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The Missing Manuals

Judging for First Mac Innovators Contest Complete, Award Presentation Scheduled

by Derrick Story

Earlier this week the judging for the first Mac OS X Innovators Contest was completed with all six judges agreeing on the first- and second-place winners. As we approach the Emerging Technology Conference, where the winners will be announced, I have a few updates for you concerning the conclusion of this contest and the beginning of the next.

Meet the Winners

On Tuesday, April 15, I had the pleasure of notifying the first- and second-place winners for the inaugural Innovaters contest. For the moment, they are sworn to secrecy until the official announcement is made on Thursday, April 24, at 11:00 a.m., right before Clay Shirky's keynote address at Etech.

O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference

Join us on Thursday at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference for the awards ceremony and reception for the winners of the first Mac OS X Innovator's Contest.

Too busy to join your colleagues for a four-day conference, but worried about missing out? Day passes are available and there's still plenty of time to register.

After the announcement, we'll post a brief story on the Innovators site that introduces you to the winners and their entries. Later that afternoon there'll be a reception sponsored by Apple Developer Connection in the Rendezvous Lounge. Both winners have accepted invitations to the award presentation and the reception. So, if you're attending the conference, you'll have a chance to meet them, and play with the winning applications on computers set up in the lounge.

Following that, we'll publish interviews that allow the developers to talk about how they came up with their ideas, and then how they went about making them come to life. I hope to have some good technical detail in those interviews that will give you an inside look at the process that led to a successful product.

Then, the Second Contest Begins

The launch date for the second contest has been moved to Thursday, May 8. I have some improvements I want to make to the process, and we'll update the contest language accordingly. When we're ready to go, I'll post an update that highlights the changes.

One of the improvements that I'm hoping for is an International category. It's looking good, and I'm just waiting for final approval before putting those details together.

The winners from the first contest are not eligible to enter the second or third competitions. Rather, they become ambassadors and advisors. But if you didn't win in round one, I encourage you to polish up your application and enter again.

Honorable Mentions

The issue of honorable mentions has come up in the course of online conversation. I think this is a good idea. After studying the 79 qualifying entries in this first contest, and testing the semifinalists and finalists, I can tell you there were lots of excellent entries. So we've decided to add recognition for honorable mentions at the end of the final competition.

So, at the end of the third contest, we'll not only announce the winners for that event, but we'll also announce the honorable mentions for the entire span of Mac Innovators. Based on what I saw in the first round, that list of honorable mentions will probably be 10 to 15 innovators long.

I want to give a good amount of attention to these developers because their work is excellent, and they should be recognized. So even if you don't capture the first or second prize, you are still eligible for the Honorable Mention recognition in October.

Final Thoughts

As we stand here at the first milestone, I still want to take a moment to thank all the developers who have participated in the contest so far, and wish you all good luck in the next competition. Our judges have also been terrific. Each one met his deadlines and participated in the conversations that led up to choosing the top two contestants. It's a big job to review all those entries. It took me more than a week just to make the first pass. These judges really deserve your thanks for their efforts.

Derrick Story is the author of The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers, The Digital Photography Companion, and Digital Photography Hacks, and coauthor of iPhoto: The Missing Manual, with David Pogue. You can follow him on Twitter or visit www.thedigitalstory.com.

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