The Heroku & IndexTank “Build A Search-Based Webapp” Holiday Challenge
Recently-minted Ruby webapp hosting gods Heroku and real-time "search as a service" provider IndexTank have teamed up to present the Heroku + IndexTank Application Contest. Prizes include an 11.6" MacBook Air, a Lilliput Mini USB monitor, and an Electronic Rock Guitar shirt. It's open to US developers only (boo!) and entries are due by January 6, 2011.
IndexTank is one of Heroku's new add-on partners providing search-as-a-service to folks running apps on the Heroku platform. Essentially, it's a giant "search in a box" service you can push data into and query in real-time. They worry about providing a search service just like Heroku worries about keeping your app running. They seem a little pricey to me but this is the sort of service any serious site can't afford to compromise on.
The aim of the contest is to build a Ruby webapp that's hosted on Heroku and uses IndexTank's search service in an interesting way. To do this you get access to IndexTank's $300/mo premium service for free for the duration of the contest (you can add it in Heroku now) and Heroku's basic service is already free to use. IndexTank provides a IndexTank for Ruby tutorial as well as various ideas of what you could build but the contest is quite freeform. The rules are all here.
The judges of the contest are: Diego Basch, founder of IndexTank; James Lindenbaum, co-founder of Heroku; Michael Dearing, an angel investor; Othman Laraki, director of search at Twitter; and me, Peter Cooper, the Ruby Inside guy.