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I actually didn’t plan on “announcing” the winners, but I did want to give some credit to some great contributions and my appreciation for those that attempted given such short notice.

Last week I posted a simple quick request for you to be inspired and have some fun with Silverlight and win a chance at a free registration to MIX09.  The deadline has come and gone and here are the winners:

Winner #1: Matthias and Presidential newspaper timeline.  Seriously you have to check this out.  Inspired by the Descry demographics, Matthias used the NYTimes API to gather data about US Presidential candidates and put them on a timeline…each candidate’s representation changing on a timeline which covers 2006-2008.  I really liked this, it was creative.  Great job Matthias!

Matthias infographic

Winner #2: Jason went the Line Rider route (I was hoping someone would!) and created a map using the Las Vegas strip icons like the Paris tower, the MGM Grand lion, and the Stratosphere.  We’re working on figuring how how we can share his map and Bosch cruising down the strip, but here’s a screenshot of part of it:

Line Rider Vegas

Congratulations guys!  I hope to see you at MIX09 and hope you have a great time and continue to be inspired about what you see in Silverlight!

There were also others that heeded the call:

Thanks to you all for participating.  It was fun to see some different ideas from folks on such a short timeframe.  Congrats to Matthias and Jason as well and we’ll see you at MIX09 in Vegas!

If you are in the contest mood, you can also write a game using Silverlight and have a chance at winning $5,000! (sorry, US-only contest – don’t shoot the messenger).

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Did I mention I’m going to MIX?  Will I see you there?  I could imagine that some have tight travel budgets, training budgets shrunk, yada, yada.  I’m telling you…if you are a Microsoft developer in the web and WPF space, you need to be at MIX09.  In an effort to help there are a bunch of ways to reduce some costs…here’s some:

I figured, why can't I have some fun as well?  I asked on Twitter for some suggestions and god a few good ideas.  Here’s my ideas: play a game or draw some pictures.

Option 1 – design a Line Rider map for MIX

One of my favorite Silverlight game implementations that requires some artistic skills is Line Rider.  So here’s the skinny:

Create a Line Rider map for MIX.  The map must include elements of the MIX09 art work (logo or current art) as well as some Las Vegas bling.  You could do a Las Vegas strip scene with some famous landmarks, making Bosch (the Line Rider character) cruise around the New York, New York rollercoaster, up the Paris tower, etc., etc.  Get creative.  Here’s some inspiration: Jagged Peak Adventure.

Post a link to a video of your track as a comment on this blog post prepending the subject with [Line Rider].  I’ll pick the winner Monday, 23 Feb 2009.  This gives you a while to do it, but at the same time plan accordingly for a trip to Vegas if you win :-).  This free pass is ONLY for registration so you still have to get yourself to Las Vegas plus any lodging you’d require.

Option 2 – Visualize Some Data with Silverlight

One of the MIX lab projects is Descry.  This is a project in data visualization.  It isn’t a toolkit that you can automatically apply to any data, but a lab project to take an approach on developing infographics which represent different ways to look at data.  So your task would be to get inspiration from Descry and create a data visualization in Silverlight using public data of some sort.  This could be something depressing like the unemployment rates over time in correlation to Presidential administrations or housing market values across your region.  Or it could be something even more interesting like perhaps the visualization of a Porshce design since the automaker’s inception, something with stock data (not a stock chart), etc.  Whatever.  You define it.  But use real information, nothing made up and name the source of your information!

Post a link to your Silverlight project as a comment on this blog post prepending the subject with [Descry].  I’ll also pick the winner of this one on Monday, 23 Feb 2009 by end of day. 

Option 3 – Create a new preloader

Inspired by similar thoughts that Page wrote recently which I agree on, I’m adding another option.  Create a new default preloader for Silverlight apps.  Use some wicked vectors, create an interesting animation.  Get inspired by other designers.  The goal would be to make it generic enough for anyone to use, but also creative.  That’s only a guide though…get crazy on this one.

Post a link to your running preloader as a comment on this blog post prepending the subject with [Preloader].

For both all of these please be sure to use a REAL email address in the comment form – it isn’t made public but will get to me…I need a way to contact you.  If you have questions, leave them here or ping me on Twitter as well!

Have fun and good luck!