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Yellow Pages targets zombie survivalist market

There’ll be an app for that after competition concludes

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Australia’s Yellow Pages will hand out A$2500 to the developer whose app best assists users to survive a zombie invasion and/or apocalypse … with the aid of the popular business directory.

The reason for the prize is the API that Sensis, publisher of the Yellow Pages in Australia, offers developers who wish to link to dredge data from its directories. Despite being described by Telstra’s immediate-past-CEO Sol Trujillo as superior to Google, Sensis’ revenue has dropped sharply in recent years as advertisers consider other vehicles. Sensis therefore says the rationale for the competition is “an integral part of our commitment to making sure our advertisers are found by more people across a range of new and emerging channels and devices,” which we think translates as “if developers write cool apps with our API, we’ll get more traffic … and handing out a $2500 prize is cheaper than doing it ourselves.”

Entrants need to develop an app that helps users to “survive and thrive during the inevitable zombie apocalypse” and that answers the question “What do you need to know when the dead rise and walk the earth?”

Winners will be judged using five criteria: originality, usability and design, effectiveness, back-story and integration and use of Sensis’ API. Entrants should also “take advantage of the unique functionality and geo-location features” available in Sensis’ products.

Sensis plans more competitions for developers this year and says the zombie theme was chosen to “fire up the creative ‘brain’ juices”. We’ll keep track of the competition to see what it does stir up, or if Sensis is shuffling towards its own grave. ®

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