OpenNews/2011 Archive/meetups

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Throughout the month of May, Mozilla is inviting Hacks/Hackers chapters to run news innovation meetups to brainstorm for our first News Innovation Challenge. You organize. Mozilla buys the beer.

Contact Ben Moskowitz <ben at mozillafoundation dot org> for details.

Jams around the World

How to organize a meetup

Our aim: make a link between Hacks/Hackers chapters and the Knight/Mozilla News Innovation Challenge program and encourage people to enter the MoJo Innovation Challenge, the first step to earning a Knight-Mozilla Fellowship.

How? Organize a meetup of your Hacks/Hackers group that meets this minimum spec:

  • Start with a go-round where folks say:
  • Invite people to brainstorm ideas in response to one or more of the challenge statements Mozilla has released. Eg. 'How can we use open video to tell stories on the web in new ways?' Best to work in small groups, for example a techie paired up with a journo.
  • Ask people to submit the ideas they brainstorm to the challenge website at Bring markers and papers so they can sketch and photograph their concepts.
  • Have participants share back good submissions with the group. Say a word of thanks and discuss "what's next" (upcoming MoJo challenges, next Hacks/Hackers meetup, etc).
  • Ensure your venue has wifi so people can submit their challenge entries.
  • Do the meetup between April 25 and June 5.
  • Use the hashtag #Mojo to track feedback and media. Follow @knightmozilla to stay in touch.

If you are interested in organizing a meetup, contact Michelle Thorne <michelle at mozillafoundation dot org> for details.

We're also considering meetup proposals from groups other than Hacks/Hackers chapters, as long as you think you can bring out a techie news audience. For example, we'd love to work with Barcamps and others on the general template above.

Sample event write up

Knight-Mozilla News Innovation Meetup
May 2, 7pm, MIT MediaLab

Are you a web developer with ideas about how news should work on the web? Or a news junkie with a hankering to hack? If so, join Mozilla, Hacks/Hackers and the MIT Center for Future Civic Media on May 2 for beer, pizza and brainstorming about the future of news online.

Especially for students and young hackers: enter the Knight Mozilla News Innovation Challenge at the meetup, gives you a chance at a paid app development fellowship at the Boston Globe, the BBC and other major news outlets.

For more info on the challenge, check out:


700pm - Beer, pizza and brainstorming kick off

Brainstorm around Mozilla's first news challenge topic: 'How can we use open video to tell stories on the web in new ways?'

730pm - News innovation talks and demos

Your host, Hacks/Hackers (City) Chapter will talk about the Knight Mozilla News Innovation Challenge. Guest Speaker (Name) will demo an open video tool and Guest Speaker (Name) will present about common obstacles facing journalists using video.

800pm - Napkin-sketch-athaon (plus more beer)

Sketch out your brainstorm ideas. Enter them in the Knight Mozilla News Innovation Challenge on the spot. We'll have paper and markers on hand.


MIT Media Lab
6th Floor
Building E14
75 Amherst Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Organized by:

Hacks/Hackers Boston
MIT Media Lab Center for Future Civic Media


Need a fun way to break the ice and get hacks and hackers tag-teaming? Try this bingo game (hat tip, Jenny 8. Lee!):

  • Give everyone a card.
  • Let them walk around trying to finish it. (It can be leisurely over cocktail or fast. 30minutes-1hr however you want)
  • Everyone who completes a bingo gets to be submitted to a random drawing. Offer a gift card or some mre beers.