Today, Yahoo! is making its SearchMonkey developer platform publicly available and is kicking things off with a launch party and a developer challenge. As we noted a few weeks ago when SearchMonkey launched in private beta, Yahoo! is encouraging the use of microformats and semantic web standards by providing an infrastructure that developers can use to build applications (using the structured data from web sites). Specifically, developers can create two types of "enhanced listings" for web sites. Generally, searchers will have to opt-in to the enhanced listings for a particular site to see them in the search results.
If you’re going to be in the Sunnyvale area tonight, RSVP for the launch party, which includes demos and"substantial amounts of food and beer". If you want to take part in the developer challenge, submit your SearchMonkey application by June 14th. Prizes will be awarded for Best Enhanced Result, Best Infobar, Most Innovative Use of Structured Data, Best Data Service, and Grand Prize (best overall categories).