I’ve proposed a talk for SXSW Interactive next March called “Stop Talking, Start Making,” and I would love it you could visit the SXSW PanelPicker and vote for my presentation (along with all the other sessions that interest you). SXSW is unique from other conferences in that the popular vote heavily influences their selection, so your voice definitely counts!
“Stop Talking, Start Making” is about the importance of rolling up your sleeves very early in the creative process, and spending 24 hours getting your hands dirty building something. You can’t just sketch something out or put together a few slides in a PowerPoint presentation, you’ve got to build and demonstrate a working product.
In the tech world, this approach isn’t new. For years, it’s happened at BarCamps and hackathons, and the ethos is a central part in many hacker labs, co-working spaces, and publications.
But this presentation isn’t for developers — it’s for creative types, marketers and brand owners. You’ll learn ways you can incorporate the hackathon model into your creative development process—to rethink a brand, quickly build ideas from scratch, and to incorporate new and emerging technologies into an existing brand.
You’ll also learn how the hackathon can be an invaluable tool for evaluating and nurturing internal talent, as well as for recruiting new talent.
Most importantly, it will be fun and entertaining. I promise.
Last night I attended the In Code We Trust meetup at Eyebeam, which was an excellent gathering of people talking about what they’re currently doing in the Gov 2.0 space.
One of the speakers was Sarah Kaufman from the MTA, highlighting the hard work they’re doing right now to help bring MTA information and data to the developer community. Check out the MTA data sets currently available including the new GIS information about subway entrances and exits.
Sarah’s talk reminded me of something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time — create a simple calculator to figure out how much money to put on a MetroCard. The MTA vending machines make it easy to put an exact dollar amount on a card, but it doesn’t make it easy to figure out how to add 4 rides or 8 rides to a card. It’s not a hard problem, so I took 30 minutes last night and made a simple web page that figures this out for you. It should work on iPhone and Android, so check it out.
Finally, I should add that I made this in 30 minutes, so it’s probably got bugs, but who cares? It’s usable. It’s a released product. It’s more important to get something out there and get feedback than to linger in development forever trying to make it “perfect”. Let me know what you think.
May 30-31 is BarCampNYC4. Register now as slots are disappearing quickly.
I’m putting together something to talk about RepresentedBy and its future development roadmap. Will anyone else be working on something around open government, or technology for change? Would love to assemble a group session on this.