Given that I helped establish (probably) the first developer mash-up competition run by a media organization and also my recent foray into the world of widgets, I was particularly interested to read that UK broadcaster Channel 4 is dipping its toe into the water by running a similar competition around it’s Film4 service.
And to continue the ‘toe dipping’ analogy further, I’d have to suggest that it is only a little toe – as a quick review of the ‘Platform 4’ contest site demonstrate.
Create a widget or mashup from two RSS feeds, the winner gets £1500 and two runners up get £250 each. That’s it.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic start and I want to congratulate them for it (I have a feeling my ex-BBC colleague and backstage.bbc.co.uk supporter Matt Lock could be behind this as he’s now at C4). However I really hope they build out Platform 4 into a complete developer resource to help bring innovation into Channel 4.
Finally, if the BBC, Channel 4 and even ITV can get together and build out an IPTV offering, it would be great to think that Beeb and C4 could combine efforts along with other developer networks to help support each other.
Thanks for the shout-out Ben.
Sure, it would be grand if Channel4 had more to throw at this project, in terms of cash, or resources. Sadly, we’re not the BBC in this regard. But it (in my humble opinion),is just a small splash in the water until we can have proper structured open APIs on the site (something we’re working on and wanted to include on the Film4 contest but ran into technical delays).
£1500 is hardly a prize to sniff at for the type of developer we’re aiming this at though. You won’t find many other contests around at the moment that are offering that level of reward for this kind of weekend development. If you’ve got some free time and are that way inclined, I’d ask you to send in a submission of your own 🙂
Finally, it doesn’t have anything to do with Matt Locke, though he’s a great guy and doing excellent work with the education commissioning team.
I’d love to have a chat with you at any stage if you’ve got some recommendations or ideas to make Platform 4 into the developer hangout I’d love it to become!
best, Andy Pipes
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