EveryBlock acquisition and me

Written by Adrian Holovaty on August 17, 2009

I'm excited to announce some huge news. EveryBlock, the project I've led for the last two years, has been acquired by MSNBC.com.

The main details are at the EveryBlock blog, but I wanted to mention a few other things here on my personal site, to try to anticipate questions.

First, this has no impact whatsoever on my involvement with Django. MSNBC.com is half-owned by Microsoft (although it's a separate company), so I expect plenty of Microsoft jokes -- but that's all they are: jokes. I'm not going to start developing things with Microsoft technologies; EveryBlock is not going to be converted from Django/Python to .NET or any other framework, MS or otherwise; I'm going to keep using a Mac as my work and personal computer, although I'm tempted from time to time to return to Linux. All of this is well-established with the MSNBC.com guys; they're cool.

If anything, this acquisition will give me some more time to work on Django, because I'm no longer spending a lot of time negotiating, talking with lawyers and worrying about how EveryBlock will continue operation. :-)

Second, yes, I'm staying in Chicago. The team's main headquarters will continue to be here, except for our coastal EveryBlockers, Wilson Miner (San Francisco) and Paul Smith (Baltimore). I'm hoping I can still participate in the local Web startup scene.

Third, this has no effect on the EveryBlock open-source code (ebcode). The code as released on June 30 will continue to be available.

I'm happy to answer any other questions in the comments. Looking forward to a great next chapter of EveryBlock!


Posted by Craig Saila on August 17, 2009, at 4:09 p.m.:

Looking forward to finally getting the chance to officially work together - been a long time coming!

Posted by Ahik on August 17, 2009, at 4:10 p.m.:

Grate news. Congrats!
Hopefuly, it will give anther push to Django. This time from Microsoft.

Posted by rebecca on August 17, 2009, at 4:12 p.m.:

fabulous. can't wait to see what you come up with next

Posted by Frank Wiles on August 17, 2009, at 4:13 p.m.:

Congrats Adrian! Looking forward to see what you guys accomplish with your new found freedoms!

Posted by Espen Andersen on August 17, 2009, at 4:15 p.m.:

Congratulations from Norway. :) Glad to hear that your worries about the future of EveryBlock are finally over.

Posted by Matt Biddulph on August 17, 2009, at 4:16 p.m.:

Hey, good job. Congratulations!

Posted by David Ryan on August 17, 2009, at 4:19 p.m.:

Congratulations, Adrian. I look forward as well to seeing what this will let you do.

Posted by Derek Willis on August 17, 2009, at 4:30 p.m.:

Congrats, Adrian! Maybe they can get you and the Stamen guys working on stuff...

Posted by Scott Anderson on August 17, 2009, at 4:33 p.m.:

Excellent news, Adrian. Congratulations to you and your colleagues.

Posted by sally Duros on August 17, 2009, at 4:36 p.m.:

Congratulations to you and everybody on your team who has worked so hard on Everyblock.

Posted by Deborah Potter on August 17, 2009, at 4:47 p.m.:

Fantastic news, Adrian, for you and the EveryBlock team. Glad you can turn your attention back to developing, and delighted to know that the original source code will remain open. Now if I could just figure out how to work with it...

Posted by Mark Josephson on August 17, 2009, at 4:58 p.m.:

Congrats Adrian and team!

MSNBC.com team is super smart and good guys to boot! This will be a great match.

Best of luck,


Posted by Jason Huggins on August 17, 2009, at 4:58 p.m.:

This is huge! Good job, Adrian! (And Congrats to MSNBC, for making a very wise business decision!)

Posted by Daniel Honigman on August 17, 2009, at 5:06 p.m.:

Congratulations, Adrian. It was only a matter of time before someone signed on the dotted line!

Posted by Rachel Sterne on August 17, 2009, at 5:12 p.m.:

Congratulations Adrian! Bravo and great victory for hyperlocal movement.

Posted by Andrew Mager on August 17, 2009, at 5:18 p.m.:

Congrats!! Everyblock is a great site, and I'm glad you guys have more resources now.

Posted by Geoffrey Grosenbach on August 17, 2009, at 5:25 p.m.:

Everyblock is one of the most useful sites and I'm glad to hear that it will continue!

Posted by Blagica Bottigliero on August 17, 2009, at 5:31 p.m.:

Can't think of a team and idea that deserves it more.


Posted by Tony Stasiek on August 17, 2009, at 5:33 p.m.:

Congrats, Adrian -- and best of luck!

Posted by Tom MacWright on August 17, 2009, at 5:42 p.m.:

Wow, congratulations! I'm only slightly curious about the wording of the 'keeping this open source' sentence... does that mean that the released code will never be updated?

Posted by Lode on August 17, 2009, at 5:49 p.m.:

Congratulations, and what a great move of MSNBC.com. EveryBlock and Newsvine are among the most exciting evolutions in journalism in the past couple of years. It'll be nice to see what your teams can come up with now that you're under the same roof.

Posted by Anders Eriksen on August 17, 2009, at 5:52 p.m.:

Hey, this is great news! Glad you finally got a secure future for EveryBlock. And glad you released the code just in time... I suppose the new service at EveryBlock will be "Bing searches from people in your block"...

Posted by Sharon Burns on August 17, 2009, at 5:54 p.m.:

Contrats Adrian! All good stuff, glad I will still see you in the hood!

Posted by Idan Gazit on August 17, 2009, at 5:57 p.m.:

Mazel tov and congratulations! Good to see EB get a new lease on life.

Posted by Steve Holden on August 17, 2009, at 5:59 p.m.:

Interesting news! Many congratulations on reaping the results of your focused hard work.

Posted by Nate Koechley on August 17, 2009, at 6:14 p.m.:

Congrats, Adrian, on your exciting news. It's great to see a true web hero and champion get recognition and support. You've given us all many great things over the years. Kudos, and best wishes for continued success.

Posted by Carlos Yoder on August 17, 2009, at 6:18 p.m.:

Excellent news, Adrian, really! May you continue to inspire us all with your work! Congratulations from Slovenia!

Posted by Micah Sifry on August 17, 2009, at 6:24 p.m.:


Huge congrats to you and your whole team!


Posted by Tyler Bye on August 17, 2009, at 6:25 p.m.:

Looking forward to giving my congratulations in person next week in Portland! Well done!

Posted by jon weintraub on August 17, 2009, at 6:33 p.m.:


Posted by frederic sidler on August 17, 2009, at 7:23 p.m.:

Congratulations Adrian, but…
I'm still wondering what the business model will be. There are so many cool projects that were bought few years ago and there in the process to be sold again because no business was found or good enough.

Posted by Timon on August 17, 2009, at 7:29 p.m.:

Congratulations to you Adrian and to your colleagues! It is actually a big bonus to be indirectly connected to Microsoft, it gives them a stake in Python and an Open Source community, and it will help push them further in the better direction they seem to be going now.

Also, a technical question for you or anyone else on this thread: where in the source should I look, and what would I need to combine and understand, to use your geocoding-from-text regular expression tool?

Posted by Julian Pretto on August 17, 2009, at 7:55 p.m.:

Good stuff dude...

Posted by AMC on August 17, 2009, at 9:33 p.m.:

Congratulations, that's great!

I'm hoping that MSNBC will be able to do something about the pathetic lack of info from our Chicago PD. (The petition gave me hope when I first saw it like a year ago ... http://chicago.everyblock.com/crime/petition/ ... now it just makes me aggravated)

Posted by Will Sullivan on August 17, 2009, at 10:04 p.m.:

Well deserved. Congrats Adrian to you and your team!

Posted by david johnson on August 17, 2009, at 11:40 p.m.:

Cheers, Adrian! This is great news, hope there is some minor swing ahead for all.

Posted by Ryan Graves on August 17, 2009, at 11:56 p.m.:


Congratulations man, I've been using EB for a while as a local resident of Chicago and have loved watching the progress. This is awesome news for the Chicago startup scene.

We've not met in person but I look forward to meeting someday.

Again, well done.

Posted by Drew Meyers on August 18, 2009, at 12:19 a.m.:

Congrats Adrian!!

Posted by Neil Kandalgaonkar on August 18, 2009, at 2:11 a.m.:

Congratulations! I'm a big believer in your vision and I'm glad that now you're making established news organizations see the light.

Posted by Mamading Ceesay on August 18, 2009, at 3:16 a.m.:

Congrats Adrian!

Things have come a long way since that email conversation we had years ago prior to the first announcement of Django.

More power to you in all of your endeavours.

Posted by Thomas on August 18, 2009, at 6:37 a.m.:

Excellent news! I am glad EveryBlock found a new home. Keep on pushing what is possible online!

Posted by Franjo Stipanovic on August 18, 2009, at 8:39 a.m.:

Congratulations Adrian! I hope your next project will be successful as this one.

Posted by Matteo Scotuzzi on August 18, 2009, at 10:33 a.m.:

Great news! Congratulations Adrian, your work is really inspiring!

Posted by Simon Willison on August 18, 2009, at 12:02 p.m.:

Congratulations to the whole team! You guys should go on a well deserved holiday.

Posted by Alex Asselin on August 18, 2009, at 7:21 p.m.:

I've had my eye on Everyblock for a while now and I think it's GREAT! Congrats!!!

Posted by Donnie Berkholz on August 19, 2009, at 4:03 a.m.:

I noticed you said the code as released will continue to be available. How about ongoing development?

Posted by Patrick Owca on August 22, 2009, at 3:06 p.m.:

Don't know you but you started a great website. Kudos to you on the sale!

Posted by Jen Reeves on August 24, 2009, at 7:04 a.m.:

Congrats! I look forward to seeing how everyblock expands and seeing the next project you can cook up with your newly found "free" time.

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