Creative Commons photo by paul (dex). Click to see the original.

HackDays -- the gatherings that bring together Canada's brightest geeks to build projects in a single day -- kicks off 2012 with a session in Toronto on Saturday, February 12th. This one's an interesting one, as it's a part of the extended Social Media Week, the global multi-city conference taking place from February 13th through 17th. Here's a quick explanation of what Social Media Week, and this year's theme, Empowering Change Through Collaboration, are all about:

In keeping with the idea behind Social Media Week and HackDays' spirit of building stuff with readily-available APIs, the theme of this Toronto HackDay is "Apps for Good". Take the APIs -- including Shopify's ecommerce API -- to build applications that can change the world around us for the better. You'll have a day to do it, and the best apps, as determined by a panel of judges, will be awarded prizes (the prizes are usually pretty sweet: we've handed out MacBook Airs and iPads to the winners).

Shopify will be there! More specifically, I'll be there, representing Shopify, along with some other Shopifolks, to help run the event, help participants with the Shopify API and generally provide moral support to everyone there. We'll also be sponsoring the event and providing a prize for the best use of our API.

If you're looking to take on a hacking challenge and put your skills to the test, meet your fellow geeks and build an app for the greater good, HackDays Toronto is for you!

[ This article also appears in Global Nerdy. ]