Creating a Hackathon for Good – Justice League Style

What if you could enlist the best minds in the tech industry to consult for
your nonprofit or startup? What if you could corral the top product designers,
search engine marketing experts and platform gurus from Google, Twitter,
Facebook and Microsoft in one room, describe your marketing challenges and have
them brainstorm areas for improvement?

A few months ago, at the inaugural “social hackathon” (sponsored by Bing and Windows Live Hotmail) we did just that. In the spirit of advancing social good, folks like
Chris Brogan, Beth Kanter Chris Messina, Kathy Sierra, Chelsea Howe and Leah
Buley lent their time to help brainstorm ways to address their
ongoing technology and marketing challenges (things like API strategy, repeat
user engagement, site design, social media marketing, etc.)

Today we are pleased to make available the output of that meeting: an eBook
focused on social good titled The Goodness Engine: Driving Greater Social
Impact in the Digital World
. The best ideas, tactics, and
creative solutions from the day were distilled down into an in-depth analysis by
the folks at Deep Focus and are now available for free to everyone.

Industry competitors checked their egos at the door, rolled up their sleeves,
and gave advice for designing widgets and dynamic ads, urged more storytelling
and “meaning” in the recruitment of donors, and urged the charity to revisit
Facebook advertising using a new approach. They suggested design
approaches to ensure conversion and repeat donations, and tactics for evaluating
how well search keyword buys were performing for

For a deeper look at what was shared with, download the
e-book here.  Over the course of the next week, we will be updating the site with more than a dozen videos including interviews with the social hackathon experts- so check back here to watch.

For those of you going to South by Southwest Interactive, check out the panel
where we will highlight how you too can organize your own social hackathon. The
panel will be held on March 15, 11 am Room 10AB in the Austin Convention Center.
Though not all names are up, the panelists include Scott Porad CTO of, Chris Messina of Google, Hope Frank CMO of Webtrends,
Ian Schafer CEO of Deep Focus, and other hackathon attendees who will share
their experiences. Hope to see you there!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the creation of the hackathon!

  • Bert Bates, O’Reilly Media
  • Leah Buley, Adaptive Path
  • Chris Brogan,
  • Jonathon Colman,
  • Rooly Eliezerov, VP at Gigya
  • Susan Etlinger, Altimeter Group
  • Duane Forrester, Bing (SEO)
  • Hope Frank, CMO of Webtrends
  • Matt Harris, Twitter
  • Chelsea Howe, Social Chocolate
  • Angus Logan, Windows Live
  • Mark McBride, Twitter
  • Beth Kanter, author of The Networked Nonprofit
  • Justin Kistner, Webtrends
  • Chris Messina, Google
  • Kristina Pifer,
  • Scott Porad, CTO, Cheezburger Network
  • Paul Ray, Bing
  • David Recordon, Facebook
  • Ian Schafer, CEO, Deep Focus
  • James Senior, Windows Live
  • Andy Smith, author of The Dragonfly Effect
  • Sara Winge,VP,  O’Reilly Radar

Betsy Aoki, Senior Program Manager, Bing


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