Gnomedex Photo by Scott Beale/ Laughing Squid
Well, it meant a lot of Excel spreadsheets (hey, we are Microsofties!) and a lot of off-hours surfing but we’ve finally come up with the 5 finalists that will be judged at Gnomedex this week for the final chapter of the Will Code for Green contest. Even if you aren’t among the top five, please know we appreciated and reviewed your efforts.
In no particular order
Barring any last-minute eligibility problems, the worst that can happen to any of these submissions is that it wins $3,000, and the best of course is that it takes its place as top of its category for $10,000 as a top Ecology or Economy application using Bing. Only the Gnomedex attendees can affect the fate of the submissions now, and they will be the first to know (announced on the last day of Gnomedex) who the top two winners are.
Even knowing from other developer contests that the last-minute rush can be substantial, we were still surprised to receive more than 40 submissions that had to be validated and evaluated. Roughly a third of these were disqualified. Some of the disqualified entries were people openly advertising their business via the contest site, or folks who just didn’t get what the theme or rules of the contest were.
If we couldn’t verify your application had called the Bing API all summer, well, you were also deemed out of the running. (I mean, even if no one visits your web site, you still gotta test the application right?!) A few applications that were otherwise interesting made the mistake of requiring personal information from the user to get at the functionality.
A few that didn’t win but we wanted to note…
Findfresh.us , a local produce-finding Web site to help you keep healthy and buying local as well as a volunteering opportunity site Improving the Global Economy One Life at a Time caught our eye. One judge liked Cheapafoods.com , which gets special mention for that highly unnerving personage on the home page.
Green Rhino and www.Gogogreenrangers.com represented interesting cross-application mashups in the same vein as www.bingtweets.com (sorry, that last one’s actually Bing’s own, but felt constrained to mention it).
A wacky one was Theemploymentrate.com, which measures how many people in you zip code ARE employed. It seemed novel until we realized using it might actually make the unemployed feel worse. Great graphics though.
We wanted to give a shout out to some university types that submitted, including The IT Job guide, while not a finalist, and the recipe results of Just Blend IT who had a strong following among the Bing foodies..
We also want to thank some folks in the community who spread the word about the contest for us and/or gave us feedback:
Coders – they provided some great examples for folks at http://www.programmableweb.com
Personal finance bloggers at these sites – http://thesimpledollar.com, www.fivecentnickel.com, http://www.doughroller.net/, http://www.moolanomy.com, http://www.wisebread.com, http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/ and http://www.thedigeratilife.com .
On to Gnomedex!
Betsy Aoki, Bing Program Manager