Leveraging Twitter at the 2014 TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon

By Jon Bulava
Monday, 15 September 2014

Leading up to its Disrupt SF 2014 conference a week ago, @TechCrunch organized an epic hackathon: #HackDisrupt. Some of our developer advocates were on hand to help the hackers working with the Twitter platform.

After hearing talks about APIs and products from Twitter and the other event sponsors, the hacking — and determination — of the crowd picked up. By Sunday morning, we were delighted to see 24 teams include Twitter in their projects. A few examples:

  • Tweetstep (Github) — Music created from Tweet sentiment
  • Notifly (Github) — Defining automatic actions to trigger at specific engagement levels
  • Bullshweets — Think Balderdash with real celebrate Tweets and user-submitted fakes

While it was difficult to choose a winner from such an eclectic group of entries, we were pleased to bestow the Twitter prize on CalamityInstaAlert, a project by @abhicool and @gunjaagrawal09, developers from Palo Alto and San Jose.

Through the web, CalamityInstaAlert lets users define Twitter activity thresholds for disaster-related hashtags such as #earthquake or #tornado in their hometowns. As minor and major thresholds are met, either the group organizer or the entire group will receive phone calls simultaneously depending on the severity of the situation. The backend is powered by Java and an iOS app is used to subscribe to alerts.

Check out the projects mentioned here and all others that featured Twitter at the #HackDisrupt ChallengePost site. And be sure to browse through some of the GitHub repositories and see how easy it is to build on top of the Twitter platform.

Thanks again to the great team at TechCrunch and all of the participants. We look forward to seeing you next time.