YesGraph just finished our first hackathon. Hackathons are fun events where you try to build something in a really short time. We had around 30 hours, and even with my high expectations, I was very impressed with what the team was able to produce.
There are a few projects to announce on this blog, starting with Click Share Love.
It’s About Love, Not Ads
Promoting content on Twitter has had a mixed history. Third parties started playing in the space before Twitter locked things down. I always hoped that truly native ads on Twitter would leverage the interest graph that is inherent to asymmetric following. I love lots of stuff, and I’d be willing to help that stuff because I love them so much. Getting paid needn’t be part of the equation.
From a brand perspective, getting out your message is notoriously difficult. Love – Ads + Promotion = Click Share Love. ClickShareLove allows your current fans to help spread your message to their network. It works like this: you ask for support from your fans. They choose how frequently to support, up to daily, weekly, or monthly. Then you can promote a tweet to trigger retweets from all the supporters. That’s it, but structurally, you’re sending a message through your fans to their followers, and this helps grow your fan base.
How about an example? When we published this blog post, we tweeted about it and then promoted those tweets on ClickShareLove. Our message was promoted by 9 supporters, who have thousands of followers. What if you had 1000s of supporters? Go try ClickShareLove today.
Hackathons: A Ton O’ Hacks
Building something that can be launched in a few hours is actually pretty easy: you need to ruthlessly cut corners to get something coherent out. This might mean some thing are done manually. It might mean the design or infrastructure won’t scale. It most certainly means that you cut features until you have something reasonable to build.
A good example here is that there is no background processing in Click Share Love. For a service that needs to pull your recent tweet history and also schedule promotions, this is a horrible engineering design. Why cut it? Because fuck it, we’ll do it live: it’s simpler and already done, so move on. Another example: none of the interactions in the app are asynchronous, meaning each click triggers a page reload. This is horribly unscalable and inefficient, but for such a baby app, it just doesn’t matter.
In contrast, the design of Click Share Love is actually really awesome. If it were just me, it would be unstyled HTML, but because YesGraph’s designer, Guillermo Torres, got involved, we have a beautiful and delightful visual design. I especially love the logo, which really captures the idea of sharing what you love, and it is an unintentional play on the retweet icon.