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Nordisk Panorama Hackathon

Fresh off the plane from Rome, I went to the Nordisk Panorama in Malmo, Southern Sweden. It started with the Nordic Transmedia meetup – an unconference of different sessions, held at a club/music venue called Inkonst. Friday was the opening night of the Fest, and also the start of the two day Hackathon expertly organised by Cecilie Stranger-Thorsen who’s a transmedia consultant with her company Stranger, well worth checking out.

A different model to last year’s it divided us into seven teams of four to hack two different projects, both coincidentally Finnish. My team was with Per – who has his own blog here –  Andreas and Johanna. We hacked/transformed the Avatar project from Oliver and Terevo – the photo on their site doesn’t really do them justice – and tried to come up with something social media/collaborative art around social issues. The original project – which you can read here – was meant for Finnish public TV station YLE, but after two years of development they passed. And apparently didn’t pay a penny for it. (Which just sounds plain wrong).

Anyway, it was a good experience, I met lots of very different people from the media/arts field across Scandinavia, and there was a bit of collaboration between teams (though not that much). There were cosy dinners on Saturday and Sunday. When it went well I felt very creative…but I still don’t really understand coding.

Main thing I learnt was no matter what the idea – test it! That meant trying it out on whoever was nearby. Their input was always useful. I’m pretty used to only thinking about the user/audience once the project is quite far advanced. Here, you’re forced to think about the user from the beginning. And the projects are more focussed and better for it.