Why and how the Open Gov ‘News’ Hackathon is being judged: $3,000 in prizes

The Open Gov 'News' Hackathon presented by Tropo will be judged by, from left to right, City of Philadelphia developer Clinton Johnson, local Hacks/Hackers organizer Erika Owens, Code for America government relations director Mark Headd

We’re trying to better bring together the news and the innovation. Here’s another step.

The fine people at the Center for Public Interest Journalism, housed at Temple University, will be putting up $3,000 in prizes for the best mobile-focused projects that come out of the Open Gov ‘News’ Hackathon presented by Tropo. Their interest is the impact mobile can have in underserved Philadelphia communities, where smartphone technology is proliferating more quickly than broadband.

What that means is, like any hackathon, come and build what inspires you, but there’s some incentive to get excited about a slice of that creative pie. Find some ideas here, but know that your ideas are definitely desired.

Our judges — Code for America government relations director Mark Headd, City of Philadelphia developer Clinton Johnson and local Hacks/Hackers organizer Erika Owens — will be using these topics for guidance in making their decision:

  • Progress on project — Teams only get a day, how much progress was made in that time? (1-3 points)
  • Impact of project — Is this a project that can have broad adoption, usage and utility? (1-3 points)
  • Relevance of project — How does this project fit into the open gov and informing communities spirit? (1-3 points)
  • Use of mobile — Prizes will be focused on projects that use the unique qualities of the mobile technology, and not just smartphone but also SMS and other tools (1-3 points)

The details on the prizes — likely a combination of cool swag, gift cards and toys — will depend on the number of participants and size of teams. Regardless, it’s another reason to dedicate your Saturday to something cool.

See the day’s schedule here and other hackathon details here.

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