TechFest NW happened a week or so ago. I was unable to make it to much but I did get down there the participate in my first hackathon. Below is the resulting presentation deck and a recap of what my team did. 

 

There are hundreds of words, acronyms and jargon used when people discuss, debate and participate in the work ICANN is doing. It's important for people looking to engage in the community to truly understand what they are reading in order to be part of the conversation and understand the impacts of it's policy making. Glossaries work to a certain extent but three issues immediately come up.  

 

1.

Lot of the discussions are going on outside of ICANN urls so how can we provide a way for the glossary to be accessed no matter where you are.  

 

2.

Definitions can only go so far. Often context is needed to truly understand the meaning and implications of a word or phrase.

 

3. 

ICANN is a global organization and needs to engage folks around the world. Translations for this type of content will fail pretty quickly if not done by a person who is a native speaker and knows the matrial; even then one person's interpretation may not be accurate or could benefit from other voices. 

 

Solution

A plug in that a publisher can activate on their site that highlights any word found in the ICANN glossary. This highlighted word can then be hovered over for a definition and clicked to get further context or to add to the definition.  

Aside from this contextual access to definitions and translations the tool will ask readers to contribute to the definition and translation of the word or phrase. Crowd sourced understanding!

I was really excited by this idea because its usefulness as a product doesn't end with ICANN this could be applied to many different scenarios and garner some amazing results.  I'd love to build this for real if anyone wants to join me :)

 

Thanks to TechFest NW, Neo, Hackathon for Social Good and ICANN Labs and my team (see final slide) it was a great time!

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