I’m working with a large public-sector organisation who have a considerable — and potentially very useful — body of data. They’re keen to open it up, and would like to encourage people to use it by having a hack event of some kind. At the same time, it’s gratifying that they’re clear that they don’t wish to unfairly exploit anyone.
We’re considering a number of options, and would welcome comments and additional suggestions.
The event could be held in the Midlands; over one day or two, on weekdays, weekend, or Friday-Saturday. Or a competition could be announced online, with a virtual or real-life “dragons den” type event, for people to present things they’ve worked on at home.
You won’t need one of these to take part…
Computer Museum: Cray-2 by cmnit, on Flickr, CC-BY
Should we set a specific challenge, or just ask people to do something interesting with the data?
I’ve suggested prizes might be offered for both the most compete solution, and the best idea, whether compete or not. There might be prizes in other categories, such as the best idea by a young person or the most accessible product, or different categories for commercial and hobbyist entrants.
The data holders might also like to consider developing business relationships to the developers of one or more of the products, separate to any prize giving; rights in all the entries would of course remain with their developers, otherwise.
How would you like such an event to happen? We’re aware of the Hackday Manifesto, but what else is best practice, and what other pitfalls should be avoided?
Over to you…