Hi DIYcity folks - I wanted to give a brief update on the Apps for Everywhere idea I've been kicking around (and am now kicking around with several other people).
First of all, the place to discuss it if you want is on the Apps for Everywhere Google Group. The group has eight members in it currently - still cozy, but with promise. Join now if you're interested.
Then, a few things that have come up in conversations on and off the group list:
- We've realized that a contest like this would be much more likely to succeed with some sort of on-the-ground network of developers in cities around the world. So we're taking names of people who are interested in promoting such a contest in their own city. So far we have Philadelphia and Milwaukee represented (and maybe Buenos Aires, though I have to confirm that). It's a start! Would you be interested in helping promote a contest like this to developers in your city? If so, get in touch with me, or join the group.
- Everyone is talking about data data data! A common refrain is that an apps contest can't happen without open data from the city. To that, two ideas have emerged in response:
One is that a really interesting global app contest could happen without open data, if it had the notion of data scraping built into it. That could be a very interesting contest: scrape data and build the best app for your (closed) city. And with new tools like Google Refine, and with Sunlight Foundation's new scraping initiative, this could really provide some interesting tools.
The second is that maybe a global contest about city-focused apps could in and of itself be a way to help cities everywhere to open up data. Or at least get the message out to cities around the world about open data and its value. And maybe that would be where the meat of the value was in such a contest? Too early to say, but it's an interesting, provocative idea that seems to touch a nerve with people.
• an apps contest for the whole world
• that tapped into local developer networks in cities to drive participation
• and that relied on state-of-the-art scraping where necessary
• but that also (and maybe more importantly) acted as a stimulus for cities everywhere to open up their data and make it available to developers to build on.
That's where the idea is, one week into the discussion.
I'm still absolutely not decided on doing this. I have several other ideas/discussions in this vein running at the same time that are competing for my attention. As I'm sure you do, too.
But it is definitely an interesting idea.
If anyone wants to make it an even better idea, please be my guest.