Cybersecurity / Good Works / Year in review

Passion projects galore: No. 7 #dctech trend of 2016

So long and thanks for all the Twitter bots.

@DistrictPic captures a view of the Capital while you sleep (and also at all other times of the day). (Photo via Twitter)

As the year draws to a close we’re looking back at all that has happened in #dctech — this post is part of our 2016 year in review series. See the full list here.

Boy, do we love a good passion project.
D.C. is full of smart creators out there changing the world, but occasionally they take a short break from all that to work on a side project — something a little weird or different or just fun. And we’re pleased to announce that 2016 saw a rush of these passion projects.
In January, Hatch cofounders Amelia Friedman and Param Jaggi took a long weekend off to create a literal, physical card game modeled after Cards Against Humanity and focused on the 2016 election. Whew. Remember how far away the election seemed back then?
And remember, in February, when UX designer Doug Dosberg created Hey Pedro!, a taco-formed Slackbot that some saw as racially insensitive and thus Dosberg chose to re-envision as Hey Taco? That wasn’t the only creative result of the winter’s #Snowzilla blizzard either — nvite CEO Marty Ringlein and team created a community page for #dctech events during that long weekend, too, as a way to ward off cabin fever.
Then there’s Max Leyzerovich, who always seems to be working on another interesting internet art project — in 2016 he created Twitter bots @V2FzaGluZ3Rvbg and @DistrictPic, two very different experiences. In September Leyzerovich created a dashboard version of the @V2FzaGluZ3Rvbg bot to enter into a competition on the site NewHive, and he won.
And don’t forget the NPR-focused projects — the @TuneIntoNews Twitter bot, built by Sarah-Jaine Szekeresh, which pairs articles with Spotify tunes; or Gregor Hochmuth‘s Don’t Play With Your News which allows visitors to rearrange and mess with words and phrases from NPR newscasts.
And though it may have seemed far away at the beginning of the year, election 2016 did eventually roll around. In its aftermath (let’s just say the results were surprising to D.C. residents), local dev Clara Beyer created a website to help you figure out what’s next.
Keep the passion and the creativity flowing in 2017, #dctech. We can’t wait to hear about it.


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