If you came to Austin Tech Happy Hour last Thursday, you may have been able to catch a sneak peak of something pretty cool as part of Technology Spotlight. Whurley was showing the concept for OpenAustin.org in advance of its official launch today.
You may remember some of the discussion surrounding the City of Austin giving a contract worth between $700K – $1.5M to a web developer on California for the creation of the city’s new website. Given that Austin is full of people who are talented in the ways of the interweb, why would this need to go to California?
OpenAustin.org would use crowdsourcing, open source, local talent, agile development methods, and displaced web workers to build the city’s website. It wouldn’t be the stagnant Web 1.0 style of most government websites, but a growing, living, community-based web portal. Brewster McCracken was also at happy hour, and I see that he is a member of the Facebook group. Tacit endorsement? We’re not really sure.
Stacey Higginbotham, who is a writer for GigaOm was at Austin Tech Happy Hour. She probably had no idea she was about to get the scoop on a great idea, and at 7:45am the next day created a blog posting about OpenAustin. Lyn over at GeekAustin also had a blog posting on Sunday.