AOL Giving Away $100K in Mashup Prizes

Kevin Farnham
May. 23 2008, 02:39AM EDT

Last week AOL announced the winners of their Open AIM contest and awarded prizes totaling $100,000 in the process. Held in conjunction with TopCoder, the nine first place winners received $10,000 each. There were some very interesting entries and we've added three of the winners to our mashup listings: IM Whiteboard, Free2IM Chat Translation, and IM Remote, shown below that lets you share your desktop with a friend via AIM.

And now that the AOL Open AIM contest winners have been announced, developers can turn their attention to a new AOL competition: the Truveo Developer Challenge. In this contest, developers will apply the Truveo Video Search APIs to develop "a cool widget, gadget, mashup or web application." The contest is powered by TopCoder, host of the world's largest community of competitive software developers.

What's Truveo? Truveo is a powerful video search engine that's open to developers through the Truveo Video Search APIs. I wrote about the Truveo APIs in an AOL Developer Network blog post last year. Since that post, the Truveo team has added a new Ruby API to its offerings.

Developers who enter the Truveo Developer Challenge will post their applications on Facebook, MySpace, or their own website or blog -- any place where the applications can be tried out by web users. Competitors will want to entice their friends to try out their application, both for feedback and also because the number of people who use an application is an element in the scoring that determines the contest winners.

The prizes include nine US $10,000 prizes, and 20 US $500 prizes. Note that the prizes are per application, not per developer. In the Open AIM contest, one developer won US $30,000.

There's strong relationship between the AOL developer community and TopCoder: AOL has made a lot of progress in opening their infrastructure to developers, with at least 14 different APIs, and TopCoder has a unique mix of the technical and social.

Kevin Farnham