Hacking at BarCamp News Innovation

This Saturday is the annual BarCamp News Innovation event at Temple University. This year, I'll be participating as a judge of the Open Gov "News" Hackathon. I appreciate being asked to judge the hackathon and look forward to seeing what awesome mobile tools the teams of coders and journalists conjure up Saturday.

I've been to BCNI for a few years, and it's always been a great chance to learn and catch up with folks. In particular, it's been a way to see how much of a leader Philadelphia is in the news innovation community. People from up and down the East Coast (and sometimes farther!) come to Philly. We get to learn together, and Philly gets a chance to showcase the variety of nonprofit, community-based, ethnic, traditional, and other journalism efforts that it supports.

Last year was the first year that a hackathon was part of BCNI. Even within the past year, the hackathon space in Philly has grown a ton, and there's now a chapter of Hacks/Hackers that is specifically devoted to bringing together techies and journalists. Coupled with the support of the Center for Public Interest Journalism in helping foster community engagement through mobile tools, this year's hackathon is well positioned to continue growing in the number and types of projects. Plus, Random Hacks of Kindness is coming up in June, a perfect opportunity for teams to spend more time working on projects they begin this weekend.

Hacks/Hackers Philly will be announcing details of our May meetup at BCNI tomorrow. I look forward to seeing how the unconference and hackathon seed ideas and connections between the two events, and the wealth of skills and enthusiasm in both spheres.