Two More Weeks for Mashup Competition — And A Challenge

The Skype Mashup competition is heating up with entries arriving at Antoine’s desk daily. You can check out the most up-to-date entries here.

But to turn to the full spirit of the MashUp competition. Personally I do not know nor have never met Thomas Howe, an independent consultant and VoIP expert, who writes a blog, The Thomas Howe Log, that I follow daily, based on a recommendation by long time acquaintance Alec Saunders, author of the Voice 2.0 Manifesto.And it’s over thirty years since I last wrote a computer program (can anybody say FORTRAN?). So while I might have an overview about making mashups, I cannot say I understand all the details. But I do know that mashups are changing the development world in a big way.

Thomas wrote a post yesterday that exemplifies the spirit of the mashup competition, API of the Week: DBpedia API.

It’s not in any way a telephony API, and that’s my point. A large number of innovative applications that use telephony will include APIs that have NOTHING to do with telephony. The DBPedia API is an effort to put a Web Services API on top of the Internet’s encylopedia.

…Essentially, it allows you to access all of Wikipedia’s 1.6 million articles from your application, whatever that application might be.

Read the post but he articulates the essence of the MashUp competition when he says:

The twenty-something-don’t-know-or-care-about-SS7 engineer will sit down and design their version of the hot-or-not site one day, and use a whole bunch of crazy APIs to put together the application. Then, they will go have a beer, come back, and say "You know, it would be really cool if you could just call the person you want to hook up with. Is there an API for that?" They won’t even consider for a minute the words "termination", "LATA" or "CALEA". They’re just writing an application. They need an API for some function, and it will take a few minutes to integrate it into their application. And, there are many, many more of these guys than all the telecom engineers that have ever, and will ever, exist.

Can we see an entry that mashes up Skype with Wikipedia? Don’t know but I thought I’d throw it out as a challenge. As Thomas concludes: "Go check it out; let your imagination run." Just over two weeks left to the August 31, 2007 deadline.

In a subsequent post, Thomas announces his partnership with Programmable Web, a key mashup resource often referenced by Skype personnel.

Tags: Skype Mashup, Skype, Thomas Howe, DBpedia API, Wikipedia, Thomas Howe Log

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About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.
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