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September 04 2012


Sockets & Streams: Tickets Now Available

Tickets are now available for our Sept. 12 event, Sockets and Streams.
Tags: Open

August 22 2012


HTML5, Apps and JavaScript Video

Watch video from the August 2012 TimesOpen event on HTML5, Apps and JavaScript.
Sponsored post

August 17 2012


HTML5, Apps and JavaScript Wrap-Up

The first TimesOpen event of 2012 was a big success and a lot of fun.

August 02 2012


Announcing TimesOpen 2012

It's that time of the year again! We've just released our schedule for TimesOpen 2012. As always, we'll have four events leading up to an all-day hack day in December.

May 03 2012


Working toward a more "open" news organization at @TheTyee

Come in we're open

I haven’t done much “thinking out loud” about my ongoing work for the award-winning daily online news site, The Tyee. The collaboration started in 2007 when I was asked to retool and automate The Tyee’s e-newsletter systems. From there, we started working together on special projects and campaigns, and — after their design refresh in 2009 — I took over as the resident Web Maker on May 1st, 2010.

Over the last two years, I’ve worked most closely with The Tyee’s Front Page & Technical Editor, Geoff D’Auria. We work together so closely, in fact, that I often stay at Geoff’s when I’m in Vancouver for work sprints with The Tyee (you know a working relationship is a good one when you can pull that off!).

We’ve often discussed the opportunity to be more “open” and transparent with The Tyee’s community — specifically, we’ve discussed being more proactive in talking about technical changes we implement and about technical priorities in the coming months. For example, there have been several re-launches of The Tyee’s commenting system over the years — it started as a kludge to tie together story pages with Web forum software back in 2003 or 2004 — and eventually became what it is today, where the comments are powered by Drupal, while the site itself is managed with Bricolage. There’s a good chance it will change again later this year — part of our push to simplify the technical infrastructure as much as possible — and it would be an interesting experiment to communicate that to users in advance, and to invite feedback on the options that we’re investigating.

There are many other projects that would have been interesting to announce ahead of their implementation, like the HTML5 Web app, the “Small-M” mobile site, and the new Video section. And, as new non-technical projects roll out at The Tyee this year, like the Master Class series, the Builder Campaign, and a soon-to-be-launched iBook experiment, my sense is that there are lots of opportunities to leverage the wisdom of The Tyee’s crowd, who are in my experience smart, often tech-savvy, and very tuned-in to local and regional issues.

But, practically, what does this type of user engagement look like?

Geoff and I have discussed everything from a “Tyee Labs” blog, similar to what several news organizations with “news apps” teams have done, to something more straightforward like The Verge’s Version History page. For me, neither are quite right for The Tyee. Even though the team at The Tyee likes to think of the whole enterprise as an experiment (which is an awesome context to be able to work within), the honest truth is that technical resources are stretched pretty thin and we don’t have a lot of extra cycles for true “experiments,” so my sense is that a “Labs blog” might be underwhelming. On the flip side, while I like the simplicity of the Version History idea, it does nothing to provide a forward-looking view into what we’re working on, i.e., what’s on deck for next week, next month, or next year.

The more I think about it, the more a picture comes to mind that is half what the Guardian UK is trying by publishing their “news lists” and with their Inside The Guardian blog, and half an idea that Amanda Hickman waxed poetic about at last year’s NICAR conference that involved using a “bug tracker” or issue-tracking system for news, and making that system visible to the users. In summary, something that would capture both what we are working on, what we’re discussing, what we’ve completed recently, and what “bugs” or issues that the community has brought to our attention.

Ultimately, I wrestle with the two tensions around a project like this:

  • First, I have a gut sense that a lot of the Tyee’s community would really appreciate a “view inside” their favourite news organization, a peek “inside the tent” if you will. But what I’m talking about here is almost exclusively technical, and not about the editorial calendar or the personalities inside The Tyee, which is probably the most outwardly interesting stuff. So, would this view across technical projects be enough to create some deeper engagement with Tyee users?

  • Second, there’s the obvious question of the work involved in “opening-up The Tyee,” whether that’s technical systems or, more likely to be a big push, the effort to change the way we do things so that there’s more “thinking out loud.” Then, after that work, there’s the added overhead of listening to users and bringing their voices into regular planning meetings, and so on. Just like having comments on stories, once you give users the opportunity to speak you have to be prepared to make time to listen.

With any new project I always try to consider the opportunity cost, i.e., What will we not be able to do because we’re embarking on this undertaking, and I try to weight that against the possible upside, i.e., what’s the best and worst possible outcome of the project in question and does it justify the investment of time and resources?

It’s a tough question.

Having inspiring examples of other news organizations that have lead the way on projects like this is always helpful fodder for these discussions. So, if you have some examples, please drop them in the comments, or shoot me a note on The Twitters.

January 23 2012


Introducing ICE: Writing for the Web First

ICE is a customizable JavaScript library that will allow you to track changes in any element that is contenteditable, or in a TinyMCE or Wordpress text editor. At this early stage, ICE has some limitations, but we think it is a very useful tool and hope that others will help us expand the project. Patches and forks are welcome at our repository, https://github.com/nytd/ice/. An ICE demo is at http://nytd.github.com/ice/demo/.

December 30 2011


The 5 Tenets of Open Journalism

I'm not a middle-of-the-roader and wasn't aiming for a compromise position with my discussion paper, "The Case for Open Journalism Now: A new framework for informing communities," published early this month by the University of Southern California's Annenberg Innovation Lab. Instead, I sought to identify and propel a culture shift that might build a healthier relationship among those who produce journalism and others who consume news and information.

Yet the values and emerging practices I call open journalism stand apart from the polarizing intramural debate on whether quality journalism in the future will come from institutions, information networks or individuals. (Answer: yes.) This intermittent fight, which broke out again following a recent Dean Starkman piece in CJR, forces people into corners. After a recent USC Annenberg event at the National Press Club where I gave a talk on this paper, a young journalism academic told me he hadn't read "The Case for Open Journalism Now" but added, "I'm probably against it -- the whole thing."

Open journalism should be up for debate, like any idea, but it's built squarely on some of the traditional journalism values we're so quick to protect. "Open journalism" just gives it a name and now, a better roadmap for two-way journalism in the digital era (see the five tenets below).

My open journalism idea sees journalism as acts that provide service in the larger context of Internet-era communication. It recognizes that communities gain from skilled and expert journalism (there never has been enough) and that such work has the best hope of success through robust connections to sources, citizens and other contributors in a networked information universe.

Public affairs journalism, especially the time-consuming work of investigative reporting and accountability coverage that relies on accumulated knowledge and expertise, is indeed a public good and must be responsive to those it serves. Those who provide it need to build trust as well as tangible support such as digital subscriptions, e-book payments, organizational alliances, donations or philanthropic grants. In 2012 and beyond, in the communication age that has blossomed post-Internet, such support involves not blind faith but open and active connection.

Explore transparency

Consider the new "Explore Sources" tool unveiled by ProPublica last week as part of a story by Marshall Allen on a Texas woman's efforts to learn how her husband had died. Explore Sources (which readers can turn on or off) allows web viewers to click on highlighted information and view primary source material. News applications developer Al Shaw's blog post explained both the function of the tool and how it was built, concluding: "While Explore Sources is just an experiment, we look forward to finding new ways to use it to make our reporting process more transparent and accountable, and when we can we'll open-source the code so other newsrooms can show their work, too."


I began my work at USC Annenberg in June intending to focus on how journalism contributes to community engagement in public life and to spotlight experiments that seemed to be working. I quickly learned that Joy Mayer, a Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow, was finishing an academic year's work on this topic and that many interesting experiments were too young to assess in any fair way.

Rather than repeat Mayer's work and other recent explorations, I wanted to build on it. Away from the front lines of most mainstream news flow, I found a web-influenced culture responding in new ways to journalism values of serving community needs and making a difference. Peer-level collaboration was sparking invention and problem-solving, especially involving data journalism and investigative methods. Social media tools were enabling more direct dialogue among news providers and their sources, contributors and customers.

In a small but significant number of exceptions to the norm, and in the ideas of a number of writers and practitioners, I glimpsed a nascent but potentially transformative approach to journalism that could build trust and support (moral and practical) for informing communities in key ways amid media upheaval. Alan Rusbridger and The Guardian called their strategy "open journalism on the web."

Open journalism struck me as the right headline for framing journalism as a true public endeavor: accountable, responsible and accessible, like open government or an open kitchen or "Open Leadership," the title of a book by social media consultant Charlene Li.

My experience leading newsrooms in North Carolina and California taught me that ideas need both support and structure to turn into improvements. I wanted not just to argue for direction, but to offer useful guidance to practitioners -- in any size of newsroom, nonprofit or commercial, and to individuals -- on how open journalism can and does work for quality as well as relevance. I highlighted journalism action, not theories, demonstrating creative and often effective new approaches to the core mission of providing timely, accessible and high-quality coverage.

You can find examples and references linked throughout the discussion paper and highlighted in a sidebar element called "100 Ideas, Arguments and Illustrations for Open Journalism." Additionally, I offered "Action Steps for News People" in the five key categories I identified for open journalism to emphasize:

5 tenets of open journalism

  • Transparency: Buzzword or not, this is a contemporary cultural value that connects deeply to journalism tradition. Yet it's a value news providers must more openly embrace in the processes and the presentation of news coverage. For instance, established media sites rest on "brand" and rarely explain their missions or practices. New information and news sites, perhaps because they're introducing themselves and working to build brands, routinely tell users who they are, what their editorial mission is, and how they're funded. The best of them provide easy links to staff at all levels and take the next steps to embracing "show your work" tactics such as posting original data, using blogging to explain how journalism is made, and inviting others to make use of resources. News organizations here and there are opening up or webstreaming news meetings, sharing working story lists, soliciting questions and input, and explaining how corrections are handled.
  • Responsiveness and engagement as central functions rather than add-ons: Open journalism makes newsgathering and dissemination two-way practices that ask and answer questions and invest trust even while expecting to be trusted. This matters for community value but also has benefits as business practice. The Internet has changed the expectations of viewers and readers -- more broadly, customers. Companies learn the hard way about failing to monitor or respond to user input, which now often happens via social media. In this environment, providers of news and information suffer when lines of communication are unmonitored (online story comments being the case in point) or miss opportunities when these lines operate as one-way channels (e.g., here's our story, what do you think?) By seeing engagement as part of newsgathering rather than as link promotion, journalists can pick up on news tips and promising sources and, in turn, make their work more useful by delivering on requests for certain information.
  • Substantive and mutually rewarding participation: The interplay among news providers and others who exchange and supply information gets more attention than other aspects of open journalism and fuels the most debate (over citizen journalism, for instance, a term almost no one likes). Yet notable experiments such as HuffingtonPost's OffTheBus presidential campaign crowdsourcing effort in 2008 (back for 2012) are being joined by a rapidly expanding menu of ways that news and community information sites are tapping contributions and knowledge. On most news sites "user generated content" gets little respect or attention, and again the vandals who troll online comment sites consume far too much of the resources newsrooms have for interaction. We're ready for the next steps in understanding that people want to participate in life, not news sites. Some news sites are improving interaction tools, using forms and other mechanisms to streamline participation and engaging in more active social media dialogue with contributors.
  • Collaboration: This is an overused word, perhaps, because true collaboration is less common than an expanding list of cross-promotion and content sharing. Yet the open-source ideas infecting some newsrooms via the influence of programmers and technology have produced direct benefits for some kinds of journalism. Practitioners working to analyze data and to map and graphically display their findings regularly share knowledge and software via traditional channels (such as Investigative Reporters and Editors) and new ones including the GitHub software website.
  • Networked presence: Information-sharing happens online through many crisscrossing networks, from fan communities and social media to highly specialized knowledge blogs and discussion forums. It also happens in person, often in conjunction with digital community-building. News sites may be where most people, in one way or another, pick up headlines and traditional news, but other networks supply a vastly greater variety and style of information. By understanding the greater context and looking for ways to carry out their service missions, news providers can make an important leap forward from the gatekeeper role that defined journalism for so long. The next conceptual leap involves community-level collaboration around the goals of information as a service.

"The Case for Open Journalism Now" is one of the first "Future of Journalism" efforts by the Annenberg Innovation Lab, built as a simple website with a response function. Please add your thoughts, criticism and links. However far the Internet has taken us already, those who believe in quality journalism as public service have only begun to comprehend the opportunities ahead.

The only thing certain is that we're building journalism's future now through our actions and our omissions. I prefer the former.

Melanie Sill is the Executive in Residence at the USC Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism. Before joining USC Annenberg Sill was senior vice president and top editor at the Sacramento Bee in California and The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. Raised in Hawaii, Sill earned her journalism degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 1993-94.

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December 29 2011


Open Philanthropy Post

Last month, Fast Company’s new blog, FastCo.Exist, published my piece on Lucy Bernholz and Open Data in Philanthropy.

Networked technologies and big, open data are in the process of reshaping nearly every industry–music, health care, education, scientific research, and journalism, as well as the nonprofit sector, civil society, and government. The consequences of long-tail economics and wise crowds are forcing almost every institution to adapt (and hopefully improve) or face obsolescence. Except, perhaps, one prominent sector: institutional philanthropy.

Read the whole piece here.


December 21 2011


New in the Campaign Finance API: Independent Expenditures

The Campaign Finance API now supports independent expenditure data.
Tags: APIs Open

December 07 2011


Recapping TimesOpen: Hack Day

Seventy developers, maybe more, visited the Times Building on Saturday for TimesOpen: Hack Day. They were joined a couple dozen developers from The New York Times. The combined crowd occupied every available seat in the conference facility on the 15th floor of the Times Building. Practically everybody was there to program, and they all brought their coding chops and their creativity. In the end 15 projects demoed, 6 projects won prizes. And one project, HappyStance, earned the title, Best of Hack Day.

October 07 2011


TimesOpen full-length videos

Full-length videos from the first two TimesOpen events, HTML5 and Beyond, and Innovating Developer Culture, are now available.

September 15 2011


Recapping TimesOpen: Innovating Developer Culture

The second TimesOpen of 2011 on Innovating Developer Culture took place last Wednesday. The program was a departure from the usual code-heavy fare the meetings are known for. An expert on organization culture change, Jessica Lawrence, from the New York Tech Meetup, joined engineering manager, Ken Little from Etsy, and Foursquare co-founder, Naveen Selvadurai.

August 01 2011


TimesOpen 2011: HTML5 and Beyond

The first event in this year's TimesOpen series, HTML5 and Beyond, is kicking off August 16th!

July 25 2011


Work With Us

The Interactive News team has immediate openings for contract and freelance positions.
Tags: Open

May 30 2011


Seattle Needs Awesome and Awesome Needs You

All over the world, people are working together to forward the interest of awesomeness in the universe, and it is time for Seattle to join their ranks.

I’m talking about the Awesome Foundation, and we* want you to help form the Seattle chapter.

Are you in? Fill out this very brief interest form and help spread the word through your networks.

Need more info? Read on…

Awesome Foundation is a global of community of good folks experimenting with simple, lightweight funding structures that foster the creation of surprise and delight.  Every month, each chapter gives one $1000 grant to the most awesome application.  Grants can go to efforts in the arts, sciences, magic, poetry, civic engagement, new media…. you name it.  Grants are unrestricted and may go to individuals, non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, or other entities. There are no reporting requirements; this is a relationship built on trust.

Funds are contributed by Awesome Foundation trustees, who collectively make the granting decisions. Most Awesome Foundations have ten trustees who contribute $100 a month. In Seattle we’re are trying to build a diverse, accessible chapter.  We are considering a larger group of trustees, allowing for more participation by lowering the financial commitment.

We will be joining a rapidly growing family of Awesome Foundation chapters around the world.  This is philanthropy for the rest of us.  If you want to consider joining as a founding trustee or would like to be informed when we start taking grant applications, fill out our very brief interest form. We’ll invite everyone to a get-together over food and drink to talk it over and move forward. Please try to signal your interest by Saturday, June 4th.

Learn more at awesomefoundation.org.

Why does Seattle need Awesome Foundation?

Seattle is too awesome not to have an Awesome Foundation chapter.  How awesome is Seattle? Let me count some ways…

That’s just scratching the surface of awesome activity in our back yard.  We believe that out there in this dynamic mix are hundreds of ideas that could get a start or a boost with a 1,000 bucks and some community love.

Awesome Foundation is an opportunity to make Seattle even more awesome by inter-networking our creative communities.

Why should you be an Awesome Foundation Seattle Trustee?

  • You are already an ambassador of awesome, a community maven, a dedicated activist, a mover and a shaker.
  • You’re looking for a fun, new way to make friends and build your community.
  • You believe that people-powered, decentralized networks can build a better Seattle and a better world.

Bonus: according to tradition, chapters generally grant the first person holding a trustee slot the right to title that position for all future occupants of the slot on the board (e.g. The Tim Hwang Chair for Higher Awesome Studies).

Are you ready to get it started? Sign up to come to a dinner and learn more.

While you’re at it, please share this post widely across all of your awesome networks.

* Who are we?

The founders of Awesome Foundation Seattle are:

  • Tommer Peterson: Long time Seattle resident, artist, theater-guy, rabble-rouser, and deputy director of Grantmakers in the Arts. Age 61.
  • Nathaniel James: Consultant, digital activist, community builder and social entrepreneur, working at the intersection of technology, media, advocacy and the arts. Recently returned to Seattle after 3 years living and working in Washington, DC. Serves on the board of National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture. Age 32.


May 01 2011


Students: Enter the Knight-Mozilla Challenge

This is a open invitation to students to get involved in the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership and enter our News Innovation Challenge.

At this year’s SXSW Interactive, I sat in on a News Apps panel where Aaron Pilhofer, NYT’s Interactive News Editor, noted that “this is a unique historical moment where academia can lead the [news] industry.”  The industry is looking to students, teachers and researchers to experiment, break some rules, and collectively invent the future of journalism.

We believe you can do it, and we want to help you succeed by involving J schools and computer science departments (and the combinations they are forming).

Students, recent graduates, teachers, researchers, deans and more: please follow @knightmozilla on Twitter and sign up for our community discussion list to join the conversation.

But most importantly, we want students to enter our Innovation Challenges, starting with the current challenge: Unlocking Video: How can new web video tools transform news storytelling? In the coming weeks, we’ll release 2 more challenges: one focusing on evolving commenting and debate for online news and one on developing cross-platform news apps using HTML5 and other new tools.

What you can look forward to as a challenge participant

Our news innovation specialist, Phillip Smith, recently summarized the incentives we have put together for participants, including the chance to get a great job.  But we have even more opportunities lined up for participants. By entering the challenge, you can:
  • Take your news-technology idea from napkin sketch to specification to working prototype, with Mozilla’s help.  For students, we hope this means actualizing classroom work.  60 people will move on from this year’s challenge to our online Learning Lab, where they’ll get exposure to tech and journalism leaders, including  Christian Heilmann, Burt Herman, Aza Raskin, John Resig.
  • Put your best ideas in front of the people shaping online journalism’s future. Our stellar challenge review panel and dozens of news organanizations are looking to the Knight-Mozilla Innovation challenge to identify talented people and put them to work in the news industry.  Entering the challenge is a great way for students to make contact with this folks.
  • Get flown to Berlin for a face-to-face prototype-building event. 15 Learning Lab participants will earn this great experience – 3 days to make your ideas a reality in one of the most energetic hubs of open innovation in Europe.
  • The ‘big prize’: spend a year evolving your ideas in one of the  world’s most prestigious newsrooms as a paid Knight-Mozilla fellow. This is your opportunity to bring your ideas to market with our news partners, Al Jazeera, the BBC, Boston.com, The Guardian, and Zeit Online.

Enter the challenge today and contact me with any questions.


April 29 2011


Knight-Mozilla for Innovative Video Makers

By Popperipopp (Own work) [Public domain

Calling all video makers & hackers, remix masters and mashup gurus: the Knight-Mozilla News Partnership (aka “MoJo”) wants you to enter our Unlocking Video challenge.  We believe that you can help us figure out how new web video tools can transform news storytelling. Unlocking Video closes for entries in 1 week (May 6), so head on over to our challenge site to enter today.   Read on if you’d like to learn a little more before taking the plunge.

I talked with Brett Gaylor of Rip: A Remix Manifesto and Popcorn.js fame today about recruiting a wide range of creative video makers in the challenge.  Here are some key points for people in that community to consider:

  • You don’t have be an expert in journalism per se to enter the challenge. In fact, we believe that bringing together an interdisciplinary community will make the MoJo partnership a successful hub of innovation for journalism.
  • We’re looking for ideas AND people. You have great ideas for innovating in documentary or cinematic video formats online, but maybe you haven’t considered applications for journalism.  That’s OK.  Participating in the innovation challenge is just the first step – like raising your hand – so we can get to know who you are.  Think a bit about how what you’ve learned outside of journalism might help news users engage with stories and enter the challenge.  We’ll work with you from there through our Learning Lab, Hackfests, and Fellowships to develop your ideas with the support of our growing community.
  • We’ve got to do a better job reaching out to the wild and wonderful world of web video makers. That means talking to the Web Made Movies community, and reaching out to organizations like National Film Board of Canada and the Tribeca Film Institute, and networks like Shooting People.  We can’t do it alone, so please share this post with your networks.

If you’re new to MoJo, here are some resources to get you up to speed fast:

Now that you’re read the basics, head over and enter the Unblocking Video challenge before we close it on May 6, and share this post with your web video-loving friends.


April 14 2011


Le Linee Guida per l’Open Data

Open Data, tutti ne parlano, ma come si fa?

A questa domanda abbiamo provato a dare una prima risposta con la stesura di un manualetto: http://tinyurl.com/pendataitalia

L’auspicio è che questo umile lavoro a cui hanno contribuito alcuni dei nostri associati, possa essere un un riferimento per gli amministratori pubblici, i manager e tutti quei decisori che, convinti sulla bontà della filosofia che sorregge la disciplina dell’Open Data Government, non hanno ancora trovato la scatola degli attrezzi per passare dalla teoria alle azioni concrete.

Come tutte le scatole degli attrezzi, anche questa potrà essere riempita di nuovi strumenti e, grazie all’apporto di nuovi contributi, diventare un riferimento per dare finalmente anche all’Italia una strategia per il “governo digitale”.

Cosa vuol dire Open Data? Perché l’Open Data rappresenta una strada verso l’Open Government, e perché l’Open Government è  uno strumento di sviluppo? Quali sono i principali problemi da affrontare quando si vuole “fare” Open Data”? Quali le tematiche giuridiche da tenere in considerazione? Quali gli aspetti tecnici e gli impatti organizzativi? A queste domande (ed a qualcuna in più) abbiamo voluto fornire una prima risposta, per consentire a tutti di iniziare a comprendere i motivi della centralità di questo tema per lo sviluppo del Paese.

Queste linee guida fanno seguito al Manifesto per l’Open Government, che la nostra associazione ha pubblicato a novembre dello scorso anno. Le prossime iniziative che contiamo di portare avanti grazie all’aiuto di un sempre più nutrito gruppi di esperti saranno annunciate nei prossimi giorni, nel corso di alcuni eventi ai quali stiamo lavorando.

Nel contempo, chiunque voglia contribuire a migliorare questa versione può commentare il post. Garantiamo, come sempre, la massima attenzione a tutte le osservazioni, critiche e proposte di miglioria che verranno inserite nella prossima versione.

Ringraziamo la rivista eGov che ha stampato le prime copie del presente manuale per consegnarle a tutti coloro che assisteranno alla premiazione di oggi a Palazzo Marino.

Come Si Fa Open Data – Versione 1.0


February 23 2011


Build the MoJo FAQ

MoJo FAQ Etherpad

We’ve got lots of questions coming into MoJo headquarters, mostly via email. I’d like to open up the process for getting questions answered.

If you have a question and would like to support the project, please join me in building our public FAQ document.

Just navigate over to our FAQ Etherpad and add your questions.  If you know an answer, you can add that in, too.

Mozilla Drumbeat has used this crowd-sourcing method successfully in the past.

Take a look at this video to see how it can work if lots of people chip in:

Click here to view the embedded video.


February 12 2011


Hello My Name Is___Ben Berkowitz__

Hi I'm Ben,

I am from New Haven, CT and am one of the Co-Founders of SeeClickFix.com. SeeClickFix is a platform that allows a citizen to report anything that is broken or needs improvement in the public space to anyone else who can help fix it including but not limited to governments anywhere in the world. 

I am interested in meeting others active on the ground in community and civic projects. I am also interested in meeting anbody who has a local blog or news site as SeeClickFix has a free widget that is widely deployed around the world.  I'm also interested in meeting existing users or anyone who has felt helpless when they wanted to get a pothole fixed.

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