Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much money will winners receive?

A: First place will receive $5,000.  Second place will receive $3,000. Third place will receive $2,000.  Winners will be chosen by a Social Actions-selected expert panel of judges from among the Top 20 projects as chosen by the NetSquared Community.

Q: Is prize money awarded for a working application or a good idea, or both?

A: We want to see fully functional apps. We’ll have a separate mini-contest to vote on great ideas, and encourage developers to tap into that for inspiration, but to be eligible for prizes you must submit or link to a fully usable app.

Q: What data sources should Change the Web Challenge apps use?

A: Applicants must take advantage of the Social Actions API. You're also welcome to use other data sources and APIs - from DayLife (News) to AMEE (climate change) to OpenSecrets (politics).  Check out ProgrammableWeb (a Change the Web Challenge media sponsor) for a bonanza of data options.

Q: Do apps have to be open-source?

A: Yes. All submissions to the Change the Web Challenge must include an open-source license to be considered for top prizes.  We recommend the GPL v. 3.  We love that open-source inspires transparency, collaboration, and innovation. What's not to love?

Q: Are there specific kinds of apps you are looking for?

A: We're looking for anything you can dream of. We really want you think creatively about using web applications to help people take action on the websites, blogs and social networks that millions of people visit everyday.  Teams are encouraged to develop applications on any open platform or website (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google Gadgets, Google Apps, WordPress, Drupal, Firefox, Joomla, OpenSocial, etc). Looking for inspiration? Check out Social Actions' Idea Hub. 

Q: What are the judging criteria?

A: Good question. We have a separate page for judging criteria.  In a nutshell: Innovativeness, User Experience & Usability, and Potential for Impact.

Q: Can non-U.S. citizens and organizations participate?

A: Yes, of course!

Q: What will happen to my published project if I do not win the Change the Web Challenge?

A: Your project will remain in the Project Gallery to be eligible for additional upcoming challenges unless you choose to delete the submission. We encourage you to keep your project updated via the edit tab.  We will also add all fully functional submissions to Social Actions' gallery of applications.

Q: How do I view projects submitted to the Change the Web Challenge?

A: Visit the Project Gallery.

Q: Who will judge the submissions?

A: The Top 20 will be selected by votes from the NetSquared Community. The final three winners will be chosen by an expert panel of judges selected by Social Actions.  Winners will be announced on April 28th, 2009, at NTEN's Nonprofit Technology Conference.

Q: Who can I contact for help?

A: Please send your inquiries to us at

Q: Where do I find more information about Social Actions?

A: Visit the Social Actions website.