Announcing… Sunlight Olympics!

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Inspired by an event our Labs team has held for the last two years (which you can catch up on here and here), this past week, the entire Sunlight staff participated in what we called the “Sunlight Olympics.” For two days, 6 teams of Sunlighters worked together on creative projects inspired from the greater work of open government. What started out an experiment yielded some incredible results.

Guidelines for the Olympics were kept fairly simple: entries were encouraged to promote Sunlight’s accessibility, take on current or pre-existing projects and put a fresh spin on them, and be innovative. And of course — we wanted each of the teams to have fun!

We’ll be highlighting the projects of each team here on the blog this week and, more than likely, you’ll be seeing some of these bloom into larger initiatives.

One of these projects just couldn’t wait. In the spirit of the holiday season, we wanted to make sure you got a chance to check this out (and send to friends — or frenemies) sooner rather than later: Capitol Greetings, a project of Team E-Cheer Each Year. Capitol Greetings is a series of surreal and occasionally touching e-cards generated from real statements our lawmakers have made.

While brainstorming how to put a fresh spin on one of Sunlight’s freshest projects, Capitol Words, Team E-Cheer discovered that Congress has a penchant for some strange seasonal metaphors — strange enough to make for some kickin’ holiday cards. Inspired by someecards and surreal flash-cartoons, the team went to work. Each of the cards was made in (gasp) real life before being photographed and given some post-production love, giving them a unique look. Check out the collection here.

You can get a feel for one of the crowd’s favorite cards below:

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When available, the team also collected the original audio from each of the quotes used. Click on an image on the Capitol Greetings homepage to listen.

Team E-Cheer spanned our Labs, Organizing, Policy, and Reporting departments and the result is a neat example of how developers and non-developers alike can engage creatively with open data.

While you wait for more updates on what the other Olympics teams came up with, be sure to check out our selection of holiday e-cards and send some Yoda-, Santa-, or Hanukka-inspired love.

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