Speedmash and Mashalong
My own contribution was in part a follow on to the APIs session I attended at CETIS08 – a quick demo of how to use Yahoo Pipes and Google spreadsheets as rapid mashing tools. I had intended to script what I was going to do quite carefully, but an extended dinner at Sagar (which I can heartily recommend:-) put paid to that, and the “script” I did put together just got left by the wayside…
However, I’ve started thinking that a proper demo session, lasting one to two hours, with 2-4 hrs playtime to follow, might be a Good Thing to do… (The timings would make for either a half day or full day session, with breaks etc.)
So just to scribble down a few thoughts and neologisms that cropped up last week, here’s what such an event might involve, drawing on cookery programmes to help guide the format:
- a “speedmash” demo, cf. Ready, Steady, Cook “cook against the clock” challenge, or the Get Started video recipes;
- a “hackalong” or “mashalong“, cf. Gordon Ramsey’s Cookalong Live, in which an unfortunate member of the “audience” gets to hackalong in a speedhack; (I can imagine it now – two LCD projectors showing progress on the mirrored hack, and lots of swearing;-)
- a little bit of reassurance that it’s okay to just grab stuff off the shelf, for the sheer convenience of it, and to save yourself the grief of having to do any of the really fiddly bits, cf. Nigella;
Owen’s observation that the flavour of the Mashed Library hackathon was heavily influenced by the “presentations” was well made; and maybe why it’s worth trying to build a programme around pushing a certain small set of tools and APIs, effectively offering “micro-training” in them to start with, and then exploring their potential use in the hands-on sessions, makes sense? It might also mean we could get the tools’n'API providers to offer a bit of sponsorship, e.g. in terms of covering the catering costs?
So, whaddya think? Worth a try in the New Year? If you think it might work, prove your commitment by coming up with a T-shirt design for the event, were it to take place ;-)
PS hmm, all these cookery references remind me of the How Do I Cook? custom search engine. Have you tried searching it yet?
PPS I guess I should also point out the JISC Developer Happiness Days event that is booked for early next year. Have you signed up yet?;-)