Yahoo! sponsored an event called “Hack Day” this weekend. Approximately 500 developers showed up and created fifty-four prototypes in a twenty-four hour period. has the demos here and here. The winner was called Blogging in Motion.

Yahoo! even brought in Beck to entertain the crowd on Friday night. (To be honest, I had never heard of Beck—why, I wondered, would Yahoo! bring in the CEO of a beer company to sing?)

Hack Day was well conceived and executed. The only thing that I found lacking was syrup in the soda fountains. :-) No one appreciates good marketing more than I do, and other companies could learn a lot from this event because it garnered:

  • Press coverage including television reports (ABC, CBS).

  • Blog coverage. (It cost me $140 to go to HackDay because my kids and their friends played at a nearby Laser Quest while I went to the event. But I did get a free t-shirt with the underwhelming Hack Day logo.)

  • Talent—perhaps some engineers to hire.

  • Products—perhaps some goodies to enhance Yahoo!’s products and services

  • Buzz—perhaps most important of all, the implicit message that Yahoo! is cool and that Google isn’t the only game in town.

To get a feeling for the event, click here to see pictures.