The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas.
Throughout 2012, innovators from all industries and countries are invited to participate in three challenge rounds, each with focused topics on emerging trends.
Round 1 - on networks - is closed, and the winners will be announced June 18.
Round 2 - on data - will be open May 31 - June 21. We’re looking for new ways of collecting, understanding, visualizing and helping the public use the large amounts of information generated each day. Winners will be announced in late September.
Details on Round 3 will available later this year.
Anyone, anywhere can apply for the challenge - whether for-profit start-ups or non-profit ventures. For more information on a variety of topics - from guidelines for for-profits, on intellectual property licensing, open source software and more - visit our FAQ.
Create points of connection between Chicago programmers, open gov enthusiasts, and city officials by building on existing habits.
No, though it was born out of a previous, now-defunct project of mine: Interhoods (http://zd.net/bCGnP4). The difference is that OpenChicago has purpose: promoting open gov.
GitHub, a social network for programmers who collaborate around open source software. Unlike other networks (Facebook, Twitter) all members share a common characteristic: programming. GitHub IS a programmer’s reputation, defined by what they work on and who they code with. Also, we’ll use a second, physical network: Chicago’s aldermanic wards.
It will work because it’s passive, in a good way. Many services try to form new habits, try to get participants to visit their website every day. Their success is dependent on people learning, then conforming to, a new behavior. Unfortunately, this is difficult to sustain. OpenChicago.org is a passive system that relies on tools its participants have already habituated to: GitHub and email. There is no learning curve. Services that do not require people to alter their habits succeed because they instantaneously fit into peoples’ lives.
Currently, I am the sole developer of OpenChicago. Though, the open gov community in Chicago is strong and active. The existing website came out of discussions with the city’s CTO and CDO, so in that respect it is a project of collaboration. In addition, I have met with one of the city’s alderman, Ameya Pawar, who is interested using OpenChicago as a means to collaborate with local programmers, to develop applications for his/their ward.
As OG exists today, participants who register their GitHub profiles with the wards they live in are subscribed to two email lists — one ward-based and one citywide — and can view their neighbors’ code repositories.
With challenge funding, I would expand on the data that users can interact with. For example, allowing participants to “star” repositories that are open-gov-centric, and providing a means for associating which datasets (http://data.cityofchicago.org/) they’ve used. Though the gestures are simple, they payoff is significant: surfacing which programmers are experts with certain datasets, and links to example code of how to use them.
Open sourcing OpenChicago.org itself. The network that it is building is precisely the one that will help sustain it. And, while its current intent is local, the concept applicable to any city, and will be useful beyond Chicago’s borders.
$150,000 (one programmer, one designer, and funds to coordinate weekly meetups in all of Chicago’s 50 wards, one per week)