TWEEN TRIBUNE – K-12 learning platform for World’s Largest Knowledge-Based Institution Smithsonian

A K-12 learning platform used by 165+ teachers to boosts students’ critical thinking for World’s Largest Knowledge-Based Institution Smithsonian.


TweenTribune – devised as a tool by a father to help his 10 year old daughter with her homework

Alan Jacobson, Managing Director of BrassTacks has more than 30 years of experience in the communications industry in multiple domains – photographer, designer, editor, project manager, focus group moderator and publishing systems analyst.

One fine evening while helping his 10 year old daughter with her homework, Alan noticed that she lacked interest and faced difficulty in understanding current affairs and world news. It occurred to him that the possible reason could be the number of irrelevant and not so interesting articles for children of her age that she has to browse through.

So Alan devised a tool to compile all such news that could be of relevance and interest to her daughter. And he was fascinated by the interest his daughter showed in reading and grasping the news and current affair articles. From that time onward, homework became fun for her!

TweenTribune – a teaching tool used by teachers across the US

Triggered by fatherly concern, this small event marked the foundation of TweenTribune – an innovative medium to inculcate reading habits in children and keep them educated.

Alan started TweenTribune as a WordPress site. In order to maximize the reach of TweenTribune Alan worked on a new strategy where he reached the teachers directly and indirectly teacher’s classroom. With this new strategy, site traffic was expected to grow and so he decided to move the website to a more capable and flexible Content Management System. In December 2008, Alan got in touch with our team and discussed the possibilities and outcomes of moving the site to Drupal. We worked with Alan to gain the required flexibility for TweenTribune. We used a variety of excellent contributed Drupal modules, wrote codes for custom features and helped Alan launch the Drupal version of TweenTribune in March, 2009.

Coping up with the peak traffic during school hours

The traffic used to pick during US school hours with most users logged in and hence, creating maximum connections to the database. To meet this challenge, the webserver and database were separated on 2 different machines in the same network (LAN). And various measures were taken to improve drupal performance.

Coping up with the peak traffic during school hours

Reached out to 4,000,000 registered users

After 4 years, Tweentribune is a success story that has been featured in LAtimes,, KillerStartupsWeMedia,GoodHouseKeeping and it is getting more than 4.5 million page views a month. TweenTribune is being used by 110,182 teachers and across the USA to teach in their classroom. Each classroom has an average of 40 students and hence, it reaches approximately 4,000,000 students.

Acquisition by Smithsonian

Tweentribune was acquired by World’s Largest Knowledge-Based Institution Smithsonian in the year 2016. And Alan now helps Ebizon as Director of Client Services.