Mix and Mash contest aims to encourage original ideas

Mashups and remixes called for in new competition

Digital NZ and a slew of partners and sponsors have launched a “Mix and Mash” competition for remixing data and creating mashups.

The aim is to encourage original ideas in the information and entertainment space, drawing on data that is already available; to encourage a culture that, in Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig’s words, is “permissive of efforts to improve upon, change, integrate, or otherwise remix” works that have already been developed.

Six categories for mashups (combining several sources of information in a new way) and five for remixes (reinterpreting a single information source) were presented at a function last Wednesday, which doubled as a Webstock mini-conference, a second curtain-raiser for the main Webstock conference next year.

Winning mashups in each category get a $2000 cash prize, and winning remix entrants get a MinoHD Flip video camera; some categories carry an extra prize, such as a limited-edition print-run of the poster and inclusion of the cartoon in the New Zealand cartoon archive.

There are general categories in both mashup and remix, where anything (though it must be acceptable in terms of copyright, Neale emphasises) can be entered. These entries, together with category-specific entries, go forward for a $10,000 supreme mashup award (sponsored by InternetNZ), a $5000 outstanding mashup award (sponsored by Microsoft) and a supreme remix award from Creative Commons – a Macbook Pro notebook computer and a MinoHD Flip.

There are also $1000 awards from Google and Microsoft for best use of their respective cloud computing services and for a mashup by someone new to the craft ($1000) and a remix by a school student (MinoHD Flip). These last two are sponsored by DigitalNZ.

Closing date for entries is November 30. Winners will be announced on December 10.

Main speakers at the launch event were Pamela Fox from Google Australia, with advice on tools for creating mashups, and multimedia producer Mike Hodgson (of music outfit Pitch Black) who presented on the history and current practice of mashups.

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