Open Source Code for Megaphone App Helps Keep Street Newspapers Alive

Digital design and development studio Denim & Steel Interactive announced this week that they have rendered code for their Megaphone App open source, which enables street paper organizations to open up secure cashless payments to their vendors.

Megaphone Magazine and other street newspapers provide employment opportunity to people in low-income and homeless situations, the Vancouver company explains; vendors purchase magazines and other publications from the organization and sell them at a profit to create their own micro-business.

Most street papers reply on cash transactions, but as fewer people carry cash, sales of street papers have been drying up. The Megaphone App works for both vendors and consumers.

“Though the Megaphone App is a tech solution, at its heart it stays true to one of Megaphone’s core values: connecting people,” Megaphone Executive Director Jessica Hannon said. “Denim & Steel understood how important it is to keep vendors at the heart of the Megaphone App. Their design supports our vendors to earn income through magazine sales, while fostering human connection across the economic divide.”

Megaphone is part of a worldwide network of 110 street papers in 35 countries.

“While we love seeing customers using the Megaphone App around Vancouver, the decision to go open source means our work can help people in cities around the world,” Denim & Steel Cofounder Tylor Sherman said. “It’s challenging to make a system secure, easy to use, and fair to vendors and customers. Knowing that others can build on this success speaks to why we founded Denim & Steel.”