Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

Winners from the NYC.gov Hackathon: Quora for Local Questions and the Gamification of Good Citizenship

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We had our suspicions when we heard that the city was hosting a hackathon to transform its creaky, outdated 1.0 website, but minus a hackathon’s trademark scrappy flavor (Interested participants had to submit portfolios in advance and it helped if they had designed a website with over 1 million visitors a month.) Developers were likewise suspicious. One local representative, Mike Caprio, wondered if the city wasn’t just creating  “a no-bid process for giant design firms in the city to compete with each other to create designs for no pay.”

But although the developer teams selected to participate skewed toward the larger side–the New York Daily News reports teams representing companies from Google to Victoria’s Secret– it sounds like the winners were inspired by the start-up world. Among the five awardees chosen by judges like Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne and Meetup co-founder Scott Heiferman were an team of expats who developed a Q&A site in the same vein as Stack Overflow and Quora. They suggested seeking out “super-experts” to answer everything from where to eat on the LES to how tricks for getting your kid into kindergarten. Read More

NYTM

Screw Meetup: Organizers Up In Arms Over Redesign

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UPDATE: Meetup CEO Scott Heiferman Responds >>

Any time a popular web service undergoes a major redesign, there is a loud and angry response from unhappy users who liked the old version better.

Often a small but vocal minority can make a big stink. It’s the power user paradox. The folks who do the most Read More