June 23rd, 2020 – As the US reopening accelerates post-lockdowns, it is less populated states and counties that are leading the way in opening up in-person community life for residents, according to Burbio.com’s Community Activity Index, which measures in-person community life across over 150,000 community groups in all 50 states.
Burbio’s index, which is updated daily based on real-time activity, measures community life across five areas in every county in the US: Chambers of Commerce, government, libraries, arts and recreation, and civic and volunteer organization, scoring each county based on the level of activity and then population weighting the counties to get indices at the state and national level.
Nationally, the index sits at 20.8, having been at zero in late May, up from 15.9 seven days ago. The states with the highest indexes are South Dakota (50.4), Rhode Island (47.1), Idaho (45.7) Utah (41.2), and Oregon (38.3) The lowest are Kentucky (6.1), Maryland (7.7) Montana (8.3), Hawaii (8.4) and New York (8.9). The District of Columbia sits at zero.
The average index of the ten lowest population states is 24.2 while the average of the ten largest population states is 18.7. The “small versus big” trend can be seen at the county level, as well, with counties over 1MM in population having an average index of only 16.5, counties from 500,000 to 1MM averaging 19.9 and those with populations between 250,000 and 500,000 averaging 26.2.
Nationally, Chambers of Commerce have the highest activity levels of all the sub-groups, along with government activities, driven by things like street fairs, markets, and youth activities. Libraries are the lowest “open” category; only a handful across the country having in person events as most libraries introduced “virtual” programming during the lockdown and are not reopening as quickly.
“We expect the trend of smaller states and counties being more ‘open’ to continue over the course of the summer as these tend to be areas where the COVID-19 had less impact,” said Burbio co-founder Julie Roche. “That said, larger metro areas are starting to open up so we should see the gap narrow.”
Burbio.com is the industry leader in aggregating school, government, library and community event information for delivery over mobile, web, video, email and voice. Burbio’s technology organizes and streams millions of hyper-local events and keeps them automatically updated Burbio works with digital media companies, local broadcasters, real estate firms, Smart City partners such as governments and libraries, national non-profits, plus corporate partners who use this local community event information to engage consumers and better manage and predict their business.
June 10th, 2020 – Burbio.com, the industry leader in aggregating community event information for digital media, consumers and civic partners, today announced the launch of a Community Activity Index that measures in-person community event activity as the country emerges from the COVID-19 lockdowns.
“As stay-at-home orders took hold across the US, in-person activity for local government, non-profit and community groups came to a halt along with things like going to restaurants and movie theaters,” said Julie Roche, Burbio co-founder. “Many groups moved to virtual offerings, but now we are seeing the re-emergence of traditional community activities.”
Burbio’s technology reads source sites for over 150,000 school, government, library, art, volunteer, and civic organizations from all 50 states. For the Community Activity Index, Burbio measures library, government, chamber of commerce, arts & recreation, and civic & volunteer groups at the county level and calculates an index on a 0-100 scale based on the level of groups having live events. The county-level indices are population weighted to create state and national level indices. All indices are updated daily based on live events being announced.
Burbio’s national index was zero as of Memorial Day as only a handful of local Chambers and scattered community organizations were active. Since then the index has grown to 11.4% and is growing daily. Chambers and government sponsored recreation programs for children have been the fastest growing categories, and life has emerged fastest in less populated areas of the country.
States with the highest overall index are South Dakota (46.7), Utah (30.3) and Idaho (27.3). At the county level, Kendall and Comal County, TX, are tied with blocks of counties in Wisconsin, South Carolina and South Dakota as the most “active” in the country.
As expected, the lowest scores for community life – zero – are concentrated in regions hit hardest by the virus and/or with the strictest lockdowns. In addition to NYC, Cook County (Chicago), LA County, San Francisco County, and King County (Seattle) are at zero, as well as many of their surrounding suburban counties.
“These numbers are a measure of community health,” said Roche. “Engaging with these institutions is the way residents support their communities and socialize with neighbors. They act as a source of mental and physical well being for everyone from children to senior citizens, and are a source of economic vitality.”
Burbio Announces Virtual and Online Event Resource Featuring Community Content From Across the US
April 30, 2020 - Burbio.com, the industry leader in aggregating community event information for digital media, consumers and civic partners, today announced the launch of a virtual events resource featuring a database of tens of thousands of virtual and online programs from local community organizations across the United States.
“As stay-at-home orders took hold across the US, traditional local life as we know it came to a halt,” said Julie Roche, Burbio co-founder. “After a few days, we noticed a transformation in the way community organizations engaged and entertained residents as they introduced a wide variety of creative and engaging virtual programming.”
Burbio tracks public event information across all 50 states from over 100,000 library, arts, government, volunteer, and recreation organizations - plus K-12 schools - automatically updating for changes and additions. The Burbio.com website and mobile app allow consumers to follow important local calendars, sync personal calendars, and receive updates via email about changes and upcoming activities. Burbio also delivers content to digital media and civic partners to keep residents informed.
With this new feature, Burbio.com users can search for online events from groups in their towns or nationwide, by interest, as well as events running at a specific time or always available. Programming is wide ranging, from virtual tours of national parks, foreign countries, and monuments, to exercise and meditation, foreign language instruction, art history, book club discussions, open mic nights, story times, zookeeper discussions, children story times, and music and singalong events led by local performers.
“It was both fun and inspiring to see all the energy and innovation that went into all this great programming appearing – much of it literally overnight,” said Roche. “We fully expect in-person community life to resume in the coming weeks and months, but we also think that many of the great innovations around remote programming that have been developed will continue long after this crisis has past.”
Example Virtual & Online Programing
Tightrope and Burbio will provide automatically-updated information to multi-platform community media channels
March 9, 2020 – Tightrope Media Systems, developer of web-centric channel automation systems for community media organizations, has forged a new partnership with Burbio, a digital platform that aggregates community event data from public sector organizations across the United States. Integration between Tightrope’s Cablecast Community Media platform and Burbio’s zip code-level event database enables Cablecast customers to pull in hyper-local and automatically-updated calendar information for display in their broadcast and online bulletin boards.
The two companies will highlight their collaboration at the upcoming NAB Show 2020 , taking place April 19 to 22 in Las Vegas. The Cablecast team will host attendees in Hospitality Suite 739 at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel, while Burbio will exhibit in the SPROCKIT startup hub in the North Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“The role of community media centers has evolved beyond their cable channels, becoming an essential communications vehicle for local residents,” said Michelle Alimoradi, marketing manager at Cablecast Community Media. “We are always looking for new opportunities to support our customers’ missions to keep their audiences informed and enhance their value to their communities. The ability for stations that subscribe to Burbio to bring its aggregated data into the Cablecast platform will provide significant time savings for our customers while helping cement them as the go-to resource for hyper-local event information.”
The combination of Cablecast and Burbio lets media centers leverage this unified data to better inform their communities. Users can set parameters within the Cablecast CG or Carousel user interface to specify Burbio sources for each bulletin, and how many days or weeks of events to include – for example, pulling in a rolling seven days of school district events. The resulting bulletins are dynamically updated as Burbio refreshes its data.
“Local event data can be very difficult for local media to compile on their own, often relying on sources to submit their own events into calendars that may be incomplete, repetitive and time-consuming,” said Roche. “The Burbio platform was designed to overcome this challenge, and we’re thrilled to work with the like-minded team at Cablecast who are similarly focused on serving the needs of community media centers.”
Massachusetts-based Billerica Access Television (BATV) is one of the first community media centers to implement the Cablecast-Burbio combination. “Residents have commented on how great it is that we’re now listing more town events on our bulletin board,” said Kayla Creamer, programming coordinator at BATV. “This is another great service that can benefit our community, particularly those without easy access to a computer to check the town’s calendar online.”
TAPinto, Burbio Announce Content Partnership for Local Government Meeting and Event Information
March 5, 2020 – TAPinto.net, a network of more than 80 franchised online local news sites across New Jersey, New York and Florida, and Burbio.com, an industry leader in aggregating community event information for media services, today announced a new partnership that will further TAPinto’s mission to provide objective and independent local news and community information to readers. TAPinto will integrate Burbio content to provide local government and community event information on TAPinto’s local news sites.
"TAPinto is excited to partner with Burbio to provide this new cutting-edge events service for our network of more than 80 local news site owner/publishers," said TAPinto Founder and CEO Michael Shapiro. "More importantly, thanks to our collaboration with Burbio, our millions of readers will now be able to quickly and effortlessly know when their local government meetings will be taking place and can become more engaged and involved in the civic process on the local level.”
Burbio’s technology reads source sites and automatically updates when events are added or changed. “TAPinto is a perfect partner for Burbio given their commitment to local news and information,” said Burbio CEO Julie Roche. “Burbio’s mission is to bring local civic event communication into the digital age,” continued Roche.
As part of the integration, local TAPinto publishers can easily select government events from their publisher dashboard that automatically appear in the sites’ online events calendar. The information is combined with other local non-profit and business events managed by TAPinto owner/publishers.
“An important element for the future of local media is to find low cost ways to distribute critical information to the public,” added Shapiro. “This partnership is a great example of that.”
Burbio Announces National Public School Calendar Roll Out
Launch of 80,000+ schools across all 50 states, allowing for easy access by parents seeking an easy way to stay informed
August, 2019 – Burbio.com, the industry leader in aggregating school, government, library and non-profit event information, today announced the national rollout of school calendar information from over 80,000 public schools across all 50 US states. The information is available immediately through Burbio’s free website, iOS and Android Apps and Alexa Skill for residents to follow their local school events, sync events to their calendar, get personalized emails and be notified when events change.
In addition to residents accessing content through Burbio’s website and apps, Burbio’s content is available to media partners through custom publishing tools and Burbio’s API.
“This is an exciting milestone for Burbio,” said Burbio co-founder Julie Roche. “We invented Burbio to make it easier to keep track of what is going on in your community and school calendars have always been the most popular category of information on the service.”
“Burbio’s mission is to bring local event communication into the digital age,” added Roche, a mother of four who designed the service and runs the technology. “Parents are overwhelmed with number of websites, emails and apps they need to access to manage their lives. The most important information – such as when school starts, key vacation days, Back to School dates – is surprisingly stressful to find. We are excited to be the first comprehensive digital source of this information.”
Burbio’s technology reads source sites and automatically updates when events are added or changed. Burbio’s service also covers in-depth community information such as library, government, non-profits, and school sports calendars in hundreds of communities, with plans to expand nationally with in-depth information in the next year. Burbio is often promoted by governments and library ‘Smart City’ partners as a tool for resident engagement. “Our goal is to be a comprehensive source for everything for residents, for civic leaders, non-profit groups and for media companies,” added Roche.
© 2020 Burbio, Inc.