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almost 10 years ago

Submission & video tips

The submission deadline for Apps for Working Government is June 19, 2013. It's not too late to get started — check out the Quick-Start Guide and start putting together your submission today! Remember, both new and existing civic apps are eligible, so feel free to enter more than one. $5,000 in prizes await.

If you've already started working on a submission, here are some tips to help you make sure your entry is eligbile and well presented:

Submission tips

  1. Show and tell — in your description and video, demonstrate how your app works. Consider adding a one-sentence description of the purpose of the app to your description. i.e. Why do people need this app? What's the idea behind it?
  2. Ask others to test your prototype. Ask friends/family members to test your app so that you can fix any kinks.
  3. Save your submission as a draft today. Even if you're still in the process of coding your app, we encourage you to start filling out the Enter an Application page now so that you don't feel rushed on deadline day. Choose the "Save as Draft" option, and come back to it later.

How to make a great submisssion video

Aside from your app itself, your submission video is one of the most important pieces of your submission. In fact, it’s often one of the first things that judges and voters view. Make a great first impression by following these tips on what to include:

  1. What's your elevator pitch? Explain what your software does and why it’s awesome in the first few seconds. You can get into the details of what it does and how it works later on in the video, but treat the opening seconds of your video as you would a movie trailer or TV ad: pique your audience’s interest.
  2. Include a step-by-step demo — demonstrate your app's key functionality and features, and give clear instructions on how to install your app. While audio is not required, narration or text bubbles can help judges and voters understand and appreciate your technology.
  3. Keep it simple. As per the official rules, your video shouldn't be longer than five minutes. In the words of Leonardo da Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
  4. Don't wait until the last minute to upload your video. Keep in mind that the time it takes to upload/process a video on YouTube or Vimeo varies greatly depending on the format of your original video, file size, upload traffic, Internet connection speed, and could take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours or more.
  5. Get organized. Write out a script of what you’ll say/show in your video, and be sure to keep in mind all of the above!

Don't know much about making videos? Check out tips on how to craft the perfect video from an earlier update.


Didn't find what you were looking for in Frequently Answered Questions? We're here to help! Email with "Apps for Working Gov" in the subject line, and we'll respond as soon as we can.

Spread the word

Follow @ChallengePost on Twitter, join the conversation with #Gov20 or #OpenGov, and help spread the word to other civic-minded software developers and policy enthusiasts!