Evergreen Apps Challenge winners announced

Over $75,000 in prizes was awarded in the Evergreen Apps Challenge on October 1 at Seattle City Hall. See the list of winners and try out their apps at http://www.evergreenapps.org/congratulations-to-the-winners-of-the-evergreen-apps-challenge/

Entries were reviewed by a panel of expert judges, including Francis Benjamin, of Washington State University; Adam Gentz, of BizXchange; Mónica Guzmán, of Geekwire; Susannah Malarkey, Executive Director of the Technology Alliance; Manny Medina, CEO of GroupTalent; Jason Preston, co-founder of Dent the Future; and Bill Schrier, Deputy Director of the Center for Digital Government.

Read what judge Monica Guzman had to say in her Seattle Times blog at  http://blogs.seattletimes.com/monica-guzman/2012/10/02/living-voters-guide-whichbus-win-top-honors-in-state-app-contest/#.UGtfv6ts8hM.twitter

The apps were assessed against a range of criteria including innovation, user experience and design, potential impact on Washington State, King County, and/or Seattle residents, visitors and businesses. They also had to be available for public use for the next year.

More than 100 people joined dignataries at the awards event, which  included Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and Washington Governor Chris Gregoire (via video).

Geeks on a Ferry – August 14

Application developers, entrepreneurs, designers and students who are interested  the Evergreen Apps Challenge and government data are invited to take a ferry ride from Seattle to Bremerton and work on their entries.  Geeks on a Ferry will take place August 14 from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. aboard a Washington State Ferry and at the Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton. 

Participants will board the 3 p.m. ferry in Seattle and have the use of free wi-fi onboard, provided by Boingo Wireless, Inc. Once in Bremerton they will spend four-five hours at the Kitsap Conference Center where dinner will be provided along with presentations about building applications with Socrata Open Data and ESRI Maps. Wi-fi will also be available on the return ferry ride.

 The registration fee is $35 for professionals and $15 for students and includes the ferry ride and dinner. Please register at http://evergreenapps.eventbrite.com/.

The Evergreen Apps Challenge is sponsored by Seattle, King County and Washington State and offers more than $75,000 in prize money for development of apps that use government data and stimulate economic development throughout the state. State support comes from the Washington State Broadband Office, which is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is charged with coordination, programming, and outreach on broadband issues including opportunities for funding.  The challenge is open to small businesses and individuals who live, work or study in Washington State. Learn more about the challenge at www.evergreenapps.org.

The Evergreen Apps Challenge closes September 6, 2012, and awards will be presented on October 1 in Seattle.


Facebook malware scam takes hold

A large number of Facebook users were sharing a link to a malware-laden fake CNN news page reporting the United States attacked Iran and Saudi Arabia, security firm Sophos said February 3.

If users who follow the link click to play what purports to be video coverage of the attack, they are prompted to update their Adobe Flash player with a pop-up window that looks like the real thing. Those who accept the prompt unwittingly install malware.

Within 3 hours of the scam’s appearance, more than 60,000 users followed a link to the spoofed CNN page, according to a Sophos senior security adviser.

Facebook removed that link, but others were still being shared. In a statement, Facebook said it was “in the process of cleaning up this spam now, and remediating any affected users.”

From ComputerWorld By Cameron Scott

Source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9223976/Facebook_malware_scam_takes_hold?taxonomyId=17

Twitter releases “10 Most Powerful Tweets of 2010”

Yesterday, Twitter released its list of the ten most powerful tweets of 2010.  The chosen tweets, according to the Twitter Blog, “represent the dynamic ways that people use Twitter in the political world, for disaster relief, and to add commentary to news events, sports and entertainment.”

Some might wonder how Ann Curry, an NBC reporter tweeting a plea to the US Air Force to allow Doctors Without Borders to land their plane in Haiti after the earthquake, instigated any real action.  According to the Smart Blog on Social Media, the story began when Curry saw a tweet from Doctors Without Borders about their frustrating inability to land in Haiti.  This caught her attention, and not only did she tweet about the problem herself, she was able to contact Pentagon officials and solve the problem.

Interestingly, Doctors Without Borders also issued a press release about the problem.  But it was a humble little tweet, less than 140 characters in length, that got the attention of those who actually took action.

Many local governments and agencies, the City of Seattle included, are increasing their use of online social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook.   For example, Mayor McGinn tweets frequently, and King County Metro has an amazingly thorough Twitter feed.  Cities and counties are finding new ways to communicate with citizens — beyond  carefully crafted and vetted press releases — and Twitter remains on the forefront.

Many City of Seattle departments and elected officials have Facebook and Twitter accounts.  Check them out!

New WordPress “Tweet Button” Available!

WordPress has added an “Official Tweet Button” for all WordPress.com blogs!  It’s a really exciting feature that allows your readers to easily tweet a link to your blog post.

To add the button to your blog, go to Appearance > Extras menu and select the Show a Twitter Tweet Button on my posts option.

Read more about the “Tweet Button” on WordPress.com’s blog.

How is your neighborhood/community group integrating tools like Twitter and Facebook with blogs?  Comment below!

Idealware’s Social Media decision guide

Idealware, a nonprofit dedicated to helping nonprofits make smarter decisions, has created a guide to help nonprofits learn how to use social networking tools.  From their website:

Social media can be useful to your organization… but how useful?  For what?  What tangible results are people seeing from it?  Created in partnership with the New Organizing Institute, the Decision Guide walks you through a step-by-step process to decide what social media channels make sense for your organization via a workbook, guide, and the results of more than six months of research.

The Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide includes a self assessment worksheet and tons of helpful information on choosing tools.  Download the guide here.

Also, make sure to check out our own Activities to Tools worksheet, created to help your group match available online tools to your needs and goals.

Twitter to use “Promotional Tweets” as paid advertising.

According to this New York Times article by Claire Cain Miller, Twitter has a plan for “Promoted Tweets,” which will pop up when a user does a keyword search:

The ads will let businesses insert themselves into the stream of real-time conversation on Twitter to ensure their posts do not get buried in the flow.

Starbucks, for instance, often publishes Twitter posts about its promotions, like free pastries. But the messages quickly get lost in the thousands of posts from users who happen to mention meeting at Starbucks.

What does this mean for you, as a Twitter user?  The “Promoted Tweets” seem very similar to Google’s “Sponsored Results,” in that the advertiser-sponsored tweets will appear within the search results.  Eventually, it could mean that you see tweets from companies that you aren’t even following, without searching for keywords.  Twitter seems committed to making sure that the new advertising system doesn’t turn users away:

It is still figuring out how to determine which promoted posts should appear. It could be based on topics they are writing about, geographic location or shared interests of people they follow.

Interested in learning more? Check out Twitter’s video tutorial.  It’s aimed at potential advertisers, but still informative for the average Twitter user.

Sources: NY Times, Twitter Support

Idealware wants to know how you’re using social media.

Idealware, an organization helping nonprofits make smart software decisions, wants to know how you’re using social media.

Do you work or volunteer for a nonprofit organization?  Take a few minutes to fill out their online survey.  Idealware will use your answers to help all nonprofits use social media more effectively!  You can also view the results from their last survey — you’ll likely find helpful suggestions and information.

Curious about what we think?  Check out Tools at a Glance on Seattle Communities Online for some free and low-cost online social networking tools.

And please share your experiences, thoughts, and questions about social media in the comments section below!