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The Missing Manuals




The Second Coming of the Mac OS X Innovators Contest

by Derrick Story
05/08/2003

The second Mac OS X Innovators contest launches on May 8, 2003. Generally speaking, the rules are the same with one notable exception: we now have an International category for participants who reside outside the U.S.

Burning Issue from First Contest

Before I get into the details of this current contest, I want to recap the events from the first one. If you've been following this story, you know that we're committed to running this event in the open, letting people comment on the process along the way.

The first contest got off to a smooth start except for one issue: only U.S. residents could compete. As you know from our recent Mac DevCenter survey, a significant number of our readers reside outside the U.S.--roughly one third. So based on reader feedback, I published an article in March stating that we weren't crazy about the restriction either, and that I would see what I could do.

Based on our research, the sticking point seems to be the prizes. So, we're going to try an International category without the prizes and see how it goes. Prizes are one thing, recognition is another. All winners, regardless of which category they triumph in, will be recognized equally.

Speaking of Recognition...

We have two excellent winners from the first event to celebrate. You should be happy for two reasons. First, both Brent Simmons (first place for NetNewsWire) and Robb Beal (second place for Spring) were impressive representatives for the Mac DevCenter community at the awards presentation, and at the reception held at the ETech conference in April. I think they showed all the developers in the audience how much talent and class resides in the Mac developer community. And at the reception, in the Expo hall, and within the Rendezvous Lounge, I think that ADC made a few favorable impressions too.

The second reason to celebrate is because they can't compete in this contest. You have them out of the way as we start the second round.

You'll be hearing more from Brent and Robb as we publish their interviews on the Mac Innovators site in the coming weeks. I'm also going to ask them about participating in an interactive event or two so you can ask your questions directly.

So, Now on to the Second Contest

If you've refined your original entry, keep polishing and enter it again. There were a number of strong contenders that not only have a good chance of winning this time around, but even if they don't, might make the final Honorable Mention list that will be announced at the award ceremony for the third and final contest at our Mac OS X Conference in October.

The deadline for entries is Monday, June 16, 2003 at 5 pm PST. Originally we were going to close on the preceeding Friday, but it just didn't feel right to have a conest deadline on Friday the 13th. How encouraging is that?! As a result you get a couple extra days.

The winning entries will be announced at the Open Source Convention in Portland, Oregon this coming July. It's our biggest event, and a good place to show your stuff.

A Tip to Help You Compete

As you look at your entry, don't just think about the product you've produced, but also revisit the language you used to describe it. Those descriptions are very important as the judges go through the entries in the initial rounds of review. In the end, it's the software that determines who will win. But a thoughtful, informative description will really help your cause.

As always... good luck!

Contest Links

Derrick Story is the author of The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers, The Digital Photography Companion, and Digital Photography Hacks, and coauthor of iPhoto: The Missing Manual, with David Pogue. You can follow him on Twitter or visit www.thedigitalstory.com.


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