|Promotional Photo Hack Day 3|
Codefests Crammed Packed with Surprising Outcomes
These "good" hackers come to a hackathon to take something apart – a set of data, a line of code, or in the case of a recent hackathon in London, random Internet data – and put it back together to perform an entirely new function, possibly making it better, or at least simply surprising themselves and everyone else with an unexpected transformation. Of course, there is no limit to the amount of Internet data to be cannibalized, and any self-respecting hacker will be the first to tell you that.
In the past, hackathons (which date back to 1999) have had true tech themes, like programming language, or enhancing a particular platform such as Android. Large Internet-based companies like Yahoo! have run annual open hack days for years, all with the intention of generating business ideas. The social media giant Facebook celebrates every milestone, event, birthday and full moon it seems with a FB hackathon. Some of these have led to permanent features and site apps.
Hackathons with an Artistic Flair
Of course, this all sure sounds like too much fun, but nonetheless a group of hackers going by the name of 3 Beards recently decided to host a different kind of hackathon, one with purely artistic endeavors in mind.
So the 3 Beards, (of which there are actually four, although only three are actually bearded) gathered their hackathon in London with a tech-meets-art theme. The goal is to see hackers take existing Internet data and present it in a new way, or to make something new. It could be a game, a piece of music, artwork – the rule was that it had to be something that brought the data collected to life.
The results were pretty eye-opening. One hacker transformed social media tweets into wearable jewelry. Then there was The DataDress, a dress woven of pictures culled from social media photos that had been taken and posted online during London Fashion Week. The hack originally started out as the artist intending to show tech attendees a historic link between weaving looms and the computer. As chance fall out, it also made a powerful statement about interweaving our photos, combined with creative applications, can adorn and embellish us our very selves! An opportunity for the IT community to find its own geeky inner creative!
You name it and bright young minds want to hack into it. So, why not photo apps?
The creative possibilities for a hackathon themed on digital photo apps seem completely endless. We can only imagine what the creative juices of seasoned hackers could come up with!
Last May, Mark Zukerberg and his flock from Facebook held a photo hackathon – the company’s 31st , with the concept proving to be pretty fruitful. They've led Facebook engineers and other non-technical employees to forge hackathon born ideas into real products that sometimes actually get put to use. Some of the biggest products born in a Facebook hackathon include Facebook chat and an early version of Timeline.
Official Photo Hack Days are now presented by Aviary, in partnership with Dropbox and sponsored by Facebook, along with a sea of additional supporters like Flickr, FujiFilm , Walgreens, and many others. Events are powered by The Hacker League.
Truly, the day of the photo hackathon has arrived!
What Better Opportunity Than A Photo Hackathon?
Whether they are printed photos that you have scanned into digital ones, or images just snapped with your new iPhone 5, having your photographs in a digital format offers untapped potential when it comes to finding new ways to share and connect. It seems a photo hackathon is one of the most likely venues for someone out there who is just waiting to combine code with innovation to come up with the latest tech-art culture clash to help share and connect with your photos in ways never imagined!
The entrepreneurial spirit and speed in which techies work makes anything possible, it seems. As these "good" hackers collaborate with each other, the mix can sometimes end up to be smattering of artists, photographers, and other creative types mixed in with your tech types who, after all, form the traditional backbone of the hackathon.