1. Beat a path to Bath

    Bath Digital FestivalThe Bath Digital Festival has kicked off, and mySociety will be hosting, talking, and even judging at several of the events. Once we heard that the theme was to be ‘Digital for Good’, we were in: that phrase neatly encapsulates all that we aim to do, commercially and as a charity.

    We’re always happy to say hello, so come and grab us for a natter. Here’s a quick run-down of where you’ll find us.

    Ignite For:Good

    Tonight we’re hosting the fast-paced Ignite event, which will see 12 speakers racing against the clock to get their message across. Hope you’ve booked your tickets, though, as it’s now sold out.

    We suspect it’s going to be a raucous night with plenty to laugh about… but some real food for thought, too. Kick-off is at 6:15 – don’t be late!

    Bath Hacked

    The weekend of the 1st and 2nd of November will see a hackathon, based around open data and the city. There are some substantial prizes up for grabs, and mySociety’s Ben will be one of the judges.

    So, if you have the skills and some great ideas for how to improve Bath through the careful application of open data, see you there.

    Can digital tools help people become more powerful?

    Come and see Tom Steinberg discuss the impact that civic digital tools can have on ordinary people. This is part of the Inspirations night, when you’ll also be able to hear several others talking on topics as diverse as spyware, Kickstarter, and downloading a home.

    It’s on 4 November and tickets are still available.



  2. Wednesday Meet-up: Richard Pope

    Nibbles by Dan CookWe’re meeting up every Wednesday night at the Mozilla London space. Hope you can join us.

    We mentioned that we’ll be joined this week by Arnaud from Google. We’re delighted to say that Richard Pope will also be there.

    Richard describes his current interests:

    • Location-based design “I have a bee in my bonnet about responsive design just being about moving pixels about, rather than responding to full context. I’m building an api/js library called ‘Habbit’ as an experiment using open street map data”.
    • “I’ve just started to get my head around the Remote storage protocol, so it’d be interesting to hear from anyone else who’s been using that”.

    Note: While these events have, up to now, been limited to coders, we’ve had a lot of interest from non-coders too. So we’ve decided to open them up to one and all. If you’re interested in any aspect of our work, you’re welcome!

    Just add your name to our Lanyrd pages. Then other people with similar interests will know you’ll be there.

    When? Every Wednesday, 6-9pm

    Where? Mozilla London

    Photo by Dan Cook (CC)

  3. Hack night report

    Yay by Daniel CattmySociety Developer Dave reports on last night’s get-together.

    Once again, the Mozilla Space in London was home to our weekly Civic Hack Night yesterday evening.

    It was good and busy, partly because the space was also hosting a meetup in preparation for Mozilla’s upcoming festival, better known as Mozfest.

    Our mySociety hack night attracted friends old and new, including Lewis, whose “organ donor” tattoo has a Pledgebank backstory to it; and Ricardo, who may have been surprised to discover that he’s not the only Chilean we’ve been hanging out with recently (a shout-out to our friends at Ciudadano Inteligente).

    It wasn’t all tattoos and chat though. We did actually get down to some useful work on Alaveteli and FixMyStreet — so thanks to everyone who came and hacked.

    If you fancy coming along one Wednesday night, just add your name to our Lanyrd pages here, or drop us a line.

    There’s no formal agenda: you might just want to talk about your ideas, or investigate how you could use our code / benefit from our APIs. Or maybe you’d like some guidance on how to jump in and fix an issue from one of our codebases. Or something else entirely…. Come along: we’re friendly, and we’re at the Mozilla Space every Wednesday.

    Photo by Daniel Catt (CC)

  4. Wednesday night is hack night

    Mozilla hack night - photo by Dave WhitelandOur first hack night at Mozilla London was a lot of fun.

    We found the space really conducive, with loads going on, but equally, room to sit and work or collaborate.

    Although there’s no obligation to work on mySociety data or tools, it worked out that quite a few people did. Among other things, people were:

    • Setting up a new Alaveteli installation so that changes to page templates could be tested out;
    • Finding the fastest responses received to Freedom of Information requests on WhatDoTheyKnow.com;
    • Looking at FixMyStreet Github tickets;
    • Wire-framing an innovative crowd-funding project.

    Fancy coming along next time? You’d be welcome. Just add your name to one of our upcoming events on Lanyrd.

  5. Wednesday hacknights at Mozilla London

    London Mozilla Workspace
    From the 14th of August onwards, our Wednesday hacknights will be at Mozilla London, in (very) central London.

    Mozilla is well-known as the creator of the Firefox browser, but you may not be aware that Mozilla is also a not-for-profit organisation whose software is open-source – just like mySociety. We’re really pleased to be able to work with a community whose aims and ideals are so closely allied to our own: take a look at their manifesto and you’ll see what we mean.

    Mozilla London is one of the Mozilla Spaces, open working/community spaces around the world.

    We reckon that there’s the opportunity for some really rich cross-fertilisation of ideas here. So – if you’d like some company, some advice, or some people to collaborate with, come along. You don’t have to work on mySociety code (although you are welcome to, and we can give you plenty of help with it). All you need is a laptop and some basic coding knowledge.

    If that sounds good, add your name to our Lanyrd pages, or drop a line to hello@mysociety.org – and we look forward to seeing you.


    Image: Mozilla in Europe

  6. Hacknight report

    hack night - Instagram image by Jen Bramley

    It was great to see everyone at the hacknight on Wednesday. This time, ideas ranged from using the FixMyStreet Platform for reporting of Trading Standards transgressions, to installing a Mzalendo for Greece. We hope that these ideas will flourish, and many others will arise at our future hacknights.

    Talking of which, don’t forget to reserve a place if you’d like to come along. Hacknights are weekly. All the details are here.

  7. Hack nights – your weekly Wednesday civic tech get-together

    Image by HackNY

    Our Wednesday hack nights are fast turning into the place to be – if you’re into civic tech, coding, and chat with friendly people, that is.

    Last night saw some concerted scraping of the Leveson Inquiry hearings, which were then imported onto our work-in-progress SayIt platform. Now if THAT doesn’t sound like fun, we don’t know what to tell you.

    You’d be welcome to join us – every Wednesday night, 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Open Data Institute.

    Numbers are limited, so add your name to one of our Lanyrd pages, or drop us a line.


    Image credit: HackNY (cc).

  8. mySociety Weekly Hack Nights – join in the conversation

    Mountain Rescue Team by BeingFocal
    Thanks to everyone who came to the inaugural mySociety Hack Night – and thanks too to our hosts, the Open Data Institute for such a great space to work in.

    Topics ranged from community-building in post-conflict societies, to mountain rescue in Wales, via an extended front-end for WriteToThem which would put campaigns in context. It really showed what a lot of exciting ideas there are, just waiting for someone to launch into them.

    We’ll be running these nights every Wednesday: we’re currently booking for the following dates, 6:00 -9:00 pm.

    Places are restricted, so drop us a line on hello@mysociety.org if you’d like to be sure of getting in. All you need is a little coding experience and a laptop.

    We’d also like to start a conversation in the comments below, so that like-minded folk can think about hacking together. If you’re looking for people to help you with an idea, or if you see something you like the look of, leave a note below and try to synchronise which nights you’ll be attending.

    Photo by Being Focal (CC)

  9. mySociety hack nights: meet people, eat pizza, change the world

    Winnie Bagoes pizza by Nathanael Boehm

    EDITED TO ADD: Wow, we have reached capacity on this event for the 17th. If you’d like to come, please drop us a line at the address below, and we’ll let you know if a space becomes available. Alternatively, ask to be added to the list for the next week.

    NB, If you have claimed a space, please let us know if you won’t make it, so we can offer your space to someone else.

    Hey you! Yeah, you, the cool one, hacking on civic and democratic tech. Or thinking about it, at least.

    How about dropping in to a mySociety hack night, hosted by the Open Data Institute? It’s a great space, and there’ll be food, drink, and friendly people to talk through your ideas with and actually get those projects on the go.

    No agenda and no talks; it’s just a chance to spend some time showing what you’re working on, swapping ideas and getting advice from other people interested in the fields of civic technology and open data.

    Where? At the Open Data Institute, 65, Clifton Street, London EC2A 4JE. We’re on the third floor. Map

    When? Weekly from Wednesday 17th July, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

    Who? Anyone with a bit of technical knowledge. We’ll be there to chat things through and maybe help with sticky problems.

    Why? Get going on that website or tool you’ve always wanted to build; meet people who are interested in the same stuff as you; oh and did we mention the food?

    If that all sounds good, drop us a line on hello@mysociety.org to let us know you’re coming to be added to the wait list.

    Photo by Nathanael Boehm (CC)

  10. mySociety Developers Event in Cambridge

    mySociey will be holding another of our afternoons of chatting, hacking and drinking tea, this time in sunny Cambridge, on the 30th January.

    We’ll be in CB2 from 1-7PM

    And then after 7 at the Cambridge Blue pub

    Come along. Bring your friends and your questions about the TheyWorkForYou API.

    Please RSVP if you are coming, to help keep track of numbers. And feel free to forward this around friends who you think might be interested in mySociety, if only they could meet the lovely people 🙂