Another productive day. Here are some updates.
We have received a number of e-mails, tweets, etc. expressing enthusiasm for a hackathon. 48 hours ago we targeted a Saturday event; yesterday we discussed a date in the middle of next week. As we’ve been thinking today about the hackathon timing and location, a number of concerns have come up about doing a hackathon even a week out from today. These concerns can be summarized as:
- Planning efforts for a hackathon may take away from time and cycles that should be spent on direct action and immediate aid
- Primary aid (food, shelter, basic supplies, first aid, essential connectivity) is still the more pressing need right now over technology; significant portions of the population will still be struggling for the basics come next week
- Transportation may still be a problem next week
- Current bootstrapped processes such as those being employed by groups like Hurricane Hackers are producing concerte results — code is shipping (e.g., http://sandy.hydr0.com/)
- We’re still not clear on what the exact nature and priority of the needs are that should be the focus for the technical community to address – we should look to build platforms and tools that both help in Sandy recover as well as become durable platforms for future responses
- The city agencies we’d like to work with are buried and are not in a position to focus on a hackathon; not having their participation would be a big gap as their involvement allows us access to a whole host of tools, data, and expertise that would make what is developed at the hackathon much more useful
- Continue to maximize the use of the various co-working spaces that have opened their doors to members of the technology community. These co-working spaces can be found using the http://sandycoworking.nytechresponds.org/ tool
- Consider working with several planned upcoming hackathons; encourage them to focus on Sandy related relief projects
- Plan for a #NYTechResponds hackathon for later in the month when needs are better understood and transit is better recovered; this will also give us time to better plan for the fundraising angles we’d like to tie into this event
- Hold a hackathon that emphasizes getting bright, talented people from different organizations and background in a room to crowdsolve problems in working groups based on expertise and experience.
- Shipped a really useful too to match demand with supply – see http://sandy.hydr0.com/
- Released an announcement about their work to date, charter, mission, etc. here: http://sukeyio.blogspot.com/2012/11/hackers-unite-help-sandy-victims-join.html
- Hurricane Hacker Request and Offer Help App: http://sandy.hydr0.com/
- CoWorking Space Finder App: http://sandycoworking.nytechresponds.org
- Form to use if you need technical support: http://bit.ly/hurricanetechhelp
- Form to use if you’d like to volunteer and supply technical support: http://bit.ly/hurricanetechvolunteers
“Sponsor a volunteer” fundraising platform
As we were thinking about the hackathon, we also discussed doing a “sponsor a volunteer” pledge drive whereby donors could give money to charities by pledging money per hour of volunteer work — essentially a way of “double dipping” whereby each hour of volunteer work produces both concerte action and new dollars to support relief. Take a look at the basic spec we put together for the idea here –
http://bit.ly/SponsorAVolunteerAppSpec. Let us know what you think and if you might like to help build this idea out.