Blogging for America

Posts by Dan Melton

Dan a public-minded, generation-net coder passionate about cities, urban affairs and civic action. Dan’s past projects include Urbata, an urban data mapping tool for mid-sized cities; and the Kansas City DrillDown, a multi-layered urban data mashup of utility, credit and city records that recounts the population and challenges the US Census. A Ruby enthusiast, Dan has contributed to multiple open source projects and spends his off hours diving into USA spending data. Hailing from the midwest, he received his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science, his masters in Public Administration and doctorate in Public Affairs and Economics from the Henry Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Thank You CfA!

I’m stepping out of Code for America at the end of the year. It’s time for some new leadership to continue building the CfA network effect. It’s been a little over a year and half since I got involved in… Continue reading

311: An Example of What’s Right with Government


I spent the day meeting government officials who staff and manage 311 services in the city of Chicago. This is a great example of what’s right in government service delivery in local governments. 

A Google Summer of Code: Civic Developer Tools

Last fall, Luigi Montanez and I were sitting in the auditorium at the International Open Data Conference brainstorming about ways to get developers more interested in civic coding.  He had just completed a whirlwind tour of ruby meetups, conferences and… Continue reading

Scaling Our Movement

This week, we select finalists for 2012. Over 550 applications came in for just 26 spots in next year’s class.  For me, the response is such a mix of excitement, humility, hopefulness, a little bit of daunting and frankly, a… Continue reading

ShortStack: City and County Subdomains

I’ve been working lately on a labs product called ShortStack (code). The idea behind it is simple. Can we aggregate information about a city’s technology stack?  For instance, if we know a city website, can we scrape it for data… Continue reading

Fellows Take Top Prize at Work 2.0


On Sunday, Joel Mahoney and Talin Salway competed and won in the Work 2.0 challenge hosted by API teams from Cotweet, Yammer, Podio, Jexy, Cohuman, and Mashery. Their concept HubBuds is a mashup of the Github and Yammer APIs.  It… Continue reading

Diving Into Cities: 440+ interviews

During the month of February, our fellows literally hit the streets interviewing block watch captains, neighborhood leaders, mayors, IT staff, stakeholders, city department heads, community organization leaders and developers. Over 28 days, 20 fellows interviewed 440 people in 279 interview sessions, which equated to about 10 a day.

CfA Training: Selling to the Government

As part of our continued push to understand city governments, we invited Charles Blanchet, VP of Sales at Granicus to present the geek’s guide to selling to government. Founded nearly 10 years ago, Granicus enables web streaming and related transparency… Continue reading

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