Get Ready for The NetSquared Mashup Challenge!

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Do you have an idea for how a mashup could be a tool for social change?

Do you look at all of the data available online, and imagine ways to combine and connect it to increase awareness about an issue?

Do you see projects like MAPLight.org or chicagocrime.org and think, I've got an idea for something like that, I just need a little help getting it off the ground?

If you answered yes, then join the NetSquared Mashup Challenge! We've created the Challenge because we believe you have great ideas for how data can create insight, and we want to create a platform to facilitate those kinds of mashups being built. Plus, we've got cash prizes to award to the folks who come up with the most innovative mashups for social change.

There are three parts to the Challenge:

1. Applications
Individuals working to create change will share with the NetSquared Community what change they are trying to make, as well as the information/data sources they believe can be married to help create that change. Applications will be available online February 1 and accepted until March 14, 2008.

2. Recruiting and specification-building
The Net2Team will reach out to web-savvy collaborators to help translate your idea into a Mashup Project.

3. Mashup Development
Teams will start building the mashups.

The week of March 17th, similar to last year, the NetSquared Community will vote for what they think are the most innovative mashups that will create the greatest impact.

On March 24 the top 20 mashups will be announced, and the winners will be invited to attend this year's NetSquared Conference (N2Y3) in San Jose, CA May 27-28, 2008. Each of the top 20 mashups will get an allowance for travel (including airfare to and from the Conference, along with a hotel room for two nights).

At the Conference, project teams will have an opportunity to display and discuss their mashups, and attendees will vote to select the top three. All twenty projects at the Conference will receive a share of $100,000 in prize money. The share will be determined by voting at the Conference.

**If applications aren't available till February 1st? What do I do now?**

• Read more about the Challenge at http://www.netsquared.org/n2y3-mashup-challenge.
• Ask the Net2 Team questions about the Challenge during the online Gabbly chats we'll be having next week (we'll announce the dates and times soon).
(GABBLY CHAT UPDATE: http://www.netsquared.org/mashup/chat)
• Post your questions, ideas and suggestions in the comments below, in a blog post on the Net2Blog or your on own blog, or email us at net2@techsoup.org. Please use the tag, "net2mashup", without the quotation marks, to help us find your post.

A final note: We've never hosted a Mashup Challenge before, and when you mash things up, it can get a little messy. We hope you'll have patience with us when there are bumps in the road and we're trying to figure out how to smooth them out.

That said, let's start mashing it up!

Photo Credit: Tender Potato Bread - mash potatoes by kochtopf.