NetSquared, the community of technology/nonprofit collaborators hosted by CompuMentor/TechSoup is hosting their third annual conference in May. I attended the first two and they are amazing. While each conference has had a different focus, they seem to bring out some of the most innovative people I’ve ever met.
This year’s contest will focus on Mashups for Good:
This year’s NetSquared Conference will bring together a unique mix of people from the public and private sectors to develop and release Mashups designed to provide deeper insight into the social issues affecting communities around the globe.
Those “people” are you — members of the NetSquared universe working on behalf of communities everywhere and the technical experts who care about these issues.
If we’re successful, we’ll learn something about cross-sector collaboration, meet new and interesting people, and build a unique gallery of Mashups that citizens, schools, and community-based groups everywhere can learn from, replicate, and build upon.
For more about Mashups, see Wikipedia’s definition.
For a better sense of what we mean, let’s take a look at a few of our favorite Mashups.
Go ahead, click on the examples below. Read the “about” pages to get a better sense of the project’s goal/mission, and how the site works. (Yes, this is kind of technical, but we’re going to help make sense of that. Enjoy!)
* Maplight.org, a winning NetSquared project from last year, displays the link between money and politics by bringing together information about campaign contributions and legislative votes.
* ChicagoCrimes.org is a browsable database of crimes in Chicago that lets users see information displayed on a map.
* ActiveTrails shows visitors a list of active hiking and biking trails across the United States. Users play a big role in supplying information.
* Tunisian Prison Map pulls from a variety of sources to locate the prisons on a map and links to videos and other information relating to the prisons.
On February 1, the Mashup Project Submission process for the NetSquared Mashup Challenge opens. Nonprofits and other social-change agents will be expressing their visions of how data can be recombined to advance social missions. NetSquared’s team will make sure that everyone gets the appropriate help they need to define their vision in a way that will be accessible and attractive to technical volunteers.
On March 14 at 5 PM, PST, the ability to publish a Project Submission will close.
03/17/08 – 03/21/08: Voting for the Mashup Project Challenge. Like last year, registered NetSquared users will be able to vote for their favorite Projects.
03/24/08: The top 20 Mashup Projects will be announced on March 24 and the winners will be invited to attend this year’s NetSquared conference in San Jose, CA, scheduled for 5/27 and 5/28. Each of the top 20 projects gets an allowance for travel (including airfare to and from the conference, along with a hotel room for two nights).
05/27/08 & 05/28/08: At the conference, Project Teams will have an opportunity to display and discuss their Mashups and attendees will vote to select the top three. All 20 projects at the conference will receive a share of $100,000 in prize money. The share will be determined by voting at the conference. Of course, there will be more legalese regarding the prize and its allocation after we open the application process on February 1, 2008.