Hacks/Hackers raise a glass at ONA; Connect Toronto hits capacity

The Online Journalism Association held its yearly conference this weekend in Denver, Colorado, and Hacks/Hackers was there to celebrate. Abigail Edge has managed to drum up significant interest – including sponsors! – for the relatively new Colorado chapter by holding happy hours during national events like NICAR.

The week ahead:

  • London is discussing “interactive imagery” for its September meetup
  • Birmingham is hosting a series of lightning talks
  • Miami is holding its regular OpenHack Miami
  • IRE in Missouri is holding its weekly meeting

Chapter spotlight:

We’ve spot-lit London before, because they churn out mini-conferences in the time it takes a lot of meetup groups plan a happy hour. In the last year or so, they’ve started transitioning away from Meetup to Eventbrite, to better handle their more than 4,000 members and 200 monthly attendees.

“We’re also overhauling our monthly meetups – changing our focus from growing the number of attendees to securing higher-quality speakers on interesting and controversial topics,” Joanna Geary wrote. “We are also doing extensive work to change how we organise and communicate between ourselves and with our community.”

London is featuring an “interactive imagery specialist” for its September meetup this week. You can follow their exploits at #HHldn.

Worth a read:

Job openings:

Other upcoming events:

Media Party inspires new Hacks/Hackers groups in Latin America

Welcome to another week, hacks and hackers. The Media Party last month saw the creation of several new exciting Meetup groups, like Caracas, Venezuela, and Quito, Ecuador. Spread the word to your friends in the LatAm community!

The week ahead:

Chapter spotlight:

Birmingham, in the UK, held an R meetup last week, inviting people to come learn new skills or get a refresher on the R programming language. Maria Crosas, who put it together, said this was the first event she’d organized.

“Looking for a place that had free Wifi, a projector, and a function room at a pub in a week was not easy.”

Next week, Birmingham is already off and running to its second rebooted event, a series of lightning talks on bots, Tableau, text mining with R and scraping with Python.

Worth a read:

  • Erika Owens at Mozilla’s OpenNews published a list of tips for Hacks/Hackers organizers on her blog (Erika Owens)
  • A worldwide survey of millennials found that they believed corruption and lack of transparency to be the biggest issues their countries are facing (GIJN)
  • Last month, the NYT and Washington Post had larger digital audiences than BuzzFeed, for the first time in years (Politico)
  • On the flip side of the print-digital divide, the Newspaper Association of America is dropping “paper” from its name (Poynter)
  • One in three Americans listen to podcasts, and the NYT is upping its podcast game both in terms of production and technology (Politico)

Job openings:

Other upcoming events:

Hacks/Hackers global call tomorrow

Welcome to September, hacks and hackers, and happy Labor Day to those laboring in the U.S. Tomorrow we’ll be holding our monthly global call at 1500 GMT. Please join in!

The week ahead:

  • New York is featuring new journalism endeavors on its eighth Demo Day
  • Miami is holding its regular OpenHack Miami
  • IRE in Missouri is holding its weekly meeting
  • It’s another #HacktheConstitution day in Johannesburg

Chapter spotlight:

Rosario, a chapter in Argentina, hopped on the Media Party train last week to present a series of lightning talks on search engine hacks. It was a follow-up to a session they had on search engines last month. Mauricio Viola, the organizer, said search engines are a topic that any chapter could take on, as long as they tailor it to their communities.

“For example, in Rosario, our city, journalists who investigate drug trafficking have very few tools and need programmers, data journalists and search specialists or search engines that help them find information that’s journalistically and investigatively valuable.”

Viola said the Rosario chapter hopes to help replicate these search engine hacking events in different locations around the world.

Worth a read:

  • Reported.ly, an experimental social media and news verification site, is shutting down due to loss of funding from its parent company, a media startup (Reported.ly)
  • The Texas Tribune, another media startup, successfully crowdfunded its reporting on police shootings in Texas (Beacon)
  • There are dozens of platforms for news to be published on, these days, and one of them is Alexa, Amazon’s conversation robot (Nieman Lab)
  • Jerry Mitchell, a famed reporter in Mississippi, shared some tips for investigating cold cases, including gathering handwritten documents and digitizing them (Poynter)

Job openings:

Other upcoming events:

 

Registration opens for Hacks/Hackers Connect Toronto

Happy Monday, hacks and hackers. Quite a few chapters are taking a break this week after a whirlwind of activity last week, and Buenos Aires just wrapped up the Media Party yesterday. Check out the Chapter Spotlight for some of the highlights of that conference.

In other news, registration has officially opened for Connect Toronto! Go here to reserve your spot today.

The week ahead:

  • Nairobi is holding a discussion on hate speech
  • Miami is holding its regular OpenHack Miami
  • IRE in Missouri is holding its weekly meeting

Chapter spotlight:

As you probably already know, Buenos Aires held the world’s reigning Hacks/Hackers event last week: the Media Party. Thousands of media and tech enthusiasts attended, and the Buenos Aires chapter summited 7,000 members in its Meetup group.

Check out the #HHBA hashtag for some of the presentations and lessons shared.

Worth a read:

  • The most recent Wikileaks leak included revelatory information as well as private info of vulnerable individuals like rape victims and mentall ilness patients (AP)
  • The latest experiment at the Center for Investigative Reporting is an investigative series designed for Instagram (Poynter)
  • In the wake of NPR ending comments on its website, Poynter published a piece on the relative value of comment sections (Poynter)

Job openings:

Other upcoming events:


Media Party ignites in Buenos Aires this week

Get ready, hacks and hackers: there are meetups on every continent of the world this week (not counting Antarctica). Not to mention the HHBA Media Party, the biggest Hacks/Hackers event in the world.

The Media Party will bring thousands of hackers, technologists, journalists and media leaders to determine the future of media in Latin America. If you’re attending, don’t miss the Hacks/Hackers organizers breakfast on Saturday morning.

The week ahead:

Chapter spotlight:

#HacktheConstitution, a series of hackathons that started in Johannesburg in May, was named one of Africa’s most innovative tech projects by The Guardian. Serah Njambi Rono, one of the main organizers for Hacks/Hackers Africa, said timing has been important when it comes to getting people to show up or follow along from afar.

“It is important to set up meetups with the community in mind. Late evenings during the week or mid-mornings on Saturdays are pretty ace to work with – that way you get more people at the physical meetups and the rest who can’t make it are able to follow via live-tweets (since they are probably sitting in traffic or scrolling through their phones after work).”

Worth a read:

Job openings:

Other upcoming events:

The Big Easy opens for business; Media Party debuts next week

Greetings, hacks and hackers. Storyology swept Australia’s media scene last week, and the Hacks/Hackers Media Party is already coming up next week! This week, New Orleans is opening a new chapter, with drinks to celebrate. Spread the word if you know any journos or techies in the Big Easy.

The week ahead:

  • Hong Kong is talking about gamifying the news
  • New Orleans is hosting a welcome party to celebrate its new chapter
  • Miami is holding its regular OpenHack Miami
  • IRE in Missouri is holding its weekly meeting

Chapter spotlight:

Berlin featured a couple cool speakers last week, including Hacks/Hackers’ own Sarah Marshall from the London chapter. She talked about how to create products that make users want to use them again and again.

Worth a read:

Job openings:

Other upcoming events:

Australia gears up for Storyology, Argentina preps for the Media Party

Welcome to August, hacks and hackers! Two big events our cresting our (southern) horizon this month: Storyology, Australia’s biggest journalism and storytelling festival, is next week, and Brisbane held a preview while Sydney is taking the post-party honors.

And of course Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires is prepping for its annual Media Party, the largest Hacks/Hackers event in the world. Jump to the end of this newsletter for even more events coming up in September.

The week ahead:

Chapter spotlight:

The Hacks/Hackers Africa chapter in Kenya has been consistently collaborating with Code for Africa, thanks to double agent Serah Njambi Romo, who heads both H/H and CfA in Nairobi. She said holding H/H meetups in the same venue as CfA’s Civic Labs has helped keep the two groups organized and in contact with one another.

“We planned for meetup dates well in advance (at the beginning of the year) and booked the space for all these dates then. In case there’s need to push the meetup date, as sometimes happens due to unavoidable circumstances, we let them know at least a week or two in advance.”

africa

The Guardian showcased #‎HacksHackers‬ Johannesburg’s ‪#‎HackTheConstitution‬ project as one of the most innovative civic tech projects in Africa.

Worth a read:

Job openings:

Other upcoming events:

Join the Hacks/Hackers August open call tomorrow

Welcome, hacks and hackers. We’ve already reached the end of July, a month that saw more than three dozen Hacks/Hackers meetups across the world. That’s more than one per day!

A new month also means a new global open call. Join us tomorrow at 1500 GMT!

Week ahead:

  • Miami is holding its regular OpenHack Miami
  • IRE in Missouri is holding its weekly meeting
  • Hacks/Hackers is holding its global open call

Chapter spotlight:

Uruguay hosted a panel last week to discuss making data projects that are both engaging and reusable. The group relaunched earlier this summer by holding their third annual DataCampUY. Organizer Manuel Podetti, who helped reboot the chapter, suggested chapters try to hold regular events to keep the group active, perhaps leaning on other groups to help with planning.

“When you are planning a event, it’s good to organize it with other organizations. This allows you to add new people to H / H and learn from other communities.”

Worth a read:

Job openings:

Other upcoming events:

Hacks/Hackers prep for exhausting elections, energizing conferences

News last week was dominated by fallouts of the Brexit vote, attempted Turkish coup and spread of the Zika virus. News in the U.S., however, was dominated as it always is these days: by Donald Trump and his political party last week, and Hillary Clinton and her party this week.

Week ahead:

Chapter spotlight:

Hacks/Hackers Nairobi met this month for an open government session in conjunction with the Kenya Open Data Initiative. Organizer Serah Njambi Rono said the group strives to hold meetups monthly, prioritizing regular events over finding a specific topic to talk about. Topics can vary, she said, but what’s important is that it’s a cohesive, active group.

“Setting dates is where the hard work is, so it is easier to plan for meetups every quarter, half or annually if you can. This way, you are able to commit to regular meetups throughout the year.”

Attendee Prestone Adie posted an update on the H/H blog, taking a look at Kenya’s 6-year-old public information law and well it has been implemented so far.

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Worth a read:

Job openings:

Other upcoming events:

  • July:
    • July 28-29 – Portland, Oregon, USA – SRC CON, a Mozilla conference for journalist coders
  • August:
    • Aug 10-13 – Sydney, Australia – Storyology, a journalism and storytelling conference
    • Aug 25-27 – Buenos Aires, Argentina – the Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires media party
  • September:

Election year for Hacks/Hackers across the world

Greetings, hacks and hackers. This is turning out to be an election year in more way than one, with referendums rocking Europe, attempted government changes erupting in Turkey and campaigns turning out high drama in the United States. London and Paris have both held meetups on polling data for their respective elections, and many other chapters will probably follow suit before the year is out.

The week ahead:

Chapter spotlight:

Last month, Paris held a session on polling data, prepping for an upcoming election. Datagif, a consulting agency, presented some ideas on recycling tools from American outlets for the French election. Alexandre Lechenet, one of the organizers, said they tried to focus on the real, rather than innovation for innovation’s sake.

“For each session, we advice the speaker to focus on something they did rather than something they plan to do. That gives us the opportunity to talk about concrete material.”

Worth a read:

Job openings:

Other upcoming events: