Lee earns the coffee spill achievementThis past weekend, a few members of the BigDoor team participated in the Independent Media Mobile Hackathon organized by The Media Consortium and Hacks/Hackers. On the 15th floor in the offices of TechNexus in Chicago, teams of journalists and developers worked feverishly to make their mobile “news + fun + community” ideas come to life.

BigDoor was there to assist with the fun portion of the equation – our own Lee McFadden even earned the prestigious Coffee Spill achievement right at the start. We offered up our gamification API and advice as the teams added a layer of rewards to their product plans. The benefits of our system were clear, and teams were able to quickly add points and achievements to their prototypes to give the judges a taste of rewarded user engagement.

In particular, I wanted to share this feedback from participant Min Maung, CIO of Accolade Systems:

“The BigDoor API initially is intimidating just like any other API, but as we started using it and seeing data it became more apparent and simple to use. The BigDoor system has vast, unlimited capabilities. We found out that we can make it as simple as 123 or make it as complex as we desire. You guys from BigDoor are amazingly friendly and extremely helpful. You can literally build an amazing prototype using BigDoor API within 24 hours. We at Accolade Systems will definitely use it in future projects.”

Thanks Min, and congrats on the amazing prototype your team put together at the event!

And congratulations go out to all the teams who competed in the hackathon. After the final presentations to show off all their hard work, the RiotStartr team took home the trophy with their social mobilization & community events app.

Other cool ideas included:

  • BeatBox: SMS-based community safety network
  • zin.gr: user-gen content app that provides quick comebacks to counter misinformed statements
  • iBreakNews: a news reporting service promoting contributions by citizen journalists
  • I can has newz?: humorous user-gen content app that promotes news interest via parody
  • SchmoozeNewz: a networking application to connect with others with the same interests

We had a blast and thank everyone involved for letting us be a part of the weekend. The feedback and energy of the teams was outstanding and we are extremely appreciative of all their constructive suggestions. We’re looking forward to working with all the participants on new gamification projects and helping solve their user engagement problems.

Level up!