Hack Day at Click Workspace


Join us on Saturday, July 26th, from 10:00am to 4:00pm at Click Workspace to work on projects begun at Hack for Western Mass.  

We will be focusing on Culture Map, a mobile site that shows a map of cultural landmarks in Holyoke and Northampton.  It’s based on Ruby on Rails, Foundation CSS, JQuery, AngularJS and Google Maps. If you have experience with any of these technologies, want to learn about them, or if you want to help with data entry or cheer us on, please join us.  

Hack for Western Mass: Follow-Up on 6/28


As promised, Hack for Western Mass will reconvene on Saturday, 6/28. We’ll be in Holyoke again, this time at Brick Coworkshop from 10:30 AM to noon

Why Is This Important?

If you’re still working on your hackathon project (and according to Github, many of you are), share your progress on Saturday. If you’re seeking other ways to pitch in or have ideas for collaborating throughout the year, Saturday’s your chance. Or if you weren’t able to join us for the hackathon but want to see what it was all about, come on by.

Visualizing World Hunger


We broke into the teams—storytelling, data, and design to work on the different parts of the project. We checked in with each other when we had information to share. We decided to show the data in regions instead of by country so that there would be enough information to tell the story without too much information to overwhelm our viewers. Please take a look:

Most Important Hackathon Hack


Having a Youth Hackathon at Hack for Western Mass means that parents can join us for the entire weekend. But more importantly, it will develop a culture of civic hacking and show people that they can make a difference.

Hack for Western Mass – Testify!


Prison Policy group presenting at Hack for Western Mass

If you’re on the fence about coming to Hack for Western Mass, maybe some of the people who joined us last year can nudge you in the right direction. Here’s what they had to say.

Do I Have to be a Programmer?


When I tell people about Hack for Change, a common response is, “That sounds really cool, but I’m not a programmer!”

Think of a hackathon like a movie. Actors are only one part—you also need directors, producers, screenwriters, editors, production designers, costume designers, sound engineers, and art directors. Actors alone cannot make a movie, and programmers alone cannot make a hackathon.

So what are some of the non-technical roles on a hackathon project team?

Hack for Western Mass: by the Numbers


It’s hard to quantify the impact of Hack for Western Mass. All nine challenges presented by community partners produced projects we hope will have a lasting effect. As we saw recently at our follow-up gathering, many of them are still hacking away.

Through our event surveys and other communications, we recieved many wonderful personal testimonials about the hackathon. We’ll continue to share stories and reflections about why the hackathon was successful, and what we can do even better next year.

Hack for Western Mass: What’s Next?


Thank you!
Thank you so much to everyone who made Hack for Western Mass possible. All the good stuff that came out of this weekend would not have been possible without the work you did. It was awesome to see so many people exchanging ideas and skills, building teams and friendships, and working to make our community a better place.

Submit your project for national recognition!
Submit your projects and stories to show the national Hack for Change organizers that Western Mass has world-class civic hackers. Submitting also gives you a chance to be featured on and to score an invitation to the White House in July. Did you get hooked on civic hackingthis weekend? Learn something new? What did you create, and who does it help? Stories and projects don’t have to be perfect or even finished – you can always re-submit by the end of June. But please get them in as soon as possible to make sure we’re on their radar.

Come to the follow-up event on June 26th at 7pm.
This is an opportunity to show off post-hackathon progress. We’ll gather for an informal showcase of the latest and greatest project developments. Location TBA.

We’re Germinating!


It’s only the Tuesday after Hackaton weekend, but the Hilltown Seed Saving Network virtual seed bank shows all signs of living on past the hackathon.

In the two days since it’s been live

National Priorities Project Creates A Better Budget Map


Jason Leveille wrote about his experience at Hack for Western Mass over on the National Priorities Project blog. Over the weekend, he and some teammates brainstormed about the best way for NPP to ditch Flash-based maps and provide better ways of displaying the local impact of federal spending. Jason also notes the he was a first-time civic hacker and is already looking forward to the next time around.

Great Weekend at the Hackathon


When I signed up for Hack for Western Mass, I was not entirely sure if I would be useful here. Despite not being able to do anything more complicated that trial by error html tweaks on preexisting sites, I showed up to do whatever I could to help. I loved the Seed Swap Database challenge and joined up with Rosemary, Beryl, and Lou to work on a virtual seed library for the beautiful Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts.

Noho trees


Our team of six to eight is working on a mobile device-friendly web application that could allow ordinary citizens to suggest a site for a tree planting in Northampton.  Tristan and Hilary have found a way for a smartphone user to send a geo-located pin to our map, Hannah and Buzz are developing the front-end website of, and Rob and Lilly are hammering out content. Development will continue beyond today, but hopefully we’ll have a roughed out website and boiled down “ID a spot for a tree” web application completed today.