Sure. I’m not involved in organizing the larger hackathons — including the initial one. They are organized by a group of five to seven people now. It’s classic open space technology.
There’s a very predictable pace about this: The registration opens one a predetermined day, and then it usually gets filled out by, I don’t know, six hours after opening. It’s very popular, and of course, it’s free of charge, but if you want you can donate to pay for the food.
Pretty much all the income that people donate ends up going to the food section, so we always have very good food, which is the only thing that people will remember a month after the hackathon anyway. Then at the beginning of the day, around 7:00 AM, people will start preparing the extension cords or connection equipment, batches, stickers, whatever, and travel toward the venue.
Then around nine in the morning, people will arrive at the venue which is Academia Sinica for the larger hackathons, and take some three to seven stickers that they think they fit their particular aspirations and/or skillset.
So the people would take their stickers, for example stickers that says law, and environment, and science, and storytelling, or whatever. Then they put them up on their shoulders — think of this as a tagging system of human resources.
Then after half an hour or so, people would go up to the podium, and then hook up their laptops and take three minutes each doing a pitch, basically saying, "OK, I have this great idea, but I cannot do this alone. This is what I have. I would need two coders, two designers, one storyteller, and one public policy person."
Usually, there’s about 20 such pitches, after which we play musical chairs. As in classic open space technology, people flock to the projects that they like, but if they see an overflow of human resources, then they get redirected.
Then there’s two stickers, one being, "I’m the first time here," and one being, "I’m a veteran." Usually, people with this "deer in a headlight" sticker, meaning that they are the first time here, and get stuck in the middle of the room.
Then people with this "Taiwan black bear" sticker walks toward them, and then saying, "Work with me. Talk to us what you care about. What’s your passion," and so on. They will end up being diverted into a project.
After one full day and sometimes two full days of hacking, there’s, of course, five minutes presentations. After each project presents what they have achieved over the one day or two day hackathon, they will agree on meet-up schedule.
Maybe every two weeks in some physical space, maybe every week, and maybe a combination of slide channels or whatever. Whatever they manage to agree. Then, or course, all of this is live-streamed and stenographed, and real-time transcribed into our chat channels which is our system of record.
People who discovered it after the fact, they can still join those projects. Then we have some low running projects. About half of the projects end up being not getting a lot of things.
By the next hackathon the human resource will be free to work on something new, but at least whatever they have produced, it remains on GitHub, and people can take it and run with it.