Advice for Communities: Lessons in Engaging Developers panel, with:
- Andrew Hyder, Code for America
- Aaron Deacon, KC Digital Drive
- Bradley Holt, Civic Cloud
- Lindsey Frost Cleary, Gigabit Community Fund at Mozilla
How are you doing outreach and gigabit evangelism in your community?
Asking what are your problems and how can we use a Gig to solve them?
Code for America; Gigabit advocacy: we identified an app for our community.
Code for America’s National Day of Civic Hacking around June 1. There’s likely a CfA brigade in your City.
We hosted CfA, now Mozilla Gigabit Community, now a connected model hybrid. Many organizations in Kansas City is building a locus, bring disciplines together. Billion Bits: started as hackathon, realization shared that there’s a developer gap for gigabit networks. They’re building for current environment. One Million Cups (Kauffman) community builder.
It’s difficult to mandate across schools, but there are a few like one in a school or one in a library), trying to work with those who are interested. We work with other hive learning communities.
Lots of start-up activities, how do they fit in with Hive and others?
Lindsey: others are interested in supporting each other. CfA has been incredible in connecting with others, organizing.
We’re smallest CfA Brigade, everyone is a civic hacker, all skillsets welcome.
Recruiting support from political and outside areas? Mayor’s office toured, got it. Secrets to get them in? We focus on where we can get traction. We have a network of about 60 people, perhaps 80-100 people have participated. That sounds about average. We want that across the nation. Hackathons on community-building purpose, not by technology. Open Oakland meets every Tuesday in City Hall, making decisions on local policy, contrast with Chicago, 50 people every day a week to build apps.
If someone here is interested, find a local brigade, but what if they don’t find one? At a Google event, Code for Mountain View was being born. We’ll officially give support to groups. Many of important civic apps are data- and database based. If you offer a meet-up, they will come (usually).
Existing developer groups is a good place for recruitment. How do you interface with them? Ecosystem gaps: people focus on what they know. We’re working now on inventory of user groups, different calendars. When we have an event, there’s not a good way to access them all. What are their needs from community perspective, others that don’t interface with community at all–research needed to get a better understanding, build cross-group lists.
Leadership councils? There’s not really councils or locus, needs to be one. Sometimes we need to be the leaders, it’s a lot of work (surveys, research, community management tasks, etc.). It’s the people with specific interests that need support to help them move the energy forward.
Community economic development planning? There is a need for more systematic approach. Bring stakeholders to the table. It’s tough to convince people, new program developments for recruiting people to the community.
What role does the University play, and what needs? Burlington: the local universities do offer support. Universities can offer space–that’s one of the challenges. Lots of potential in universities, student groups for example need to be student run but they fall off with turnover. Computer science: a lot of our work is based on CS but students aren’t always thinking about gigabit environments. Sector expertise is also helpful, especially in leadership roles.