One of the new aspects of this year’s Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW 2007) was, appropriately enough, the Innovation Competition. The aims of the innovation competition were to provide an opportunity for workshop participants (and the wider community) to have an opportunity to experiment with lightweight development activities. The key criteria on which submissions were judged were (a) being user-focussed, (b) being lightweight and (c) being ‘cool’. Although many of the submissions were examples of ‘mashups’ it should be noted that the competition did not actually require submissions to be based on software development – real world innovations (a song-and-dance routine, perhaps) could have been submitted.

The best submissions were selected by Jeff Barr, Amazon, Scott Wilson, CETIS and Stephen Emmott, LSE – with the audience deciding who the winner was. The audience selected (by an overwhelming majority) Sebastian Rahtz, Oxford University Computing Service, as the winner of the competition for his Alternative course discovery using calendars and maps. This entry allows people who want to attend Oxford University continuing education and computing service courses to find what they want using Google calendar or Google Maps (illustrated) as well as the usual methods.

Winning Entry to IWMW 2007 Innovation Competition

In second place was Michael Nolan, Edge Hill University who submitted three entries, with the Hi from Edge Hill and How To Find Us submissions being particularly appreciated by the judges.

The Community Focus Mashup submission by my colleague Paul Walk and the Mashed Museum Directory by Mike Ellis were also felt to have noteworthy features by the judges.

All four of these submissions have been awarded Amazon gift vouchers (and many thanks to Jeff Barr and Amazon for donating the prizes for the competition).

The evaluation forms for the IWMW 2007 event confirm the success of the Innovation Competition, as can be seen from the following comments:

Innovation competition – great idea. Would be good to also showcase 1-innovative thing from University websites each year. Let’s take a look at what we’re all doing. Can we get speakers from Flickr, Facebook, Google? Inspire us!!!

Innovation competition – good idea but wish I had more time to do stuff!

Innovation comp great idea

Innovation comp worked very well, a serious but firm look at technology

And if anybody would like to watch the summary of the final session at IWMW 2007 in which a summary of the submissions was given, then a video recording of the session is available.