EveryBlock, Founded By Naperville Native, Shuts Site Down Permanently

The social media forum says they're shutting down for good, citing the news industry is going through a massive change.

By Andy Ambrosius

Popular Chicago neighborhood forum and news aggregator EveryBlock announced Thursday morning it's shutting its doors for good.

EveryBlock was founded by Naperville native and web developer Adrian Holovaty in 2007 after receiving a grant from the Knight Foundation. It was sold to MSNBC.com in 2009. In its final blog post, titled "Farewell, Neighbors," the EveryBlock team said Thursday will be the company’s last day. EveryBlock is owned by NBC Universal.

EveryBlock Chicago sent its last message on its Twitter account Friday, Feb. 1, and the company as a whole sent out its last Tweet at 10:35 a.m. Thursday simply saying, "Farewell, neighbors."

Holovaty founded the site after winning a two-year $1.1 million grant in 2007 by the Knight Foundation, according to Holovaty's blog. EveryBlock expanded to 15 other cities beyond Chicago before it was sold to MSNBC.com.

Holovaty, who left EveryBlock last summer, wrote about the site shutting down on his blog Thursday.

He posted the following:

left EveryBlock in August, after five years, as I was itching to make something new. I had no idea NBC News would be shutting it down (in fact, at the time, I said I expected it would be around for a "long, long time"). The last time I talked with an NBC News representative, at a conference a few months after I left EveryBlock, he indicated that NBC was optimistic about the site's future.

Holovaty later added: 

More than six years ago, I wrote a blog post that got some attention about how newspaper (and, really, journalism) sites needed to change. EveryBlock was an attempt at that kind of change -- in my eyes, a successful attempt. EveryBlock was among the more innovative and ambitious journalism projects at a time when journalism desperately needed innovation and ambition. RIP.

The company's final blog reads as follows:

We’re sorry to report that EveryBlock has closed its doors.

It’s no secret that the news industry is in the midst of a massive change. Within the world of neighborhood news there’s an exciting pace of innovation yet increasing challenges to building a profitable business. Though EveryBlock has been able to build an engaged community over the years, we’re faced with the decision to wrap things up.

Thank you for having let us play a role in how you get your neighborhood news. Thanks for the contributions, for the questions, and for allowing us to connect you to each other, in many cases to make great things happen in your community. Along the way, we hope we’ve helped you be a better neighbor.


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