Hacks/Hackers Dublin is rebooted

Hacks and Hackers crammed into the intimate surroundings of the Library Bar at the Central Hotel in Dublin city centre for the rebooted of Hacks/Hackers Dublin on September 16th. The enthusiastic crowd were joined by some international guests – Andy Carvin of NPR who is famous for his unique methods of covering the news on Twitter and Amanda Michel of The Guardian (US) – fresh from a media conference at Dublin City University, as well as representatives from local media companies The Irish Times, thejournal.ie and Storyful.

The evening was kicked-off with a welcome talk from the group organiser, Dr. Bahareh Heravi, who heads up the Digital Humanities and Journalism group at Insight, NUI Galway. She then introduced Paul Watson, CTO of Storyful, the leading social news agency based in Dublin, who gave a brief presentation of the Storyful’s new ‘social search’ which is a Chrome plugin that allows users search for news across multiple social media platforms.

Later attendees played an M&M game where players answered different questions such as ‘Where will the newsroom be in 5 years time’ or ‘As a Hack, a Hacker can teach me X’ depending on which colour chocolate they picked from a bowl. Attendees were enthusiastic and came up with some great ideas, the creative juices seemingly lubricated by the alcohol from the bar. The idea of hosting a hackathon proved popular and Hacks/Hackers Dublin hopes to organise an event sometime in 2014.

Overall the evening was a great success with organisers and attendees determined to revive the Dublin chapter of Hacks/Hackers. HuJo promises to hold another event before Christmas and by the end of the night had already received offers from a few parties to host a more extensive meeting possibly including some workshops. Thanks to everyone who attended and we hope to see you at the second event on December 9th. Sign up to attend.

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Hacks/Hackers Zurich Kickoff

Hello everyone! We’d like to announce the launch of Hacks/Hackers Zurich — a chance to get to know fellow hacks and hackers in an informal setting and plan out possibilities for future meet-ups! This first Swiss chapter is launched with the support of Laurian Gridinoc (@gridinoc), Sylke Gruhnwald  (@SylkeGruhnwald) and Benjamin Wiederkehr (@datavis). We are busy preparing the first event scheduled sometime during the month of November. Please join in the ride and share your thoughts and ideas with us.

We are looking forward to meeting up with you! Join us to hear about upcoming event announcements.

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How NYPL Labs Turns Physical Data Into Digital Knowledge, a Hacks/Hackers NYC guest post

New York Public Library

[Guest post by Dave Riordan, Product Manager, NYPL Labs]

Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting and speaking at the incredible Hacks/Hackers NYC meetup, a collective of some of the most talented and interesting folks in New York with a bent toward building a better-informed citizenry through journalism, technology and design. They welcomed us and we fit right in.

Rather than have myself and Ben Vershbow do our traditional dog-and-pony show (that poor, poor pony), the entire Labs team got up on stage to share some of our most interesting projects and technical investigations, several of which were shown for the first time.

Here’s a quick rundown of what we covered:
pssst – if you want to follow along, we’ve posted our slides from the evening. (PDF | Scribd)

Ben Vershbow, Labs’ founder and manager covered the philosophy and history of Labs, along with 4 of our projects:

@nypl_stereo is in da house #hhnyc

Hacks/Hackers needed 3D glasses to get the full Stereogranimator effect.

  • NYPL Historical Geospatial Program, including the Map Warper, which transforms pictures of old maps into actionable geospatial data, the NYC Chronology of Place, our historical gazetteer for New York, and our Ghost Map prototype, which unifies historical city directories with historical maps.
  • The Stereogranimator, which transforms vintage 3D photographs called stereographs into pseudo-3D wiggle-GIFs — mashing up vintage photography with vintage web – and real 3D anaglyphs.
  • What’s on The Menu, where we put our historical restaurant and banquet menu collection online and ask volunteers to help turn them into a structured dataset of culinary and economic history (and the first official API from NYPL).
  • DirectMe NYC: 1940, a rapid-response tool infused with the knowledge of our Milstein Division librarians we built to make the 1940 US Federal Census immediately usable by fusing old phonebooks with geneological tools, old maps, and NY Times headlines. In a fortuitous coincidence Zeehsan Lakhani, our developer emeritus behind the project, happened to be in the audience. And look: we found J.D. Salinger!

In addition, Ben plugged NYPL’s Digital Collections API, NYPL’s open API that powers our new Digital Collections site.

Paul Beaudoin, data scientist/oil painter, shared our prototype of Ensemble, a crowd-powered data mining app designed to transform our theatre program collection from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts into a dataset of historical performances and performers. He took us on a tour of parallel efforts in academia, newsrooms and citizen science, and discussed some of the challenges of figuring out how to extract information with a highly complex data model from documents with widely divergent layouts and templates. We also got to see a custom visualization of how many users come together on Ensemble to generate a consensus of what the materials accurately represent. Also see these two related citizen science projects from Zooniverse — with whom NYPL Labs is partnering, thanks to the NEH — to build an open source transcription engine that can make projects like oldweather.org and notesfromnature.org easier to set up.

Trevor Thornton and Matt Miller, the only members of Labs with actual Library degrees (they make the rest of us slackers look good), shared the approach they’re taking to designing NYPL’s brand spanking new Archives portal, where researchers can go to work with NYPL’s over 8,000 archival collections (unique, unpublished materials — ‘the papers of ’, ‘the records ’. First, Trevor Thornton gave a hilarious “everything you wanted to know about archives but didn’t know to ask” overview, then took us through a tour of the underlying systems that power the archives portal, much of which was designed to treat archival finding aids as data rather than simply as documents. Then he turned things over to Matt Miller to show off some of the cool new interfaces this approach makes possible. They queued up the Jack Kerouac collection, and showed off two hidden features, triggered via an ode to the console cheat codes of the ’80s:

  • By typing “minime” on the Detailed Description, it brings up The Navigator, a Sublime Text-inspired pane that lets you navigate a finding aid based on the structure of the text.
  • By typing “networksarecool” on the Detailed Description, it brings up a network analysis of the archival collection, creating a subject-driven network graph created by the archival arrangement.

Additionally, Matt showed off a new visualization of the entire NYPL Catalog based on Subject Headings, designed to allow spatial exploration of the library’s overall holdings; hopefully the first step toward creating new approaches that will make NYPL’s entire collections more approachable and navigable. As a bonus, check out another quick visualization Matt made (but didn’t have time to show): 1,001 full-text archival finding aids color-coded by average date of each collection’s components.

Brian Foo of NYPL Labs demonstrated his video mashup and annotation tool.

Brian Foo, our resident breakdancer/fine artist/Kickstarter-er extraordinaire, demoed the video juxtaposition / mashup tool he built for the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the Library for the Performing Arts, which is basically a browser-based video editor powered by Mozilla’s Popcorn.js.

Due to rights restrictions, most of the collection can only be viewed while onsite at the Library for the Performing Arts. But we were able to juxtapose several multi-camera shots of ritual dance from Bhutan, then mashed it up with some fly moves and beats from The Jabbawockeez. And there wasn’t time to show it off onstage, much of the inspiration for the juxtaposition tool came from one of Brian’s own art works, Joyblaster, a series of video pieces where people’s personal stories are reconstructed from multi-frame YouTube videos. You can grab some of the code used to power the juxtaposition tool, namely the Brightcove player for Popcorn.js and several plugins for Video.js.

Teh Vectorizer by NYPL Labs is like OCR for maps. And it can detect additional features on its test set of hand-drawn maps.

Mauricio Giraldo, our mad scientist interaction designer, took us on a tour through the insides of Teh Vectorizor, his groundbreaking tool that crunches our huge backlog of insanely detailed historical insurance maps — formerly turned into data via hand-crafted artisanal processes (which took 3 years to get through 3 boroughs) — into largely automagically generated data through a frankenscript of open source tools. But because it’s not perfect yet, he also showed off an early version of our map data improvement game, which we’re tentatively calling Polygonzo, a mobile game that lets people check the Vectorizer’s accuracy. Ultimately, we’d like to make this a mobile app that subway-dwelling New Yorkers can play offline, maybe give Angry Birds a run for their money. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for a first release…

Finally, we had Dan Vanderkam. Dan’s a friend of Labs and the creator of Old SF, a site that lets you navigate the historical street photographs of San Fransisco from the SF Public Library. Dan demoed the upcoming Old New York project he’s been working on with 40,000+ street photographs from the Library’s Milstein Division of Local/U.S. History & Genealogy. He also covered his process for finding and liberating pictures from inside other pictures as many of the Milstein images are actually 2-3 pictures per image, making them normally too small to see in fine detail. Dan figured out a way to extract the pictures within pictures, and he helped us generate larger versions that we’ll hopefully be incorporating and will be available when Old New York launches later this year.

At the end, I put out a final call for everyone present to seek us out, share their ideas, their possible collaborations, their research questions. The mission of Labs and The Library is far too big for us to accomplish on our own and the hacker/researchers of today are going to be blazing the path for all of our users in the near future. It’s gonna be awesome.

Even if you weren’t able to make it, that applies to you too. Drop us a line. We’re labs@nypl.org and @nypl_labs. Let’s build the public library of data together.

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The Media Party at Buenos Aires: the biggest Hacks/Hackers meetup ever

With more than 970 participants from three continents, the Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires Media Party became “the world’s largest event of Hacks/Hackers in the history of this organization”, according to Dan Sinker, director of Knight-Mozilla OpenNews, who came to the meetup. Held Aug. 29-31 in Ciudad Cultural Konex, Buenos Aires, the largest media festival in Latin America brought together journalists, software programmers and designers to work for the future of media.

In this second edition, over 30 international guests came to Buenos Aires. Among them, Jacqui Maher of The New York Times, Ryan Mark of Chicago Tribune, Joe Germuska and Miranda Mulligan from Knight Lab, and Brian Boyer from NPR. Winners of the Knight News Challenges were also in attendance, like Ted Han of DocumentCloud, Miguel Paz of Poderopedia, Shannon Dosemagen of Public Lab, Waldo Jaquit of The State Decoded, Nuno Vargas of the d.school, at Stanford University, and the entire Knight-Mozilla OpenNews team, consisting of eight software programmers working in major newspapers around the world and its director Dan Sinker.

The Knight Fellows from the International Center For Journalists, who are working on different projects in Latin America, also came to the Media Party along with ICFJ’s Vice President of Programs Patrick Butler. For the first time, seven representatives of Hacks/Hackers chapters in Africa attended, along with Knight Fellow Justin Arenstein. From Prague, Douglas Arellanes from Sourcefabric came to lead a workshop on Airtime. There were also participants from Hacks/Hackers Mexico, Paraguay and Argentine cities like Rosario and Mendoza. In addition, the winners of the Editors Lab (La Nación) had a space to display their prototype, along with Antoine Laurent from the Global Editors Network.

During the second edition of the Media Party, the Hacks/Hackers meetup reached 2,770 members and nearly 800 new registered members. The meeting had massive coverage in newspapers, websites, radio and television, reaching 150 articles published in various media, and was declared of “Interest” by the Argentine Senate. The Media Party was organized by Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires (HHBA), the local chapter of a global network that brings together journalists and programmers, which is led by Mariano Blejman, ICFJ Knight Fellow.

The agenda was intense: in the first two days international experts delivered keynotes on use cases ( “Too much information” by Jacqui Maher, or “If it doesn’t work on mobile, it doesn’t work” by Brian Boyer) and 50 simultaneous workshops taught by the same international guests along with local trainers. On the first day, attendees were able to visit the Media Fair, learning more about regional projects and meet their creators. Sixty innovative Latin American media projects were featured in the Media Fair, along with government portals and journalism startups.

The workshops featured international trainers such as Nuno Vargas, a Knight Fellow at Stanford who led a training on “Design thinking,” “Chicas Poderosas” by Mariana Santos and “D3 for beginners” by Ariel Aizemberg. During afternoon workshops, the attendees learned about the production of data journalism pieces, citizen journalism, news you can use and news applications based on open data projects in addition to media innovation and open government. Also two projects of regional impact were launched: OpenDataLatinoamerica.org, a data portal, and the Media Factory, a media accelerator that will invest $ 75,000 per company to help startups grow.

On the last day, Aug. 31, the event was crowned with a large and open hackathon where teams developed at least 12 innovative projects, including GlobalWamp, PDF Challenge and Hackatools. Closing the hackathon, the organizers announced the HacksLabs, an incubator for innovative projects in Latin America that will start donating US$20,000 in small microgrants financed by the World Bank Institute.

The HHBA Media Party was sponsored by Knight Mozilla OpenNews, the International Center For Journalists, the Knight Foundation, the Mozilla Foundation, the World Bank Institute, Fundación Desarrollar Argentina, Sourcefabric, AreaTres, Globant, USLA, Eter, Fopea, Nxtp.Labs, Media Factory, Ami, Pinlatam, FNPI, Mazalan Comunicaciones, Wayra, Terra and Debajo Tierra.

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La Media Party: el encuentro Hacks/Hackers más grande del mundo

Con más de 970 participantes de tres continentes, la Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires Media Party, se convirtió en “el evento de Hacks/Hackers más grande del mundo en la historia de esa organización”, según aseguró Dan Sinker, director de Knight-Mozilla Open News presente en el encuentro. Durante tres días, la fiesta productiva de medios más grande de América latina reunió periodistas, programadores de software y diseñadores para trabajar por el futuro de los medios, del 29 al 31 de Agosto de 2013 en Ciudad Cultural Konex, Buenos Aires.

En esta segunda edición llegaron a Buenos Aires más de treinta invitados internacionales desde distintos lugares del mundo. Entre ellos, Jacqui Maher de The New York Times, Ryan Mark del Chicago Tribune, Joe Germuska y Miranda Mulligan del Knight Lab, Brian Boyer de NPR. También estuvieron presentes ganadores de los Knight News Challenges como Ted Han de DocumentCloud, Miguel Paz de Poderopedia, Shannon Dosemagen de Public Lab, Waldo Jacquit de The State Decoded, el equipo completo del programa Knight-Mozilla OpenNews, compuesto por ocho programadores de software trabajando en los grandes diarios del mundo junto a su director Dan Sinker, y Nuno Vargas de la d.School de Stanford University.

También estuvieron los Knight Fellows del Internacional Center For Journalists trabajando en distintos proyectos de América latina junto a Patrick Butler, vicepresidente de ICFJ. Por primera vez desde Africa llegaron siete representantes de capítulos de Hacks/Hackers junto a Justin Arenstein. Desde Praga, llegó Douglas Arellanes de Sourcefabric para ofrecer un workshop de Airtime. También hubo participantes de Hacks/Hackers México, Paraguay, y ciudades argentinas como Rosario o Mendoza. Además, los ganadores del Editors Lab (de La Nación) tuvieron un espacio para mostrar su prototipo junto a Antoine Laurent, de la Global Editors Network.

Durante la segunda edición de la Media Party el meetup de Hacks/Hackers llegó a 2770 miembros, con una actividad de 1200 participantes y con cerca de 800 nuevos inscriptos. El encuentro tuvo una masiva cobertura en diarios, sitios web, radio y televisión llegando a los 150 artículos publicados en distintos medios. La Media Party está organizada por Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires (HHBA) el capítulo local de una red global que reúne periodistas y programadores, dirigida por el Knight Fellow en ICFJ Mariano Blejman.

La agenda fue intensa: durante los dos primeros días se realizaron conferencias magistrales sobre casos de uso a cargo de expertos internacionales (“Demasiada información” de Jacqui Maher, o “Si no anda en móvil, no anda” de Brian Boyer) y se realizaron 50 talleres en simultáneo dictados por los mismos invitados internacionales junto a trainers locales. El primer día, los asistentes pudieron recorrer la Media Feria, conocer iniciativas regionales y conversar con sus creadores. En ella participaron 60 proyectos de innovación en medios de América latina, portales de gobierno y emprendimientos periodísticos.

Entre los talleres se destacaron “Design thinking” de Nuno Vargas Knight Fellow de Stanford, “Chicas Poderosas” de Mariana Santos y “D3 para principiantes” de Ariel Aizemberg. También se lanzaron dos proyectos de impacto regional: el portal de datos OpenDataLatinoamerica.org y la Media Factory, una aceleradora de medios de comunicación que invertirá 75000 dólares por compañía para ayudarlos a crecer. Los talleres ocurrieron por la tarde para aprender y profundizar acerca de la cadena de producción de piezas de periodismo de datos, periodismo ciudadano, noticias de utilidad, y aplicaciones sobre datos abiertos además de proyectos de innovación en medios y gobiernos abiertos.

El último día, el sábado 31, se coronó el evento con un gran hackatón abierto donde se desarrollaron al menos 12 propuestas innovadoras de la mano de la comunidad local, entre los que se destacaron GlobalWamp, Hackatools y PDF Challenge. El cierre del hackaton sirvió para anunciar HacksLabs, una incubadora de proyectos de innovación en medios para toda América latina que comenzará donando 20,000 dólares financiados por el World Bank Institute.

La Media Party fue apoyada por Knight Mozilla Open News, el International Center For Journalists, Knight Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, el World Bank Institute, Fundación Desarrollar Argentina, Sourcefabric, AreaTres, Globant, USLA, Eter, Fopea, Nxtp.Labs, Media Factory, Ami, Pinlatam, FNPI, Mazalan Comunicaciones, Terra y Debajo Tierra.

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Bubble Sorting, Algorithms, and Launching Hacks/Hackers in Denmark

Bubble Sorting, Algorithms, and Launching Hacks/Hackers in Denmark

Yes! Hacks/Hackers Denmark, based in Copenhagen, is now rolling. Thank you to everyone who attended and supported the kickoff, and to everyone who expressed interest in helping to create future events!

So just what happened at the kickoff?

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Breakthroughs in Data Viz, Government Accountability Trackers, Real-time Video Animations, and More at Hacks/Hackers NYC Demo Day 5

Hacks/Hackers NYC Demo Day 5

Hacks/Hackers NYC gathered for Demo Day 5 at Pivotal Labs for another inspiring mashup of startups hacking the future of content. The Summer 2013 demos by the Hacks/Hackers NYC community explored technology to better visualize information and tell compelling stories. They ranged from editorial visualizations and video interactives, to query searches, to building transparency in health costs. Each presentation was limited to 5 minutes followed by a 5 minute Q&A by the audience. Here is a brief rundown of each demo presenter. Video of the meetup is at the end of this post. Hacks/Hackers NYC community, feel free to clarify, ask questions or comment below.

Words & Votes”:
Johnny Dwyer of R/GA kicked off the session with “Words & Votes,” an editorial visualization for Sandy Hook Promise. They rely on two sources, a Twitter API and GovTrack.us and answer the problem of how to crack data visualization whilst placing pressure on Congress. Neato. A quick key shows colors red and green as type of vote and squiggly lines illustrate (for example) gun legislation on an ideological spectrum. “Words & Votes” is based on ‘bricks and bubbles’ or facts and quotes, a neat, new way to visualize data.

Chartbuilder
David Yanofsky of Quartz demoed Chartbuilder, solving the bottleneck problem in time it takes to make charts in digital newsrooms. Yanofsky refers to the challenge as “ugly charts on a beautiful site.” Well put, David. Chartbuilder allows the user to paste data directly from an excel spreadsheet and download an image of a chart – a major time saver. Success points? It’s allows for greater independence in the newsroom and more news coverage. Win-Win.

Data Docs:
Data Docs, an interactive video platform uses animation and live scraped data to ensure videos stay evergreen. Utilizing HTML5 and popcorn.js, the idea behind Data Docs is that the data comes from continuously updated databases so as to never go obsolete. Lam Thuy Vo, Joe Posner and Susan McGregor met at the PBS/POV Hackathon (http://www.pbs.org/pov/hackathon/) where nonfiction storytelling and technology intersect. Check them out.

ReadrBoard:
Porter Bayne of ProPublica demoed ReadrBoard, allowing readers to select specific reactions to content. Porter paints the analogy likeso, “Google captures the world’s questions, Facebook captures the world’s connections, and ReadrBoard captures the world’s reactions.” To top it off, ReadrBoard is interactive where users can scroll the site to view reactions of leaders including a variety of more nuanced choices the traditional “Like” button allows for. Some of these include ‘absurd, appalled, agree, so what?’ to name a few. Next steps are to create a content recommendation tool. Rest assured, Readrboard will always be free for publishers and will eventually run on a subscription model.

QueryCongress:
Kenton PowellBloomberg Digital Data by day, introduced QueryCongress, a query site allowing more streamlined visualization searches on Congress utilizing data scraping. Kenton demoed an illustration search of districts as example with “a Hispanic constituency” as chosen query. The search was magical. It instantly matched and pulled data drawing on all sorts of interesting data points including gender, demographics, and voting habits to name a few. Viewers may also choose a scatterplots if preferable to the palate. QueryCongress will be available on QueryCongress soon so keep a keen eye out on the lookout.

Clear Health Costs:
Ever wish you knew exactly how much it cost for a pricey teeth filling, birth control pills, or a mammogram? Jeanne Pinder, former New York Times editor and Tow-Knight Fellow, founded Clear Health Costs – a site utilizing traditional research and reporting to provide transparency in what she refers to as “what stuff costs in healthcare.” Juxtaposing benchmark prices with well-researched government data, Clear Health Costs lists price ranges in health items and procedures across a wide spectrum. They have over 8,500 datapoints in their database and over 34% of their use is mobile. She has recently been featured on WNYC’s Brian Leherer Show, and the future looks on the up and up.

Writebot:
Chris Dannen of FastCompany demoed Writebot, a real-time collaborative application built to optimize production, communication and data accessibility for enterprises. Chris describes Writebot as smart ‘responsive web design’ that utilizes social scraping and a collaborative text bucket to have everything you need in one place. And yes, this includes privacy, ‘CUGS’ or closed user groups, activity feeds, hacked firepads and more. Good stuff.

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Data Journalism: A Showcase of Viz Projects in India

Building on the excitement around data journalism at our previous hackathon, Hacks/Hackers New Delhi recently paired up with the Hindustan Times — one of India’s leading English newspapers — to host a showcase of innovative data journalism work going on in the country.

The goal was to share best practices when it comes to using data to source, tell and visualize stories.
Avinash Celestine of The Economic Times
Avinash Celestine of the Economic Times started off by explaining how he’s using open data – particularly Indian government census data – to answer big questions about socioeconomic trends on his Datastories blog.  He stressed the importance of putting data in context, giving the example of how he recently tried to understand women’s declining participation in the labor force by contrasting it with data about increased studying and housework.
Cordelia Jenkins of Mint
Cordelia Jenkins of Mint newspaper explained Trading Up: Slum Economics, the data journalism project that recently won the GEN Editor’s Lab hackathon in New Delhi.  The team’s goal is to create an app that visualizes and displays detailed household and economic data for slums.  Users can compare different slums side-by-side, graph the parameters they choose, and ideally – for journalists – pick out story ideas.  The project is at the concept stage, and will take another three months to become operational.
Ravi Bajpai of Down to Earth
Ravi Bajpai of Down to Earth talked about how he produces data visualizations in a hurry – in a day or less – for the organization’s blog.  He parses survey results, pulls out relevant data, and creates interactive infographic-driven posts that draw a lot of users, get good traction on social media, and keep users on page for longer.

Neeta Verma, who works with the government’s National Informatics Centre, presented data.gov.in, a new open data site from the Indian government.  The site features several tools, including inbuilt visualizations that users can embed on outside blogs and pages, the opportunity to request and vote for more data sets, and a developers community.  The site is free, but has lagged in adoption as NIC works to get more data onsite.
Guneet Narula of Datameet
Guneet Narula, of the data science collective DataMeet, presented some of the work that their members have done.  Their projects include the Geohackers blog and the India Water Portal. Most of their members, he said, come from a coding and tech background, and would like to work more with journalists.

Between them, the presenters mentioned several freely available tools for quickly packaging/presenting data, including the D3 viz library, Tableau Public, Datawrapper, Leaflet, and MapBox.

Overall, an informative set of presentations that explored some of the creative data-driven work going on in India today. About 50 people came to Sunday’s event at the HT House, and several more followed along on Twitter. For more info about Hacks/Hackers New Delhi or to join, check out the meetup page.

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Datos abiertos: seis desafíos de la Hacks/Hackers BA Media Party

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Unos días antes de realizar nuestra primera Media Party en agosto de 2012, nuestro capitulo de Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires se dio cuenta de que íbamos a necesitar un megáfono para anunciar algunas de nuestras actividades a los cientos de participantes.

Pregunté por Twitter quién tenía uno: alguien lo dejó en la puerta el primer día del evento y lo devolví unos meses después.

El proceso de construcción colectiva es arduo y azaroso, pero siempre entretenido. La Media Party de este año, un encuentro de tres días que tendrá lugar del 29 al 31 de agosto en Buenos Aires, juntará a periodistas, programadores, diseñadores, 20 invitados internacionales, 30 talleres y un gran hackatón.

Organizado nuevamente por Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires, será el resultado del arduo trabajo de muchos de nuestros 2.000 miembros. Esto no fue un accidente. Hemos construido la comunidad intencionalmente y con mucho esfuerzo.

La presencia de invitados internacionales como Jacqui Maher del New York Times, Brian Boyer de la radio pública estadounidense (NPR), Joe Germuska del Knight Lab, Dan Sinker de Open News y Ted Han de Document Cloud, nos permite generar la credibilidad necesaria y asegurar concurrencia. Pero la Media Party no se trata sólo de grandes nombres. Es una oportunidad para que todos los involucrados se unan a una comunidad productiva y construyan algo valioso para impulsar el periodismo en el futuro. La Media Party sería imposible sin la contribución de estas decenas de personas.

Hace unos días realizamos un encuentro preparatorio para pensar en los grandes problemas que queremos resolver en el mundo de la innovación, los datos abiertos (open data) y los medios de comunicación. La misión de la Media Party tomó forma durante este encuentro, que contó con la participación de unos 50 editores y periodistas de grandes medios argentinos, miembros de la comunidad de open data y hackers cívicos. “Ahora necesitamos resolver los grandes temas”, dijo el diseñador y desarrollador Davo Galavotti.

A continuación, los desafíos y problemas que queremos abordar:

1. La sobreproducción de software de participación civil

El mundo está lleno de software de participación civil que pocos conocen y muy pocos usan. Podríamos crear un índice de soluciones para gobiernos, medios y sociedad civil que ya están disponibles y que se pueden mejorar, agregar o incluso innovar desde el conocimiento. Podríamos organizar un taller sobre la personalización de las soluciones existentes.

2. Los medios y la sociedad civil a menudo no saben cuáles son los datos que existen

¿Dónde están los conjuntos de datos para usar en América Latina y cómo podemos conectarlos con OpenDataLatinoamerica y acercarlos a los medios y a la sociedad civil? ¿Cuáles son los conjuntos de datos en otras regiones del mundo y cómo podemos brindar esa información a aquellas personas que la necesitan?

3. Grandes ideas y colaboraciones que quedan en la nada

¿Cómo podemos hacer un seguimiento de nuestras ideas y preservar el trabajo de nuestros encuentros? ¿Qué rol puede cumplir el HackDash? (Lee mi post sobre Hackdash aquí).

4. ¿Cuáles son las herramientas, lenguajes o aplicaciones que hay que saber para poder incursionar en el mundo de la innovación en medios, el periodismo de datos y el open data?

La mayoría de las personas se sienten abrumadas por el número de herramientas, plataformas y habilidades. ¿Cómo podemos ayudarles a elegir una?

5. ¿Cómo se hace para que los proyectos lleguen a los medios?

Incluso los mejores sitios o las plataformas más fáciles de usar son un fracaso si nadie las utiliza.

6. ¿Cuáles son los aspectos comerciales y financieros que necesitamos considerar para los nuevos reportajes basados en datos? ¿Cómo encauzar los proyectos para que encuentren viabilidad?

¿La gente posee las habilidades necesarias para liderar proyectos y empresas de medios? ¿Y qué nuevos modelos podemos aprender, enseñar o inventar?

La Media Party proporcionará a nuestros participantes de tres continentes la oportunidad de tener un impacto sobre estos desafíos a escala local, regional y global. Estás invitado a unirte. Aprende más sobre la Media Party aquí e inscríbete aquí.

Post publicado originalmente en IJNet. Mariano Blejman, Knight International Journalism Fellow 2013, es editor y emprendedor en medios especializado en periodismo de datos.  Fotografía: miembros de Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires, cortesía de Ramiro Chanes. Este post fue traducido del inglés al español por Nathalie Cornet.

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Hacks/Hackers Austin: Code With Me Workshop

Hacks/Hackers Austin was one of several organizations that helped bring the Code With Me Workshop to the Texas capital city on May 18-19. Along with the local Online News Association and the Austin American-Statesman, with generous funding from the Knight-Mozilla Open News project and Texas State University, Code With Me provided of HTML, CSS and JavaScript skills for journalists. The workshop is the brainchild of Sisi Wei of Propublica and Tom Giratikanon of The New York Times. The Austin event was the fourth they have done across the country, after D.C., Miami and Portland.

Using a combination of presentations and exercises, Code With Me is able to introduce a broad range of material in a short time. Their unique approach pairs groups of 2 students with a professional mentor to help them through each lesson. Mentors came from Texas State University, Austin American-Statesman, Texas Tribune and more. The workshop culminated with lots of focused work time and discussion of projects and future plans. Students worked on photo slideshows, data visualizations, FAQ sites and interactive games.

Check out the site for the Austin Workshop, which includes presentations and exercises. Additional photos, provided by Pete Karl can be found on Flickr and from Cindy Royal on Meetup.com. Thanks to Christian McDonald of the Statesman who provided the venue for this event. And a special thanks to Sisi and Tom for putting together such an engaging program.

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