Do you work for an organization, campaign, or constituency that could benefit from the access to and utility of a “mashup” of data? (What’s a mashup? A tool that brings together information to help tell a story in a new way, for example, check out which combines data on campaign contributions and legislative votes.) NetSquared has the N2Y3 Mashup Challenge running now as part of this year’s Conference.

Applications are open February 1 – March 14th!

Here is how NetSquared outlines the three parts to the challenge:


Individuals creating change are invited (and enabled) to tell the community what change they are trying to make, as well as the information and data sources they believe can be joined to help illustrate their mission’s point. For example, you might be trying to illustrate the correlation between childhood asthma rates and Superfund sites. Or you might be working on same-sex marriage legislation and are interested in illustrating the companies that provide health care coverage for same-sex partners mixed together with various kinds of family law legislation.

Recruiting and specification-building:

We will reach out to friendly collaborators who spend their days working with Web stuff to help translate your change into a Mashup project.

Mashup Development:

Finally, we’ll set teams off to the races to start building the Mashups.

Here is the outline for dates:


On February 1, the Mashup Project Submission process for the NetSquared Mashup Challenge opens. Nonprofits and other social-change agents will be expressing their visions of how data can be recombined to advance social missions. NetSquared’s team will make sure that everyone gets the appropriate help they need to define their vision in a way that will be accessible and attractive to technical volunteers.


On March 14 at 5 PM, PST, the ability to publish a Project Submission will close.

03/17/08 – 03/21/08:

Voting for the Mashup Project Challenge. Like last year, registered NetSquared users will be able to vote for their favorite Projects.


The top 20 Mashup Projects will be announced on March 24 and the winners will be invited to attend this year’s NetSquared conference in San Jose, CA, scheduled for 5/27 and 5/28. Each of the top 20 projects gets an allowance for travel (including airfare to and from the conference, along with a hotel room for two nights).

05/27/08 & 05/28/08:

At the conference, Project Teams will have an opportunity to display and discuss their Mashups and attendees will vote to select the top three. All 20 projects at the conference will receive a share of $100,000 in prize money. The share will be determined by voting at the conference. Of course, there will be more legalese regarding the prize and its allocation after we open the application process on February 1, 2008.

Submissions have started coming for some terrific ideas. You can check out current applications (keep in mind, comments you make can help those in the application process further refine and improve their plan up to the March 14th deadline!) by visiting the list of projects. If you have thoughts or feedback, send them an email at

Mashup Challenge from NetSquared
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  • Hi Amy,

    I saw that you were writing about the Netsquared Mashup challenge and I wanted to share a little bit about our Mashup Challenge entry: You can read more at

    The question behind the project is this: with peace on the horizon after 20 years of war in northern Uganda, and the big NGOs soon heading off to other war zones, who is going to support community organizations and northern Ugandan civil society as it transitions to peace time?

    By mapping information about ongoing community-led philanthropic partnerships in northern Uganda, helps American citizens aggregate their resources to support post-conflict transformation.

    We hope to facilitate collaboration among American donors and volunteers by providing a digital tool that:

    •maps project locations so you know who’s working where
    •tags information about the specific issues projects and organizations seek to address
    •links tagged and mapped projects to the facebook and LinkedIn profiles of participating donors or volunteers

    If you’re interested in supporting us, please visit and vote for us here:


    Nathaniel Whittemore
    Director, Northwestern University Center for Global Engagement
    globalengagement at gmail