Data Without Borders Update: Momentum

June 24, 2011
Read original post here.
This has been an incredibly exciting week, with tons of you writing in to offer your services, your support, and your skills to launch this project.  I couldn’t be happier with the turnout and I never cease to be amazed by the energy of this community.  On that note, some quick updates:

The Brand New Name For The Site: I asked you all for suggestions for a new name for the project that captured the essence of what we were doing and you resoundingly responded.  While I was in the minority that liked DataCorps, I bow to the wisdom of the group, and Data Without Borders will henceforth be known as…  Data Without Borders!  Almost all of you who wrote in said you really liked the first name and that it conveyed the message succinctly and universally.  While there were some imaginative and interesting names put forth too (Data Busters was a personal favorite), the message “Without Borders” resonated with a lot of you and that’s what’s most important.
Talk Amongst Yourselves – Facebook and Twitter Now Up: You no longer need to suffer through @jakeporway’s tweets about his cats just to get Data Without Borders updates.  You can now Follow Data Without Borders on Facebook or Follow @DataNoBorders on Twitter (Note: Make sure your organization’s name is < 15 characters if you want it to be tweetable.  Lesson learned).
These accounts are more than just nice ways to send updates, however.  A huge number of you who have written to me personally are working on similar or complementary projects and could collaborate together.  There’s so much momentum around this idea that I don’t want to squelch it waiting for a central website or a kickoff event.  While we’re working on getting the website launched and our kickoff events organized, feel free to get to know each other.  Write about what projects you’re working on on Facebook or tweet requests for help to @DataNoBorders or using hashtag #DataWithoutBorders.  The goal of this whole project is to facilitate communication between data people and non-profits, so why not start communicating right now?  We’ll still have an official site that will act as a hub for all the latest news and will allow for easier connections, but for now it would be a shame for this excitement to be squandered for lack of tools.

Data Without Borders Seeking Web Designer: Speaking of the site, we’re looking for help getting one together.  When this was a private project with no outside interest in it I had no problem spending some weekends putting up a site, but now we need to act fast.  Since this initiative is about getting people with tech skills to help non-profits in need, what better inaugural project than to build the Data Without Borders website!  If you or anyone you know is a savvy web designer who would like to help build the site with us, please have them get in touch with me by email or through any of the channels above.  The first iteration can be basic, but we’re envisioning someone with some backend skills down the line.  Whoever steps up will be featured on the site and we will gladly sing your praises to any other prospective employers or help you out in any way we can.

Kickoff Event Status: We’re speaking with a number of groups about sponsoring / organizing hackathons to connect data people with NPOs / NGOs.  A lot of you have expressed interest in taking charge of one of these in your neighborhood and we couldn’t encourage that more.  If you’d like to host a hackathon, start a chapter, or otherwise further the cause, by all means, the more the merrier.  We’re working on forming Data Without Borders as a unified umbrella for all of these events, so if you’re interested in hosting something in your area or getting a group together nearby, by all means get in touch with me and we’ll help you plan and possibly lend resources.

So all-in-all a very exciting couple of days.  Things are moving quickly, so keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook for updates.  Thanks again to everyone for getting involved and to everyone who’s been tweeting / emailing / facebooking this around.  Without that word of mouth none of this would be possible.