Open All Night: The Great Urban Hack NYC


Who is my landlord?

What are the politics of that restaurant?

When is the best time to catch a cab?

Where are the roaches?

Why do you call part of Chinatown the Lower East Side?

How can I be Pac-Man?!

These questions are answered by the apps cranked out overnight this past weekend at The Great Urban Hack NYC. The mission for the 80 or so journalists and developers there was to design, report on, code and create projects to help New Yorkers get the information they need while strengthening a sense of community. It was open to themes around news, politics, government information, arts, culture or education — pretty much any journalism or technology project (going as far buying views on YouTube related topics) that might help residents connect to each other or the city.

Great Urban Hack NYC, November 2010

It was a cumulation of months of discussion between Hacks/Hackers NYC and the Eyebeam Art + Technology Center. The sponsorship came from AolWNYC Radio, the Knight News Challenge, and Google, all of which helped pay for the fantastic food (Don Giovanni pizzaKati rolls and Rickshaw Dumplings) and gallons of coffee that kept everyone running. Or at least sitting. Extra power provided via Function Drinks and Wifi by Meraki. Plus we had speakers from StreetEasy, SeeClickFix,, Chartbeat, government agencies and NYC’s Big Apps contest talk about their APIs and other offerings. (Full disclosure: I work at WNYC.)

Nov 8, 2010

Hacks/Hackers Unite: Our first storytelling/hacking event, May 21-23

Hacks/Hackers began as a meetup, but the vision for the group is about more than social gatherings. There’s already been so much talk about the future of journalism. We wanted to create a community of people leading the charge and building that future. We’re moving ahead with more of that plan. Hacks/Hackers is partnering with KQED, the leading public radio station in the country, to host its first workshop event May 21-23.

Apr 20, 2010

Recap of Hacks/Hackers goes to Google: Wave and journalism

Thanks to all who turned out at Google for our event on Wave and journalism. If you weren’t able to make it, the archived livestream of the event is embedded below (two videos). There’s lots of info there about the concepts behind Wave as well as demonstrations of typical workflows. “It took Twitter months to get the 1 verb of its product into the popular lexicon. Wave has a whole new vocabulary!

Mar 19, 2010

Hacks/Hackers goes nationwide

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.

Mar 10, 2010

Next event: Hacks/Hackers goes to Google: Wave and future of journalism

For the next Hacks/Hackers event, we’ll be heading to Google headquarters in Mountain View to talk about Wave and potential applications for journalism. I’ll be writing more about what people have done so far in a future post and are happy to hear about ways you think it could be useful. But for now, here’s the description for the event from our meetup site, and please go ahead and RSVP here.

Mar 3, 2010