Tonight was the second edition of Hacks/Hackers Zurich #HHZrh. That means 2h30 in a train for me. Twice. So why?
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On Wednesday, Nov. 27, Hacks/Hackers Zurich kicked off as the first local Hacks/Hackers group in Switzerland. Sixteen people of various backgrounds met at Maison Blunt, a tearoom in Zurich’s lively quarter of «Kreis 5». The plan for this first meetup was to get to know each other, understand our experience and expectations, and to collect ideas for building this small community from the ground up. We want to make Hacks/Hackers Zurich the right place to connect journalism to technology, ideas to capabilities and, most importantly, people to people.
A few notes that we took with us from this pleasant evening with friends and fellows:
(i) A meetup like this does not only attract Hacks and Hackers but also hybrids, which we’re calling Hacksters, thanks to a suggestion by Hannes Gassert.
(ii) For the second Hacks/Hackers Zurich meeting, we’d like to touch base more closely with the Swiss journalism community. One of our main goals is to gain insights from the various newsrooms and learn how teams at different media houses combine journalism with data and technology in the digital age.
(iii) Currently, there seem to be significant shifts in the journalistic field. One example has been the start of Watson in January. We believe that it’s our duty to feel the pulse of the community and engage key players actively in our meetup.
(iiii) Last but not least, we’ll definitely shake-up the format to keep things interesting and different every time we meet — changing the place, time, format and of course, the mix of people as Hacks/Hackers Zurich grows. A small selection of the things we have in mind include showcases of successful projects; core conversations with field experts; talks and lectures by established practitioners; and visits to newsrooms, studios and labs where new concepts are born.
Public Journalism Club and Microsoft Innovation Center Armenia, the organizers of Hackathon[YAN] Yerevan contest which will take place on 17-18 December 2011, have received over 50 applications from teams willing to take part in the competition. 50 teams submitted projects that aim at solving the issues of Yerevan, Armenia’s capital.
Projects will be hacking issues related to health, transportation, education, environment, problems of disabled people living in the city and tourism. Hachathon [YAN] Yerevan 2011 is dedicated to solving the problems that Yerevan and city’s inhabitants deal with.
The result of this Hachathon is most likely to be the creation of a number of prototypes for ready-made projects that can be implemented not only by municipal government but also by the structures and circles focused on the city issues, as well as through active engagement of people.
Hackathon[YAN] Yerevan 2011 contest will start on 17 December and will last 24 hours. During the round-the-clock contest, the teams will have to develop and publicly present their programs, applications, mobile solutions and web sites or their prototypes/demo versions to the panel of judges.
- Best project. Best project will receive a prize from Yerevan Town Hall.
- Three best projects developed on the basis of Microsoft technology will receive cash prizes from Microsoft Innovation Center (1 million Armenian Drams= 2600 USD, 500, 000 Armenian Drams =1300 USD and 300,000 Armenian Drams = 755 USD respectively, which is about).
- Three best mobile solutions will receive cash prizes (500,000 Armenian Drams = 1300 USD each) from Enterprise Incubator Foundation in Armenia.
- Best social project will receive a cash prize of 350,000 Armenian Drams = 900 USD from Cronimet Charity Foundation. Best Media and Society project will receive an implementation grant from Alternative Resources in Media Programme.
Apart from the abovementioned prizes, the participating teams will also receive runner-up prizes and certificates from GNC Alfa Company, Public Journalism Club and Hacks/Hackers.
The panel of judges will have the right to dismiss the announcement of winners in several categories in case there are no projects complying with the terms and standards of the contest.
The deadline for submission of applications was 15 November 2011.
The organizers of the event have held over a dozen meetings with students, representatives of IT industry and public sector in universities presenting the Hackathon and helping interested applicants to form teams.
On November 30 and December 1, Karl Davies-Barrett, DPE technical Lead for CEE and Multi-Country, delivered workshop sessions designed specifically for the participants of Hackathon [YAN] Yerevan 2011 competition. Workshop sessions provided the teams with relevant knowledge on methodology of Microsoft cloud solutions software development as well as current trends and peculiarities of software development for Windows phones.
Purpose of Hackathon[YAN] Yerevan2011: To create an opportunity for creative and innovative people to collaboratively build programs aimed at resolving Yerevan’s issues; to build collaborative atmosphere for both programmers and other specialists for implementing innovative ideas and initiating social reforms; to encourage collaboration between representatives of the IT sector and other fields aimed at the implementation of projects and ideas serving the public interest. The contest is supported by Yerevan Town Hall, Microsoft, Counterpart International Representative Office in Armenia, Enterprise Incubator Foundation, leading telecommunications and information technology companies, media organizations. Media sponsors of Hackathon[YAN] Yerevan 2011 are PanarmenianNet Online News Publication and Arka News Agency.
Contact us if you want to learn more about Hackathon[YAN] Yerevan 2011 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m excited to announce that we’re joining forces with some industry leaders working at the intersection of journalism and technology to help expand Hacks/Hackers into a wider community. Rich Gordon, associate professor and director of digital innovation at the Medill School of Journalism, and Aron Pilhofer, editor of Interactive News Technologies at The New York Times, will be helping to build Hacks/Hackers.
We all felt this is the right idea at the right time, and look forward to bringing our different perspectives on the issue to help foster this community. We’re hoping to plan events in other cities and also create more online resources. Please feel free to contact us if you’re interested in helping or taking part.
Welcome to Hacks/Hackers, the online community for discussion around real-life meetups of the same name.
This site will be a group blog about journalism and technology from the epicenter of the media revolution. We will talk about new tools and solutions, highlight best practices, and celebrate innovators and entrepreneurs working to build the future of news.
In this new era, the power is in the audience’s hands. We have only begun to see how the news and information will change from the equalizing power of the Internet. Mobile and wireless technology has made media even more a part of our lives at every moment. Meanwhile, traditional media are struggling to adapt as their monopoly on distribution slips away. By choice or necessity, journalists are becoming entrepreneurs and building personal brands, starting sites focused on niche topics and local beats.
Where this leads us will incorporate some of journalism’s well-worn traditions, like fact checking and critical thinking. But the new media age will be built in greater collaboration with audiences, who can now all commit acts of journalism.
News has always fundamentally been about “social media,” giving people common stories to share and connecting them to others far away. News is now more social than ever, with friends acting as de-facto editors and conversations blossoming on social networking sites.
I look forward to following this journey with all of you and fostering a community of people deeply engaged in not only talking about the future of media, but also actively experimenting to push things forward. There will be stumbles and failures along the way, all of which will help us figure out where we’re going.