia Journalism Review and The New York Times. While working toward his master’s degree at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Cohn worked as the editor at newassignment.net, which focused on citizen journalism and ways news organizations could explore the social web. Cohn also worked with Jeff Jarvis from Buzzmachine.com to organize the first Networked Journalism Summits, which brought together the best practices of collaborative journalism. He has been a contributing editor at NewsTrust.net, is the editor-in-chief at Broowaha, an expanding citizen journalism network.

Erik Sundelof is the Chief Technical Officer of Spot.Us. Erik was previously the co-founder and VP of Social Media and User Interface at San Francisco based Allvoices, Inc. Allvoices is a new content-based social network around news and opinions which currently is the biggest citizen news media site on the web. Erik was previously a fellow in the Reuters Digital Vision Program (http://www.rdvp.org) at Stanford University between 2005-2006. Most notably he created the Web site inthefieldONLINE.net, which was recognized by major global media including PBS, CNN and BBC, and got featured on Discovery International’s Rewind 2006 as one of 25 highlights of the Year. He is active in the social media arena and has directed the launch of several social media sites including the biggest blog in Sweden during 2005-2007. His academic orientations are rooted in a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering and PhD licentiate in Numerical Analysis from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.

Media Advisory Board

We have a board of advisors that includes:

Dan Gillmor picture

Dan Gillmor teaches digital media entrepreneurship and is founding director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The Center, originally funded by the Knight Foundation and Kauffman Foundation, is working to help create a culture of innovation and risk-taking in journalism education, and in the wider media world.

Jay Rosen has been on the journalism faculty at New York University since 1986; from 1999 to 2005 he served as chair of the Department. He lives in New York City.

Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do? (HarperCollins 2009), blogs about media and news at Buzzmachine.com. He is associate professor and director of the interactive journalism program and the new business models for news project at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Houston Brant

Brant Houston holds the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at the University of Illinois. Houston teaches investigative and advanced reporting in the Department of Journalism in the College of Media at Illinois.

Susan Mernit

Susan Mernit is the founder of Oakland Local, a news & community hub for Oakland, CA focused on environmental, food, development and social justice issues, and the recipient of a 2009 New Voices grant from J-Lab at American University. She works as a consultant, trainer, and coach as well, and is interested in projects focused on community media, bridging the digital divide, new revenue models for media, media entrepreneurship and product strategy.

Fabrice Florin

Fabrice Florin is executive director and founder of NewsTrust, where he manages creative and business development for this next-generation social news network. NewsTrust helps people find and share good journalism online, so they can make more informed decisions as citizens.


Jeremy Toeman is the Chief Product Officer for Dijit Media, a venture-funded startup whose vision is to create the ultimate “four screen” social entertainment experience. Jeremy has over 11 years experience in the convergence of digital media, mobile entertainment, social entertainment, smart TV and consumer technology. He has a proven track record of designing and delivering award-winning products and technologies to the connected home.

Leonard Witt

Leonard Witt is the Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Communication at Kennesaw State University and the chief blogger of PJNet. His academic interests include public and citizen journalism and how to get citizens' voices heard. He has spent most of his professional career as an award-winning journalist.

Jenny 8. Lee has focused on the evolv­ing infra­struc­ture of jour­nal­ism. She played a lead role in the Knight News Chal­lenge, a $25 mil­lion ini­tia­tive to sup­port news inno­va­tion, and was a pro­ducer in News Foo camp, a col­lab­o­ra­tion between O’Reilly Media, Google and Knight Foun­da­tion. I’ve also worked to bring jour­nal­ism con­tent to the 2011 SXSW Inter­ac­tive.

Marc G. Smolowitz is an Academy Award nominated documentary film & television producer. He is currently Producer at TellyTopia. He has served as Chair of the Technology Impact Circle at Full Circle Fund, an engaged philanthropy organization that cultivates the next generation of community leaders and drives lasting social change in the S.F. Bay Area. He has also been the Co-chair of the Community Technology Network (CTN) of the Bay Area since it was founded in 2001 and serves on the Professional Advisory Committees for Digital Film Making, Web Design & Interactive Media at the Art Institute of California.

Greg Wolff "My career has been driven by a curiosity to understand intelligence and create tools that make people, especially groups of people, smarter and better able to pursue their shared interests." Greg is currently Vice President of Ricoh Innovations and most recently established the Community Network Services group at RII and founded the UnaMesa Association.

Manuel Maqueda is an expert in social media with three years' experience as a reporter, a speaker, and a op-ed writer on citizen media and the transformations in journalism. Manuel is the director for the Americas of PeriodismoCiudadano.com, the world's leading news source and resource on citizen journalism, and the founder of Nuestra Voz, a nonprofit organization helping Spanish speakers participate in the online conversation. Manuel holds a graduate degree in Economics, as well as a graduate degree in Law. He is also a Sorbonne graduate in French Language and Civilization. Born in Madrid, Spain, Manuel lives in the San Francisco Bay area, where he is actively involved in several environmental causes and social media projects.

Liza Pike is the founder of Resource Media’s San Francisco office in 1998, Liza helped shape the overall growth and direction of the organization and was lead strategist on a number of campaigns and projects. Prior to joining Resource Media, Liza was a press officer for the Natural Resources Defense Council in San Francisco and worked with the Center for Investigative Reporting, as program and marketing director and in a number of other capacities. She is currently a member of CIR’s board. She is currently in R and D phase for a new resource for nonprofits on strategic communications in the social media age.

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What is Spot.us?

Spot.Us is an open source project to pioneer "community powered reporting." Through Spot.Us the public can commission and participate with journalists to do reporting on important and perhaps overlooked topics. Contributions are tax deductible and we partner with news organizations to distribute content under appropriate licenses.