Hacks and Hackers, Birmingham, 23rd July 2010

The good folks at Scraperwiki are organising an event for developers and journalists later this month in Birmingham, UK. Great to see them helping to connect the dots between people who build things with datasets and those who can help to put the data into context!

You can sign up at:

  • From the announcement:

What? Scraperwiki the award-winning new screen scraper and data mining tool, funded by 4iP, is putting on a one day practical hack day* in Birmingham at which web developers and designers will pair up with journalists and bloggers to produce a number of projects and stories based on public data. We would like to thank our sponsors Birmingham Science Park Aston and Digital Birmingham for making the event possible.

Who’s it for? We hope to attract hacks and hackers from all different types of backgrounds: people from big media organisations, as well as individual online publishers and freelancers.

What will I get out of it? The aim is to show journalists how to use programming and design techniques to create online news stories and features; and vice versa, to show programmers how to find, develop, and polish stories and features.

How much? NOTHING! It’s free, thanks to our sponsors.

What should I bring? We would encourage people to come along with ideas for local ‘datasets’ that are of interest. In addition we will create a list of suggested data sets at the introduction on the morning of the event but flexibility is key for this event.

So what exactly will happen on the day? Armed with their laptops and WIFI, journalists and developers will be put into teams of around four to develop their ideas, with the aim of finishing final projects that can be published and shared publicly. Each team will then present their project to the whole group. Overall winners will receive a prize at the end of the day.

Not sure what a hack day is? Let’s go with the Wikipedia definition: It “an event where developers, designers and people with ideas gather to build ‘cool stuff'”…