The perks to living in a Web 2.0 world is that anyone can enter and sometimes you win. When AltSearchEngines announced an essay contest for this week—seeking suggestions on how the 100 best alternate search engines could collectively up their market share to 7%—I realized how many challenges have come through the pipes recently.
PayPal Facebook Application (August 24, 2007)
The cash-via-web company is trying to cash in on the popularity of the new Facebook development platform by encouraging programmers to come up with an application to insert into that social network. The big prize is $10,000 for the most engaging, innovative and quality app. Entries must fit the Facebook API and use the PayPal platform.
The Storyteller Challenge (September 4, 2007)
MySpace is partnering with the Producer’s Guild of America to compete for a development deal with FOX. According to Variety, this is an attempt to make the best of their summer reality show, “On The Lot.” Contestants are asked to submit a 5-7 minute pilot for a television show. Experts will select a winner in January.
Spock (October 31, 2007)
The big money prize is offered by the new people search engine. Spock’s main mission is to be able to gather information across the web and produce accurate searches for people. The problem is that many of these people have the same name (i.e. Is Michael Jackson the King of Pop or a pro football player?), so Spock is offering $50,000 to the best solution for the problem of disambiguation. Individuals or teams can submit code, a 3-page description, executables, and the test results.
The SPARC Discovery Awards (December 2, 2007)
Think information exchange is cool? Write and produce a short video presentation by December 2, 2007 illustrating what you see as the value of sharing information. If your 2-minute piece is effective enough, not only will it help bring down barriers to the free exchange of information, but you could also get a grand and a statuette.