Looking forward to June 2 (and what we did in San Francisco this past weekend)

From: Burt H.
Sent on: Monday, May 24, 2010 1:00 PM
Greetings NYC Hack(er)s!

We're looking forward to our first event there on June 2. Due to the great interest and overwhelming response, we have changed venues to accomodate more people (thanks so much to our main sponsor Patch). Please spread the word to others from media and technology companies large and small!

Also, just to get you thinking ahead of next week, below is a press release about the iPad storytelling/hacking weekend we held this past weekend in San Francisco. It's also online at http://unite.hackshackers.com/2010/05/final-press-release/. We'd love to do similar events in New York and elsewhere.

Best regards,


Journalists and developers build 12 iPad news apps in less than 30 hours at first-ever Hacks/Hackers Unite event

Contact: Burt Herman,[masked], [address removed]

SAN FRANCISCO, May 24: An iPad application to make news exciting for kids and a location-aware web application where users react to news stories about their legislators were awarded top honors at the first-ever Hacks/Hackers Unite event.

The event brought together 80 journalists and developers who formed 12 teams at the start of the May 22-23 weekend at KQED in San Francisco to build news applications for the iPad in less than 30 hours.

Hacks/Hackers Unite was the first ?Unite? conference produced by Hacks/Hackers, a grassroots organization founded in November that brings together journalists and technologists at regular events and in online communities.

?The future of journalism is about experimentation and being open to new ideas, and bringing people from diverse disciplines to think creatively and work together,? said Hacks/Hackers founder Burt Herman, a San Francisco-based entrepreneur and former Associated Press bureau chief and foreign correspondent. ?The journalists and technologists easily found a common dialogue and collaborated to build impressive projects in a short time.?

Judges picked two projects as the best applications:

-Citizen Kid News: an iPad app that provides a visually dynamic and accessible framework for kids to safely explore and interact with the news. Top kid-appealing news content is curated on a daily basis, in 5 categories: Animals, World, Science, Sports and Entertainment. A photographic touch interface provides a window into each story, and kids can select stories for further exploration that includes additional text, photos, video and audio. The app incorporates game mechanics to encourage participation: kids earn points for commenting on articles, viewing videos about the reporter?s process, and eventually contributing their own articles. Kids earn badges along the way, starting with ?Cub Reporter? and culminating with ?Editor?.

More screenshots can be found here:




-Who?s Reppin? Me?: a Web-based app that feeds users news stories about their political representatives based on location. Users can then send Tweets to lawmakers to express their approval or disapproval of their actions. The app is online at http://whosreppin.me/

The judges for the event were Andrew Fitzgerald, online news producer at Current TV; Craig Miller, senior editor of KQED Climate Watch; Harjeet Taggar, venture partner at Y Combinator; and David Weekly, founder of Hacker Dojo and PBworks.

In addition to KQED and NPR, sponsors of the event included UC Berkeley?s Knight Digital Media Center, Demotix, Speck Products and Exygy.

A list of all the projects completed during the weekend is at: http://unite.hackshackers.com/2010/05/order-of-presentations/

Archived video of the demos can be found at:

Citizen Kid News? starts around 52:00 on the video

Who?s Reppin Me starts at around 1:08:00 on the video

Archived video of the awards ceremony can be found at:

About Hacks/Hackers:

Hacks/Hackers is a community of people who seek to inspire each other, share information and collaborate to invent the future of media and journalism.

The roots of Hacks/Hackers were planted in 2009, based on the interests of three people interested in the intersection of journalism and technology. In Massachusetts, at a conference organized by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Aron Pilhofer of The New York Times and Rich Gordon from Northwestern University?s Medill School of Journalism, proposed creating ?a network of people interested in Web/digital application development and technology innovation supporting the mission and goals of journalism.? Meanwhile, in Silicon Valley, Burt Herman, a former AP foreign correspondent fresh from a Knight journalism fellowship at Stanford University, launched a group bringing the journalism and technology communities together at casual face-to-face gatherings to trade ideas and find potential collaborators.

From opposite sides of the country, we coincidentally both hit on the name of ?Hacks and Hackers? as a way to symbolize what the group was about. The terms conveyed the grassroots spirit of the community we wanted to build both online and off, made up of the people doing the real work on the ground. The three decided to join together to build the community under the shorter name Hacks/Hackers, which has since grown to more than 600 members from around the world. Events connected to Hacks/Hackers have been held in the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington DC and Chicago, and the group?s first New York event is scheduled for June 2.

Hacks/Hackers has also launched a question-and-answer site for media and technology issues athttp://help.hackshackers.com. The group?s main site is http://hackshackers.com.

Our Sponsors

  • Google

    Open Source Programs supports Hacks/Hackers open source efforts.

  • Patch

    Reinventing community journalism. Hiring for product and tech teams.

  • Knight News Challenge

    You Invent it. We Fund It.

  • WNYC

    WNYC was one of the Great Sponsors of the Great Urban Hack.

  • O'Reilly

    Providing knowledge (and tech swag!) for hacks and hackers.

  • Micro Office

    Affordable full-service office space by the desk. Great for startups.

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