One of the most exciting projects I’ve been involved with this year has been the launch of Vodafone Betavine. Betavine is a collaborative portal for the developer community focusing on mobile and communications apps. Although mobile operators have launched developer sites in the past, Betavine is different because it’s aimed at individual, small company and student developers – the real grass roots. It’s also the first Vodafone group Web site to feature a blog, user-generated content. Betavine is now launching three exciting features: student competitions, APIs and the open source zone. The competition offer students the opportunity to win up to €5000 just for developing and uploading an innovative application in one of four categories (Social Networking & Communications, Information & Entertainment, Office & B2B and Social Impact). Very cool stuff. The API section (which will be previewed at JavaOne next week by Stephen Wolak, the pioneering soul behind the Betavine initiative) will feature, well, APIs. APIs into network functions, such as location and messaging functions, have been something small company developers have been asking about for years. The Betavine APIs will be initially provide SMS messaging, WAP push and access to Betavine itself (to allow for Betavine mashups). Watch the site for the launch and to find out more details. Finally, the open source counterpart to Betavine has now launched: Vodafone Betavine Forge. This is a fully functional open source community site featuring CVS, bug tracking, etc… the whole shebang. Along with the launch of the site are three internal Vodafone open source projects that …

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