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(2023-09-12 06:42)

This document explains the basic functions of dribdat, an open source platform for data-driven team collaboration (such as Hackathons). It is a FAQ covering the basic usage of the application. For more background see ABOUT, and for technical details visit the README.

For another version of this document see 📄 Handbook for hackathons powered by Dribdat

User handbook

dribdat works as a website and project board for running exciting, productive events, and allows organizers and participants to collect their project details in one place, displaying the challenges and projects in Web dashboards, and plugging in community tools such as Discourse or Slack - or using the remote API for custom frontends or chatbots to enhance the hackathon.

It incorporates tools and best practices from 10 years of community building and open data activism, such as templates for 🌳beginner 😄intermediate 🏀advanced level challenges, a 7-stage process for data-driven projects, connectivity to popular collaboration platforms, and time-tracking utilities.

As it helps us - we hope it will help you to contribute to open projects, be a better (team) player, and make the most of a blank canvas and creative constraints.


Open the page of an event, log in and create a user Profile. Then you can explore the existing challenges at your event. Keep an eye on the unfilled Roles (🖍️Designer ⚙️Enabler 💡Facilitator etc.) that are shown on the bottom of the project page, if you are not sure which team you should support. You can then leave a Comment or Join the challenge.

Or, if the organisers permit it, you may also be able to submit a New challenge, along with a summary of your idea. This could also be a "fork" of an existing challenge, as sometimes multiple teams would like to work on the same idea. Once you have a project page, you and any of your team members can click the Join button to start to contribute.

A typical dribdat-powered event (this is GLAMhack 2022) has a variety of challenges and projects at different stages, which you can explore in a hexagonal grid:

Leap into action

Use your project page to document what makes your ideas tick. Post a creative 30-second Pitch using plain text or Markdown - there is an editor you can activate which helps you learn this widely used formatting style. You can add links to sound or video clips, embed documents or a slideshow hosted on Speaker Deck and similar. Content from many other supported sites will turn into a live preview.

The picture below explains the various parts of a typical challenge or project page:

Sync your stuff

We do not force or even expect you to use the editor on this platform to work on your content. The README feature allows you to connect documentation from your open source repository on GitHub, an online document at Etherpad, and many other collaboration platforms. See full list of supported remote sync locations.

Use the Sync button on your project page to quickly refresh your changes, Edit your project to add notes or answer questions relevant to the event you are at, and Details to tweak the Contact, Download, Source, Image links and more.

Keep tabs on your progress

By updating your progress using the Post button, you can regularly check in your team's status or any roadblocks. You may see a couple of tips for completing or advancing your project at the top of the screen. You can find this button on the top of any projects you have joined, or on your profile page (which takes you to your latest team).

Keep tabs on everyones progress

Having a readable, regularly updated overview of what your team is working on is your secret weapon in collaborative projects. Release early, release often, and use the power of evaluation for quick feedback to your experiments. Then rock that stage with your results!

The posts are visible in the Log section of your project, in the Dribs global firehose, and on your profile as a Personal Log. As an organizer, this can help you to have an overview of all the teams, and what stage they are at.

Of course you can also cross-post to a variety of social networks to boost your online rep from here!

That's all there is to it, as a user. Read the Organiser's guide if you'd like to see more details about running your own event.