In a recent episode of Mad Men, Don Draper told his creative team to rework their idea for a commercial because it relied on an endorsement by Joe Namath. “Endorsements are lazy,” Draper told his staff. Although that might be true for commercials, this Code for America video uses its endorsements well.
A number of Chicago videographer industry pros came together in this video to ask coders to stop everything they’re doing and start building apps for the government. For the non-tech savvy, Code for America is like the Peace Corps for people who speak C++ or HTML or something.
The video production is simple, straight forward, even typical. But their request is an interesting one. They’re asking people who probably have lucrative jobs to work for nearly nothing. But what would be bad financially would be good for the society. In a way, the video is telling coders build a name and some intellectual capital before making their inevitable fortune.
These experts are promising notoriety to come out of Code for America work. Although Biz Stone and Mark Zuckerberg are almost household names, can notoriety in this field really be offered? Sure, the work is almost philanthropic. The coding goes to improving communication between citizens and government, assuming governments agree to implement Code for America technology.
I want to see more from politicians and less from website CEOs. Maybe the kings and queens of Silicone Valley are supporting this, but what about mayors, governors, Republicans? And what exactly are the fellows going to do? Don’t just say you want me, tell me what I’ll be working on. Show me an example. Tell us about your inspirations! I hope that’s the next step in the Code for America campaign. If so, this project is sure to be a huge success.
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