Sunday, June 14, 2015

Top 10 Sites For Civic Hacking News

You won’t find much about civic hacks in the mainstream media. So if you want to learn what’s new in civic hacking, keeping up to date with advancements, achievements and new civic hacker activities, you might want to regularly use Google News or other online news search tools.

That situation is true of finding news about most emerging trends or technology. But rather than searching through the haystack of millions of global online news items that appear each week to find the few needles of info about an emerging topic, you can try to figure out which organizations and which websites will bring you the most news relevant to the topic of interest to you.

So one alternative to civic hackers regularly searching with Google News is to keep current by periodically checking out the websites from leading organizations involved in civic hacking.

Today I’m presenting a (very subjective) list of the top 10 sites for civic hacking news.

The sites on this list won’t cover all the news or activities in the civic hacking world, but they will keep you generally in the know on the topic. And they’ll frequently point you at other sites that are also very involved with this sector. This list includes a mix of type of sites, including city-specific, regional and national, non-profit and for-profit, government and civilian, and civic hacker enthusiasts. I haven’t been active in civic hacking for many years like some people you'll read about on these sites, and I’m not a paid civic hacker. I’m not even a volunteer member of a Code for America brigade or an employee of an organization involved with civic tech. So hardcore civic hackers will no doubt have other sites they prefer or recommend, especially for people relatively new to civic hacking. If you know of other sites that probably belong in the top 10, email me a link at bwaldron (at) gmail [dott] com.

Without further ado, flawed though it may be, here is my June 2015 list of top 10 sites for civic hacking news:

  1. http://www.codeforamerica.org/blog/
  2. http://technical.ly/
  3. http://www.smartchicagocollaborative.org/
  4. http://civic.io/
  5. http://openneo.org/
  6. https://18f.gsa.gov/blog/
  7. http://www.govfresh.com/
  8. http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/
  9. http://www.socrata.com/blog/
  10. http://www.govtech.com/

When I started writing this post, I didn’t think it would be all that hard to select ten best sites. When I got serious and Googled a variety of ‘civic hack’ keyword combinations, I found 30+ sites with pretty good coverage of different aspects of civic hacks.

So a few of the interesting sites that didn’t make the cut for the top 10 are listed below, in no particular order. These are ones you may want to check out if you are very interested in this field. You might put some of them on your top 10 list because you like their writing style or website layout, or because they provide better coverage for aspects of civic hacking about which you’re most passionate.

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http://open.nasa.gov/  ---  http://accela.com/company/blog  ---  http://techpresident.com/
http://blog.codeforboston.org/  ---  http://secondmuse.com/blog/  ---  http://blog.okfn.org/
http://www.knightfoundation.org/what-we-fund/engaging-communities
http://cityminded.org/blog/  ---  http://popupcity.net/category/urbanism/
https://www.livingcities.org/blog  ---  http://citycampnc.org/blog/  ---  http://nextcity.org/daily
http://thegovlab.org/govlab-digest/  ---  http://thegovlab.org/blog/  ---  http://www.digitalgov.gov/
http://opengovfoundation.org/madison-in-the-news/  ---  http://codeforsanfrancisco.org/blog/
http://www.citylab.com/tech/  ---  http://www.azavea.com/blogs/atlas/

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I’ll probably update the top 10 list in this post periodically when I find better candidates than the one’s I chose in June 2015. As I find new valuable sites that don’t quite rate the top 10, I’ll also add those worthwhile sites to the above list of alternates for you to consider.

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