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First POST: Cowed

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, March 23 2015

TedCruz.com for president; Meerkat fever; who does Facebook work for (probably not you); Medium, "the billionaire's typewriter"; and much, much more. Read More

Scoring for Livability: How Place I Live Wants to Empower Homebuyers and Renters

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, February 25 2015

Screenshot of Place I Live ratings for a house in Bedford-Stuyvesant

Nobody ever says “I want to live somewhere with lots of pollution, crime and a high unemployment rate.” That, at least, is the assumption behind Place I Live, a website that aggregates, parses and creates visualizations with open data so potential homebuyers and renters can better understand different neighborhoods. Place I Live relaunched on Open Data Day, February 21, with new data and improved functionality.

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Notes From a Weekend of Cross-Country Civic Hacking

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, February 24 2015

Civic hackers gather at Civic Hall for CodeAcross NYC (Photo: Civic Hall)

Code for America's fourth annual CodeAcross civic hacking event took place this past weekend, February 20 – 22, bringing together civically-minded technologists, designers, activists, organizers, and city government in roughly 60 communities around the world. The organizing theme for all events was “Principles for 21st Century Government,” although events varied in terms of duration and content. From Civic Hall in New York City to the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia, to the University of Washington in Seattle, people gathered for data jams, hackathons, unconferences and collaboration.

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What Tech Can and Can't Do to Eradicate Ebola

BY Rebecca Chao | Monday, October 20 2014

Open Street Map assists WHO and MSF in Sierra Leone (Screenshot)

Over the weekend, a group of technologists met in New York City to discuss the limits and potential uses of data in combatting the spread of Ebola in West Africa. Read More

In Detroit Water Project, Tech-Driven Philanthropy Takes Off Without Touching Down

BY Denise Cheng | Friday, September 19 2014

Disaster images like this one of Michigan Central Station has led to outpourings of offers to "fix" Detroit (Thomas Hawk/flickr)

Denise Cheng, an independent researcher affiliated with MIT's MIT Center for Civic Media, was surprised to learn that new philanthropy organizations like the Direct Water Project operate remotely. She explores the ins and outs of a new breed of tech-driven, direct philanthropy. Read More

A Competition to Make the City More Resilient

BY Susan Crawford | Tuesday, September 2 2014

New York City meets Hurricane Sandy (credit: John Chandler/flickr)

When Hurricane Sandy hit New York nearly two years ago, it left devastation in its wake. Homes and livelihoods were lost, and the storm caused $19 billion in estimated damage. Small businesses were particularly hard hit. ... Read More

WeGov

Amnesty International Releases Panic Button, An App For Human Rights Activists

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, June 23 2014

Panic Button (Wikipedia)

On June 23 Amnesty International released their secret alert system for activists, an Android app called Panic Button. Panic Button (Beta), which techPresident covered at an earlier stage last year, is now available for download in the Google Play Store.

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WeGov

How ISIS Wins At Twitter

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, June 17 2014

The ISIS flag. (Wikipedia)

These days everyone, even (or especially) vicious terrorists groups, is all about social media optimization.

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WeGov

MOOCs Gain Popularity in China in Spite of Barriers to Access and Anxiety About Western Influence

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, May 6 2014

Screenshot of Coursera Zone

Coursera's founder Andrew Ng has announced that China is the education platform's fastest growing market after the United States. More Chinese users download the Android app than in any other country, and China ranks second in number of iOS downloads.

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WeGov

New Report: User Engagement Strategies for Open Data

BY Susannah Vila | Wednesday, March 26 2014

"If you're interested in the way that power works, then data is at the heart of it" says Jon Dovey, a researcher in the UK who is involved in the Open Data Institute's second annual Data as Culture exhibition. The show, which our Jessica McKenzie reported on yesterday, uses art and culture to engage people with open data. It hits on a pressing set of challenges: as more and and more data, both small and big, becomes available, what kind of social impact can we expect it to help generate? If you, as a citizen, can now know much more about public expenditures, does that mean you'll find a way influence those expenditures so that they more accurately reflect the interests of you or your neighbors? Not necessarily. That's why efforts like the ODI's are useful. It's also the theme of a new report that we're publishing today: "User Engagement Strategies for Open Data." The report explores 5 cases from 3 continents with an eye towards defining what works for engaging target groups of people with data about the activities of government and development institutions. Our goal is for these strategies to be informative for technologists, activists and entrepreneurs who are creating products with open data that they wish to see used. You can download the report here. Let us know if you think it's useful.

User Engagement Strategies for Open Data

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