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Podbop nets big prize at MashupCamp

At MashupCamp, one of the youngest attendees on hand walked away with the big prize. Photos: Crowning the top mashup

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--After two days of demonstrations at MashupCamp here, the prize for the best merger of application programming interfaces went to one of the simplest projects on display.

According to a vote by MashupCamp attendees, the best mashup was a project called Podbop, which tells people the bands that are playing in their cities and which offers free, legal MP3s of most of them.

mashup winner

Befitting the democratic, nontraditional and altogether nascent nature of the event, which concluded Tuesday, Podbop's co-creator Taylor McKnight, was, at 22, among the youngest in attendance.

The term mashup refers to hybrid software that combines content from more than one source. Attendees voted for their favorite mashups by giving their choice a wooden nickel they had received upon checking in. The team with the most wooden nickels at the end was judged the winner.

Podbop, which received 28 votes, beat out its closest competitor,, which mashes up Chicago crime statistics with Google Maps by nine votes.

Other top vote-getters included FlySpy, which gives users a graphical view of the cheapest time to buy airplane tickets, and TrainCheck, which allows users to text message a code signifying which train station they will be arriving at soon and then receive a message indicating when the next few trains will be leaving. The service currently works only with the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit system and the Washington, D.C., metro system.

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Video: Big names collaborate at the 'unconference'
David Berlind, a MashupCamp organizer and ZDNet editor, shows us the ins and outs of mashups from the floor of this year's "unconference for the uncomputer."

While Monday's first day at the Computer History Museum here was largely about discussion sessions and networking, Tuesday was mostly about "speedgeeking," a sort of musical-chairs version of mashup demonstrations. Small groups of participants would get a demo for about five minutes and then move on to the next mashup developer.

This went on for several hours, interrupted only by lunch. The idea was that this method gave attendees the best chance to see as many of the 28 mashups on display as possible.

At 3 p.m., conference co-organizer David Berlind (Berlind is executive editor of business technology for ZDNet, which is owned by CNET parent company CNET Networks) called everyone into the museum's auditorium, where each developer was called on to announce how many wooden nickels they had received. When all was said and done, Podbop had won and Sun President and Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Schwartz came onstage and awarded McKnight the conference's first prize, a Sun Niagara server. developer Adrian Holovaty, meanwhile, took home a new Apple Computer iMac for his second-place finish.