Team Owen hard at work in the import·io Christmas Hackathon
Today we are catching up on the Hackathon news; both team’s Hackthon projects are now complete and a winner has been crowned!
But but before we give you the results, let’s take a quick look back at how we got there:
In team Doug, we spent the first bit of time validating our idea (a news quiz game), getting qualitative and quantitative feedback from meetings with news and gaming experts including the Guardian and Ideonic.
Next, we built the UX/game play and curated our initial question sets via web crawlers we built using import·io. Following that, we built extractors to another 50 news sources to create a ‘live headlines’ round which pulls current headlines to form questions in a range of categories for players to choose from.
Finally, we designed a logo and launched the game onto the Android market along with a web version.
You can now play News Crunch online or download it from Google Play on your mobile device! It’s surprisingly fun – if we do say so ourselves – and a great way to consume news.
Team Owen followed a similar approach of validation, and using feedback from businesses and the public to create an amazingly simple, but powerful News dashboard. They used 60+ sources gathered by import·io to create an initial set of news categories which you can filter and mix to create a customized view of relevant news stories: News Owls. In addition, their innovative word cloud article matching technology, allows them to categorize stories by subject so you don’t get the same story from multiple sources clogging up your feed.
Using some woeful puns to present their project and its ability to get you out of you news reading echo chamber; News Owls emerged as an exciting and new way to track, filter, mix and consume news.
And the Winner is…
Both teams hope to continue developing and refining their ideas, having feature lists and road-maps as long as there arms, however there could only be one winner…
In reality, the real winner here is innovation and learning. Both teams explored news technologies and methods to bring our tech babies to life. Bamford on Team Doug learned how to create a quick and dirty Android App, and Chris from the News Owl squad experimented with Dart.
And the finial winner is you, the users: Using import.io as the underpinnings for the Hackathon has given everyone here a fresh view on what it is like to use the tool in a real life situation. In doing so we have discovered new was to use the tool and added many new features to our development road map, and that can only be a good thing for the tool.
We are now taking a well earned break, and waiting with bated breath to see what the Hack-along teams produce in January. We have ideas submitted from the very pragmatic, to the weird and wonderful.
Next year is going to be super exciting, with many new features in the pipeline and lots of cool ideas about how we can evolve import·io into something that will fundamentally change the web and the way with think about discovering and using data online.
We hope you have a great time whatever you are doing over this Christmas period, and that you find some time to have fun playing with import·io!