I've been thinking a lot lately about this whole Web 2.0 thing, especially around the emerging technologies from Microsoft, Adobe and Google (I could mention more, but these have the main primitives for starters).

A few folks committed at WebDU: "Barnesy, when you going to talk more about Microsoft products instead of Adobe's" which is a fair call, and it wasn't lost on me at all.

I have been holding off to be openly honest, as I've busy been brewing an idea and rather then sit there beating the "product war drum", I thought it would be much more effective to put our money where our mouth is so to speak (get my coding fingers dirty).

Time to illustrate "we play well with others", only prove it.

Today, I've began the first phase, the foundation pieces of putting together a community focused project called "Ready Steady Mashup", the points of interest first round is:

  • The general public nominate a Web 2.0 mashup in they tell us what ingredients are required in order to make the pieces tie together, they can be of any technology available online, but the individual ingredients must be available in some way (I.e. don't say "Make AJAX talk to an AS400 mainframe" as clearly we will need to access the AS400 somehow).

  • The code will hopefully (depending on legals consent blah blah) be open and freely available post the mashup (can't promise 100% release but will do breakdowns of the concept at the very least).

  • The idea itself will need to have at least one Microsoft product in the equation, as that's whom will be the major sponsor of it of course.

  • The objective is to get geek's of all types, flavors or what not to contribute in building the mashup, and we will record the overall approach taken via video interviews & podcasts (15 minutes of fame and fortune). The objective for this is to show folks the "how" and the "thought" process behind it, that way we can all learn from it.

  • We have 30 days from nominated mashup's acceptance to completion, if we fail the person(s) whom nominated will receive a prize (I'll need to raid the prize cabinet and check with legal etc, but lets say something like MSDN Subscription, XBOX 360 or something like that). This occurs once a month.

  • The objective is to show how all web based technologies centered around programming languages (e.g: WPF, WPF/e, Flex, PHP, Coldfusion, ASP, JavaScript, XML, SQL, MySQL etc) can be brought into become one mutated mashup while at the same time leveraging existing Web 2.0 strategies online (eg.. Flickr, Twitter, Maps and so on).

  • The ReadySteadyMashup Teams gain points for every time they beat the 30 day deadline, but these points are only half the battle, if the end result is weak or not innovative enough the victory can easily go to the person whom nominated (similar to a TKO in boxing) and prize flows forward (More on what the individuals in the team get out of it later).

I'll post more details as I get them cleared but I've already began work on this and if it bodes well with one and all, its time to put Microsoft's money where its mouth is and show the Web generation that Microsoft can play a strong role in this space, and we don't have to be a "Red Team vs Blue Team" attitude.

Lastly but the most important of all, by doing this hopefully we can raise the bar on product demos in future, so that we don't keep seeing the same old Flickr / Map demos of late as to be honest, over it.

I've already began work on the first mashup which uses WPF and Web 2.0 pieces around the shop. I can't release the code first time round, but it will hopefully provide a nice benchmark going forward.

Gauntlet is thrown, time to up the stakes and I want to hear creative ideas, that involve even Apollo and Microsoft in the same sentence or even Google and Microsoft. Let's be agnostic instead of talking about it.

ReadySteadyMashup.com - We Play well with others.

All are invited! - Leave comments or contact me offline to be apart of it.