A Hack for Europe!


Right then. This is going to be quite a big deal so pay attention! A few months ago you’ll remember Yahoo! put together a Hack Day on their campus in Sunnyvale and invited several hundred designers, developers and engineers to come and crash the place. People camped in the grounds overnight, had access to a whole range of speakers and technical experts from Yahoo!, Flickr and Upcoming, and used the time to build a whole range of bloody fascinating things including a handbag that posted pictures to Flickr and a ybox. You’ll also remember the live entertainment, the piles of pizza, the donuts in the morning, the bleary-eyed pioneers and the heady stench of unwashed technologists on the Saturday evening.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I think we can do better than that. So it is with great pleasure that I’m going to direct you all to hackday.org and encourage you to sign up for the first Hack Day to be held in Europe. And this time it’s not only a Yahoo! event, because it’s a partnership with BBC Backstage. And it’s not at a campus, it’s at London’s bloody Alexandra Palace! On June 16th and 17th! Bring a kite!

Everything else remains the same. It’s a two day event, starting first thing on Saturday morning and running through to Sunday evening. We’ll have a whole bunch of speakers from Flickr, Yahoo! and the BBC to start us off. We’ll have foodmostly flatto meet the specialised needs of our guests. There may be booze. I’m not telling. If you want, you can stay awake all night or crash out in a corner in a sleeping bag. The only requirement or restriction (except for the legal ones, which you should probably read) is that you come to the event and try and build something, ideally using some of the stuff that the organisations hosting the event have to offer. Did I mention it was free?

You can build robots if you’d like, or things involving televisions or tagging or photos or smart dust. There will be prizes for the best stuff made. And judges! And probably a limited number of free Flickr badges! And yes, there will probably be a band. And no, it probably won’t be Beck.

Even with space for hundreds of creative h4X0rs, an event this awesome will get oversubscribed, so I’m afraid not everyone who applies will get a ticket. And in order to makes sure that the people who actually make things get to come, I think there’s going to be a process where we weed out obsessive business networkers. So be patient once you’ve appliedwe’ll let you know as soon as we can if you’re invited or not. If you want to improve your chances, stick a couple of links to stuff you’ve made into the ‘Special Requirements’ field of the sign-up form. People who build get priority.

Anyway, that’s your lot. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this event and how great it is to be a small part of the incredible group of people from both organisations who are helping to make it a reality. I think it’s going to be really awesome and I’ve wanted to talk about it for a long time. Hope to see you there! Sign-up now!