Hacks/Hackers summer update

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Hacks/Hackers Summer Update

We bring you news from Facebook, SXSW, Mozilla and Gawker in this update about Hacks/Hackers activities of late. Please keep reading to the bottom — there are many opportunities in here.


— Hacks/Hackers is working with the Mozilla Foundation to create an online class about journalism and technology, taught by a mix of journalists and technologists. Nieman Lab wrote about the planned class (http://www.niemanlab.org/2010/06/hackshackers-mozilla-team-up-for-peer-to-peer-course/) after it was a winner in the collaboration contest at the Future of News and Civic Media Conference at MIT. Ideas for class topics are being discussed at the Hacks/Hackers Q-and-A forum.

–Daylife offered an API challenge to Hacks/Hackers members, where they will help market and sell applications developed with their API and give 70 percent of the proceeds to the developer. Read about it here and start hacking.

— Since launching http://help.hackshackers.com — our Q-and-A community for technology/journalism problems — we've signed up nearly 200 members and generated and nearly 190,000 page views. Check out the questions and answers, or ask one yourself!


SXSW Interactive is putting out a call to news-related projects and technologies (among other categories) for its American Idol-like Accelerator competition on March 14-16, 2011. Note that the business side of news counts too! The category is “News Related Technologies – This category pertains to applications and technologies to support the dissemination of news and information for communities, both on the content side or on the underlying business model side (an example is advertising). This could include technologies related to data, text, documents, mapping, engagement, among other areas.” The deadline is December 10. There is a $150 entry fee, but they will nearly always waive it if you email them.


— The Medill School of Journalism still has scholarships to its journalism master's program available to people with backgrounds and/or degrees in computer programming. More information is available at


— Freelance journalist Corey Takahashi won the Hacks/Hackers scholarship to Poynter’s workshop on programming for journalists / journalism for programming.

Meetup Roundup

We’re expanding as more people launch their own chapters of Hacks/Hackers.

— Bay Area: Facebook launched their media partnership initiative at a Hacks/Hackers Bay Area meetup in July, seeking to work more closely with publishers to leverage the social network. You can read more details about the event here.

— New York: New York Hacks/Hackers had a busy July with two meetups. It had a meta-meetup at meetup.com itself, featuring CEO Scott Heiferman, along with demos by Brad Flora from Chicago’s Windy Citizen and Nick Diakopoulos, a post-doc research associate at Rutgers University. It also hosted a photo-themed Meetup with the New York Times team behind the Moment in Time project and Demotix, a crowdsourced photowire service.

— Boston had their first Meetup at Microsoft’s NERD Center, featuring Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg and version "0.5" of their Time Flow tool.

— Los Angeles: The LA chapter of Hacks/Hackers had an initial meeting and is gearing up for more events in the fall. Go to http://meetupla.hackshackers.com to join and get involved.

— Chicago: The Chicago chapter is gearing up for a series of events this fall and is looking for people interested in helping organize and/or make presentations at these these events. Contact Rich Gordon, richgor@northwestern.edu.

— We are also looking to expand into Minneapolis, Seattle and Dallas, if anyone wants to jump in.


We’re looking for folks to help with the newsletter, job board and planning hackathons. Email volunteers@hackshackers.com


Here are some messages from organizations that have sponsored and supported Hacks/Hackers:

Gawker Media is Expanding Its Tech Team

Gawker Media has openings for bright tech minds of all kinds — with an emphasis on front-end/UI, Python and Java developers —  to help with their large tech infrastructure. Their content management system is home-grown and proprietary, and sees 30 million global visitors (up 38 percent year over year), 450+ million pageviews per month, 10,000 stories a month, and over 50,000 comments a day. Salary is competitive, includes benefits, 401k, and a 5,000-square foot roof deck! Get in touch with Gawker CTO Tom Plunkett at tom@gawker.com. New York’s next big social Meetup is on September 9 at their offices. Keep an eye out.

Patch is Hiring Both Hacks and Hackers

Patch, Aol's local community journalism network which currently operates more than 50 news sites in towns with populations under 70,000, is hiring both hacks and hackers.

On the hacker front, the editorial positions Patch is filling include Local Editors (2+ years of journalism experience plus a degree in journalism) and Regional Editors (4-5 years of management experience and several years of journalism experience).

These cover jobs in the Midwest (Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Indiana); West Coast+ (California, Washington, Colorado, and Arizona), Northeast (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylania, Rhode Island and Massachusetts); the South (Texas, Georgia, Florida and Missouri); plus Virginia and Maryland. As of recently, they had almost 80 editorial job listings.

On the hack front, they are looking for experienced software developers to design, implement, and improve their Ruby on Rails-based local news platform. For the front-end, the engineers must know the ins and outs of JavaScript, Web standards, semantic markup and client-side libraries (like jQuery and Prototype). And for the back-end, engineers must have experience building and scaling user-focused web applications, as well as experience with Rails and MySQL (or similar DB).  They are also looking to hire mapping engineer talent with experience or desire to work with Mapnik, TileCache, OpenStreetMap, and PostgreSQL/PostGIS.

Those and all the other Patch job listings (in editorial, advertising sales and corporate divisions) are listed online. In addition to this nationwide expansion, they also recently announced Patch.org, which will allow them to cover underserved communities.

Thanks again for your support!



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