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Blog Posts by Clay Johnson

Announcing Apps for Communities Deadline Extended

by Clay Johnson, Partner, Big Window Labs
August 19, 2011 - 04:44 PM

We are thrilled to have already received over 35 entries to the Apps for Communities contest, but because we've just recently confirmed our impressive slate of judges, the Knight Foundation and the FCC wanted to give everyone a few extra weeks.  The results of this contest can have an enormously powerful impact on local communities across the country and we could not be happier that so many participants are interested in our contest.  As a result, we're extending our deadline until Monday, October 3rd.  

In addition, we are also honored to have the participation of so many distinguished judges:  Marc Andreessen, Mayor Cory Booker, Charles Best, Brad Feld, Jen Pahlka and Tom Lee.  They are looking forward to judging your entries.  This challenge is an effort to drive the great technical skills we have in our country out into our local communities. A particular goal is to build new applications to improve access for people who struggle with accessing information and services online: Seniors, non-English speakers, people who are uncomfortable with technology, and others. This contest seeks to bring the value of broadband to people who are, up until now, less likely to be online.

For those of you who've already submitted apps -- if you'd like to tweak and fine-tune your app and edit your submission, please feel free. Or if you'd like to double your chances of winning, you're welcome to use this extra time to create a second entry.

For those of you looking to enter our contest -- now's your chance to get started.  We've got an extra month on our deadline -- and if you'd like to get your work in front of these impressive judges, improve the way people use data in communities across America, and potentially win up to $60,000 -- now's your chance!

Good luck and thank you.


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Where Innovation Happens

by Clay Johnson, Partner, Big Window Labs
May 10, 2011 - 11:38 AM

In 1932, Justice Louis Brandeis famously quipped that state governments are the "laboratories of democracies." As our population has grown since then our state governments have grown larger, making cities a new and interesting place for governmental innovation innovation. In many cases, the smaller the population, the more open to risk and innovation a government is. That's why Apps for Communities' target is cities, towns, rural and underserved communities.

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Apps for Communities

by Clay Johnson, Partner, Big Window Labs
April 14, 2011 - 10:38 AM

The Knight Foundation and the FCC are putting on a contest called Apps for Communities to improve civic connectivity and services in cities and towns across the United States. The goal is to create apps that use publicly available data to help people in communities across the country – for example, by giving them information on public transportation, health care, or other public services. Similar contests like Washington, DC's "Apps for Democracy" and New York City's "BigApps" have been notable successes. The only problem is that a lot of smaller towns don't have the kinds of communities or the budgets to put contests like these together. Apps for Communities takes location out of the equation-- we're looking for developers to use technology and data to help improve access to services in any community across the country.

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