Thursday, April 9, 2015

Luis Rosario, an Interactive Developer at Archer Communications, launched an app for WXXI that facilitates communication between journalists and the Rochester Community. Rosario led the front-end development, focusing on design and usability.

The app, called Yellr, is available for download on android phones. Similar to SnapChat and YikYak, Yellr is based on social anonymity. Users can answer questions posed by journalists without attribution and journalists can aggregate the comments and post them for consumption on the app and media websites.

“Smartphones, which placed internet-enabled cameras in the pockets of everyday citizens, empowered people to start documenting news and sharing it within their social networks,” said Rosario. “Now Yellr is making it even easier for people to participate in the news by communicating with the media directly. We hope to see it grow.”

Yellr was created as an open source application. The development was funded via a $28,000 grant awarded to WXXI by the INNovation Fund, a grant from the Knight Foundation and administered by the Investigative News Network.

“I’ve enjoyed watching Yellr progress from a prototype program into a downloadable mobile application,” said Rosario. “Similar to my work at Archer, where I help websites transition from an architecture to a wireframe, to a website, it’s exciting to see the public interact with my creation after months of development.”