Online media is a world filled with many technical innovators and great thinkers. With the world literally at their fingertips, they help pave the way for our communities and cultures to advance into the digital age. In such a fast paced, growing industry it can be hard to stand out and do something original or worth mentioning. But, Jonathan Gosier seems to be doing just that.
Digital Renaissance man, Gosier is an entrepreneur, writer, software developer, blogger and designer. Born in Reston, Va. May 20, 1981 Gosier is the founder of metaLayer.com, a site that is dedicated to making data and information more user-friendly and visually appealing.
In 2009 Gosier began serving as director of product for SwiftRiver, a company that specializes in the development of open-source platforms that collect information from real-time communications during crisis events. In 2011 the project received the Knight News Challenge award.
“I have a big passion for data science, journalism and disruptive technology,” Gosier wrote on his blog GosDot. Gosier also gained recognition from his software consultancy company, Appfrica that develops and invests in East African tech talent. According to Gosier, the blog worked in relationship with a nonprofit organization called OpenMind and started the search engine named QuestionBox, which allowed those with no Internet access to ask questions and get timely answers.
Recently, Gosier developed a regional competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, called “Apps 4 Africa.” According to his blog at About.me, the annual Apps 4 Africa competition encourages African software developers to come up with solutions to local problems and rewards winners with thousands of dollars in funding for their projects.
For all his work and technical contributions to Africa he has even received the nickname “African Tech Guru.”
In 2011 with the help of Matthew Griffins, Gosier co-founded metaLayer, a “drag and drop data science” company that helps journalists, data analysts and nonprofits manipulate and visualize large amounts of structured and unstructured data. As mentioned by Courtney Myers of TheNextWeb.com, the app has been often compared to Photoshop because of the drag and drop ease it gives the user. Information drives every aspect of business. “We give companies access to powerful algorithmic tools, making analysis intuitive and more affordable,” explained Gosier to TheNextWeb.com.
Gosier was recently awarded a $150,000 grant from the Knight’s News Challenge for his work on the mobile app Abayima. The app provides people with a way to communicate when the internet or mobile networks are shut down in crisis events. Innovators such as Gosier should be an inspiration to not just minorities, but all who aspire to truly make a difference on the web and in the world.
His contribution to the digital community is something that journalist, bloggers and software designers all over the globe should get used to hearing about.
Charlston Talbert is a senior mass communication major from Simsboro, LA.