03/09/2015 10:32 EDT | Updated 05/09/2015 05:59 EDT

#HackingCBCMTL: What is a hackathon?

Most of us have heard of a "hackathon" before, but not many people know what it actually is.

The word "hacker" might conjure the image of a person who goes into your computer and steals your personal information.

But hacking can also be for good.

A hackathon is a collaborative event where dozens of people with both technical and non-technical expertise get together and find creative solutions to various problems, using technology.

CBC Montreal is teaming up with International Startup Festival, Notman House and Open North to host its first ever community hackathon. Taking place from March 13 to 15 at Maison Radio-Canada, the hackathon will bring people together with the goal of making us more open, accessible and interactive.

What will happen at #HackingCBCMTL?

Over the course of the weekend, developers, designers and engaged media consumers will come and work on their ideas with our journalists at CBC Montreal.

The weekend will start on Friday evening with idea pitches and team formation. The rest of the weekend will be spent hacking away, using whatever tools they choose, to help bring their idea to life.

To help them out, we will be providing data for them to work with — information about stories we’ve covered, our presence on social media, and open data from the city, province and country.

CBC Montreal journalists will also be on hand to demystify the news process and act as mentors.

On Sunday afternoon, the teams will present their prototypes to a panel of judges. The team with the winning idea will win a grand prize.

What is the goal?

The goal of our hackathon is to make CBC Montreal moreopen, accessible and interactive.

The winning group will be the group that creates a product that will help us serve the public better.

Do you have an idea that we should pitch to the participants of the hackathon?

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