The Longest Now


Random Hacks of Kindness — hacking subverted?
Thursday February 03rd 2011, 7:00 pm
Filed under: %a la mod,fly-by-wire,null,Rogue content editor,Uncategorized

RHOK has a great name (if only an OK acronym) and sweet mandate: hacking to save the world. They work with Crisis Commons and other grassroots groups, organizing physical meetings to hack for two days with a competition theme (prizes for the best hacks). Great, right?

But is this a meme whose time has come, that’s been subverted by people who aren’t hackers? How will it change over time? The proof may be in the results, but the corporate firepower lined up behind this project, and the vagueness of how its organizing takes place, make me wonder. From a recent NPR piece on the project:

Patrick Svenburg, a director for Microsoft and a co-founder of Random Hacks of Kindness, says it was a little risky at first.

“We threw all cautions to the wind, and we got a little group of people together in November of 2009 at the first hackathon in Silicon Valley,” he says. “About 100 people showed up. I didn’t get fired; nobody got fired. It was a nice experiment.”

Indeed. More than 20 cities took part in RHOK #2, so let’s hope it continues to thrive.


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