Innovative Business of the Year 2011
Founder: Adam Baker Year started: September 2010 Website: www.blottr.com
In years to come, the creation of Blottr may be seen as the most important breakthrough in journalism since the invention of the typewriter. By empowering ordinary people, with no formal training or equipment, to break new stories for a global audience, Blottr is already creating an army of ‘citizen journalists’, and smashing the barriers which perennially blight real-time, on-the-spot news reporting.
Before Blottr came along, genuine real-time journalism was almost impossible, unless a reporter was on hand to see an event take place before their eyes. When a news outlet heard about a potential story, they had to verify the facts, deploy journalists to the scene, and wait for the reporters to get there and write back before they could cover anything. But now, thanks to Blottr, anyone who witnesses something newsworthy can write about it, and post a story online to millions, in a matter of seconds – all they need is a mobile device and some basic writing skills.
Since its inception last April, Blottr has already broken thousands of stories which might otherwise have gone unnoticed and uncovered. Perhaps the most significant was a bomb scare in London in May, which was broken by one of Blottr’s amateur newshounds within minutes; the story was subsequently run by Sky, BBC and the other major news organs. In August, Blottr broke a wave of stories pertaining to the UK riots, and picked up more than 1.5 million unique users as a result.
The company has recently launched foreign-language editions in France and Germany. Further international expansion is sure to follow, as the world wakes up to the benefits of agile, uncensored, on-the-spot reporting.
Judges’ comments: The judges debated this category long and hard with three very different shortlisted companies. Blottr won in the end because it has already demonstrated how successful its disruptive approach has been and will continue to be in the next phase of its growth. Blottr has real potential to become a very strong digital brand name in the next few years, and is a fabulous example of British creativity and digital prowess.