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Oct. 13, 2011 10:00 am

Hacks/Hackers Philly launches, will host first meetup to connect journalists, technologists

Hacks/Hackers, the grassroots national chapter-based organization that brings together journalists and technologists, now has a Philadelphia group. Hacks/Hackers Philly, organized by Public School Notebook web editor Erika Owens and Azavea GIS analyst Dana Bauer, will host its first meetup next Tues., Oct. 18 6 p.m. at the Municipal Services Building. RSVP here. “Anyone with an […]

Hacks/Hackers, the grassroots national chapter-based organization that brings together journalists and technologists, now has a Philadelphia group.

Hacks/Hackers Philly, organized by Public School Notebook web editor Erika Owens and Azavea GIS analyst Dana Bauer, will host its first meetup next Tues., Oct. 18 6 p.m. at the Municipal Services Building. RSVP here.

“Anyone with an interest in technology and/or journalism should attend, in particular people with ideas, questions, enthusiasm, and persistence,” said Owens. “We’re thinking the first meetup will be a chance for people to get to know each other and learn about the hacks/hackers concept. We want to see what types of things people in Philly are interested in. Do they want to build projects? Do they want to skill share? Both? Something else?”

Owens said a goal of the group is to unite the missions of good journalism and civic coding to better unite the communities of Philadelphia. A future goal of the Hacks/Hackers here could be to host a hackathon driven by these issues, perhaps in the spirit of OpenDataPhilly.org, and following similar hackathons organized by other chapters of the group.

Hacks/Hackers first meetup:

When: Tues.., Oct 18, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

Where: Municipal Services Building, 1417 JFK Blvd., Center City

RSVP: On Meetup here

Price: FREE, pizza to be served and a bar visit to follow

“Another goal is for this group to be women-friendly and a welcoming place for under represented groups in both the tech and journalism worlds,” said Owens. “The hope is that since this group is by design a mix of types of people, people who don’t neatly fit into either or any group will feel welcome attending.”

Jeff Friedman, the Manager of Civic Innovation and Participation in the Mayor’s Office, arranged to make several rooms in the city’s Municipal Services Building available to tech groups on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, said Bauer.

The group should not be confused with the recently revived Online News Association chapter, which caters more to journalists though also courts developers and data-heads.

[Full Disclosure: Technically Philly is involved in the local ONA chapter and had discussed in the past with national Hacks/Hackers organizers the idea of bringing the group to Philadelphia. We think it rocks that both of these groups are gaining footing here.]

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Christopher Wink

Christopher Wink is a cofounder and Editorial Director of Technical.ly, the local technology news network. Previously, Wink worked for a homeless advocacy nonprofit and was a freelance reporter for a variety of publications. He writes regularly about news innovation and best business practices on his personal blog here. The bicycle commuter loves cities, urban politics and squabbling about neighborhood boundaries.

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