planning

Jumpstart your CityCamp planning

Helping other CityCamps with Documentation

There is a lot of momentum for CityCamp. We’re seeing other cities planning CityCamps in Denver, Minneapolis, and Honolulu (and more on the way). I’ve gotten a chance to interact with a few of the planners from some of these camps and give them tips & tricks on what worked well here at CityCamp Raleigh and some gotchas that we ran into.

As I’ve been talking with folks, one of the things they find most valuable is our documentation. Because we open sourced our project plan, sponsorship kit, logistics, and many other assets created along the way, other CityCamps are able to get going faster. They are able to re-purpose the work that we did and apply it to their camp. That’s the power of open source.

To make it easier, here is a list of documents from CityCamp Raleigh that may help other folks starting or even considering putting on a CityCamp: Continue reading

Things I learned from CityCamp

This article first appeared on citycampral.org

By Jonathan Minter / June 28th, 2011 /

I feel very fortunate to have been part of the planning group for CityCamp Raleigh.  Although I work for the City of Raleigh, I was part of the team as an average joe – not an “official city representative” – which allowed me to do things that have nothing to do with my day-to-day job responsibilities.  Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the everyday routine and shop for post-it notes and markers instead.

Here are some things I learned from the weekend and the planning that went into it.

  • I finally learned the value of Twitter.  I have been a Twitter voyeur for some time now and just set up an account a couple months ago.  Watching the real-time conversation from the audience about what was going on throughout the weekend made it a much more immersive experience.
  • I learned that there is a passionate group of citizens who are willing to not just talk about the problems our city faces – but are also willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work solving them.
  • I learned that the quality and availability of government data in standard formats is a foundation to lots of great things – namely an enabler to all those tech-savvy citizens who are willing to use that data to solve problems.
  • I learned that personal interaction between citizens and city employees can help city employees get exposure to the folks that ultimately consume our services.  As IT folks, sometimes we’re supporting the folks who support the folks who are on the front lines serving the citizens.  It always helps to be able to draw a line from where you stand to the people who will eventually be served by your organization.
  • Finally, I got a glimpse of what teamwork the open source way is all about.  There were no formal leaders, job descriptions, or top-down direction – just dedicated people who brought their skills to the project and jumped in wherever they could bring the most value.  We used technology tools based on their goodness of fit and experienced the freedom that comes from internet-based tools that interoperate with one another.

I’m looking forward to more interaction throughout the coming year and then another CityCamp Raleigh 2012!