Leeds Hack 2011, Or That Was The Hack That Was

LeedsHack 2011 has been and gone, and again was the flurry of excitement and frustration we’ve come to expect from the event. 

@the_hodge, @heathervamp and the rest of the team managed to organise an excellent venue, a world class pic ‘n’ mix and the

world’s largest simultaneous takeaway order – of which 120% arrived and met 80% of the order.

This year we had a range of organised challenges from the sponsors.  Essendex ran a challenge for the most inventive use of their

SMS API, EBuyer asked developers to design and build a game for their winter promotions, CodingFutures ran a challenge for their

payment API and AffiliateNetwork ran a challenge to ask developers to do *anything* with their 4GB data set of merchant products.

This year I turned up with no team and no real idea, just some scribblings I’d made on the Xoom in ThinkingSpace on the way over. 

I was lucky to find Joey and Martyn in a similar situation, so we formed TeamFK and decided to tackle the affiliate challenge.  We

built BzzFinder, an application which searches for social data (buzz)

around a given product and produces a timeline of that data with

affiliate links to buy the products.  The social data includes information from Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and a range of blog sources

including Blogger and Livejournal.

Trials and tribulations happened over the weekend.  Not everything went according to plan.

Unfortunately, our entry failed to impress the judges and we failed to make a mention in the top three, let alone making a bid at the

prize.  All props go to PleasePledge, who made an impressive product and took the prize of an Apple TV each, and £100 of iTunes vouchers.

(

All thanks go to the sponsors: Essendex, Affiliate Window, EBuyer, CodingFutures, JustEat, et al, without who (obviously) the

event could not happen.  Please dig around these people and find out what they do.  The more interest they get from Hack Day attendees,

the more interest they have in sponsoring future events.