Being busy seems to always come in spurts for me… just when it looks like I’ve got too much to do already, something cool turns up and takes things to whole new level of busy.
That would be this week. SocialDevCamp East, the barcamp-style unconference that I started with some friends last spring is back tomorrow, and that’s certainly required some coordination and planning. That would have been plenty. We have over 200 RSVP’s now (between the Wiki and Facebook) and we expect a truly incredible day of networking and learning. See you tomorrow!
The other big news of the last two weeks has been the TwitterVoteReport project, for which I’ve been acting as defacto CTO since about October 18th. This is a great project, a great cause, and an awesome idea. The data we collect will be an archival quality primary source document for future generations to study the evolution of the election process.
We have five distinct data sources coming in about people’s experience at their polling places: Twitter, Telephone, Direct SMS, and Apps for Android and iPhone. These are all normalized and aggregated into a single database and reviewed by humans for maximum accuracy. The data will then be made available in real time to anyone who wants it — from the media to watchdog groups to mapmakers — to help the world understand and monitor the 2008 US elections.
Putting this project together, with all these diverse inputs, has been a monumental task and a real demonstration of what’s possible when people decide to work together. We had over 600 phone channels donated. We were able to think up, code, and submit an iPhone app in just 3 days. We’ve received press coverage far and wide from sources as diverse as TechCrunch and Fox News. Not bad for a few days’ work.
There’s plenty more to do still (between now and Monday), and I’m busy all day tomorrow at SocialDevCamp. We’ll do a session there on TwitterVoteReport and what we’re up to… we still need more help from people good with maps!
I’ll post more here as things evolve, and a recap next week, but remember, nothing’s impossible when caring people dedicate themselves to a common endeavor.
Meantime, check out: