[@OKau] After the hackathon: 4 classic recipes

Rosie Williams budgetaus at hotmail.com
Sat May 9 05:23:43 UTC 2015

I suspect the key to building successful, sustainable open data projects is to begin with the community rather than developers. If a request for data and a project to make that data usable has a reasonably sized community behind it then it is more likely to be used and hopefully to be funded- both of which are good things. 
I spent a week or so collecting questions that open data could help answer and have begun documenting them with the help of the communities behind them at http://infoaus.net/projects/index.php/Problems_that_open_data_can_help_solve
These communities know what they want, they are just unaware of any process currently in place through which they can have these data needs met and a hackathon is not really a suitable approach to dealing with these questions or communities.
I'm doing this with no resources behind me at present and I don't expect all of these projects to proceed but I think it is important to invite the community to be part of the open data agenda in Australia both because there's hardly a point to it if the  wider community/demos itself is not participating and because I think it might solve the issues to do with sustainability. 
Rosie Williams BA (Sociology)________________________________________
 NoFibs.com.au - Open Data Reporter | InfoAus.net - Founder and Developer 

> Date: Sat, 9 May 2015 09:50:55 +1000
> From: tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
> To: okfn-au at lists.okfn.org
> Subject: Re: [@OKau] After the hackathon: 4 classic recipes
> On Thu, 7 May 2015 07:14:11 +1030, Rosie Williams wrote:
> > ... I still think there is an issue moving projects begun at
> > hackfests or even in the community by individuals or small teams from
> > idea to financially sustainable projects ...
> As I see it, hackfests are mostly about introducing people to each other
> and sparking ideas, not producing working systems. If one in one hundred
> projects proceeded further, that would be a good result.
> Going beyond a hackfest, there are the various start-up events. Canberra
> has Innovation ACT, where higher education students learn to develop 
> their product (which can be not-for-profit): http://www.innovationact.org/
> > I don't think coders are typically the best people to
> > help communities, organisations or their client groups figure out
> > how open data can benefit them. ...
> Yes, coders have difficulty dealing with people. For that reason the 
> Australian National University this year is encouraging students from 
> other disciplines to join the teams of computing students building 
> software projects. Some teams are building software for a specific 
> client, others aim to then enter the startup competition and set up a 
> business: http://cs.anu.edu.au/TechLauncher/
> I have a team building better free open source webinar software: 
> http://cs.anu.edu.au/TechLauncher/project540954.html
> It has been interesting watching the computer students trying to resist 
> the temptation to start coding and instead work out what the customer 
> actually needs.
> But even so I expect that most such projects will not produce a viable 
> product. If one in ten works, that would be a good result. The success 
> rate for commercial IT projects is about one in four.
> There will be another 20 students looking for about four new projects to 
> do in July, if anyone has something they want built: 
> http://cs.anu.edu.au/TechLauncher/gettingInvolved.html
> -- 
> Tom Worthington FACS CP, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
> The Higher Education Whisperer http://blog.highereducationwhisperer.com/
> PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
> Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards
> Legislation
> Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Research School of Computer Science,
> Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/
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