I’ve just posted a really long piece over on the Hack Day blog about the various people from Yahoo and the BBC who are going to be coming to Alexandra Palace in a little over two weeks. Sorting out the speakers has been really surprisingly easy and good fun because everyone’s been so keen to come over and play. Nearly everyone I’ve wanted to come is coming, and will be around not just for their talk on the Saturday morning but for the whole weekend.
Some names and projects really stand out for me. Jonathan Trevor‘s going to be talking about Yahoo! Pipes which is a project that emerged out of the TechDev party of Yahoo that until recently I was working for. I remember Pasha Sadri mentioning this idea he had when Simon and I first joined the place, and it’s been really gratifying to see it come to fruition. Jonathan, who is coming over to speak, has been heavily involved in the whole project from really early on, and did an enormous amount of work on the incredibly stylish engine for manipulating feeds. Having him come over is really cool.
I’m also really excited to have Tristan Ferne and Chris Bowley from BBC Audio & Music Interactive coming. Tristan runs the my old R&D team at the BBC. We overlapped for a while, and one of the results of that time was the Annotatable Audio project which has now become Find Listen Label. He’s going to be talking about ‘Things to make and do’ at those places where media and technology collide. Very excited about that. Looking forward to seeing what they’ve been up to.
Another session that I’m personally really thrilled about is Aaron Straup Cope and Dan Catt—both of whom work with Cal Henderson at Flickr—doing a session on Machine tags. I don’t know that Machine tags have really got the press they deserve, and I was particularly excited to get them coming to talk about them because they’re (as far as I know) totally non-proprietary. It’s really just a concept that Flickr have pushed further than most other organisations. I’m particularly fascinated by it because it’s all about taking the machine-readability of tags and extending it massively, with lightweight and community-generated schemata allowing any object to have an almost infinitely extensible pseudo-database of information attached to it. I’m not explaining it very well. If you want to know more, you should read up on Flickr’s implementation of Machine tags.
Speaking of old-friend and fellow (ex) UK Blogger Cal Henderson, he’s coming to Hack Day as well. He’ll be doing his barn-raising rendition of ‘Why Flickr’s Web Services Rule’ (or something suitably kitten filled). So that can’t help but be awesome. I’m hoping for a few rousing games of Faceball too.
Er. Who else have we got? Obviously backstage.bbc.co.uk‘s main culprits Matt Cashmore and Ian Forrester are going to be performing. We’ve got Christian Heilmann and Nate Koechley talking about YUI, Kent Brewster doing a Yahoo/BBC mash-up in an hour and Bradley Wright talking about Yahoo! Answers APIs. And if that’s not enough for you, if you’re into Geo stuff we’ve got Mirek Grymuza talking about Yahoo! Maps APIs and Mor Naaman from Yahoo! Research Berkeley, who are responsible for such projects as Zonetag and TagMaps.
Oh! Which reminds me. There’s a project that Paul Hammond and Simon Willison and I started working on late last year with Mor and the YRB crew that I’m also hoping we’ll be able to show off at the event. I’m not yet clear on whether we’ll be doing a session on that yet. I guess I’ll see how the next couple of weeks goes.
There’s more news to come about some of the other people coming to the event, but some of that’s in the air at the moment. Hopefully we’ll have more to talk about on Monday or Tuesday next week. Keep watching the Hack Day blog and backstage.bbc.co.uk in the meantime…