The civic hackathon – a gathering (either virtual or physical) of technologists for a few days or weeks to build civic-themed software – remains one of the more durable manifestations of the open government movement.
An increasing number of people are starting to suggest that the concept of the â€œapp contestâ€ (where governments challenge developers to build civic applications) is getting a bit long in the tooth.
There have been lots of musings lately about the payoff for governments that hold such contests and the long term viability of individual entries developed for these contests. Even Washington DC – the birthplace of the current government app contest craze – seems the be moving beyond the framework it has employed not once, but twice to engage local developers.
â€œOpen source and open government are not the same,â€ Iâ€™ve been reading recently. When discussing the role of open standards in open government transparency projects, Bob Caudill at Adobe, is concerned that open source and open standards are being conflated. He likes open standards just fine, but …
Although it may be simple to conflate the Apps for Democracy and Apps for America contests with the exciting new Apps for Army contest, they really couldnâ€™t be more different. Together they represent an exciting experiment in what it takes to pull communities together around a problem. Though they all offer cash prizes to the winners, they each took a slightly different approach, with different results.