app: Justin Bieber or #IdleNoMore

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In Canada there is currently a political / social / civil movement for indigenous sovereignty and environmental protections called Idle No More, or better known on Twitter as: #IdleNoMore . The movement has picked up a lot of steam both online and offline and has triggered important public discussion about aboriginal rights and the Canadian Government’s responsibilities.

Problem: I find myself shocked by how few of my peers are aware of the movement or the issues, or worse, take a polarizing stance without getting informed. This ignorance can be summarized by a quote from Justin Bieber…

Justin Bieber quote that inspired this app:

“I’m actually part Indian,I think Inuit or something? I’m enough per cent that in Canada I can get free gas.” -Justin Bieber

Solution: Introduce people to the #IdleNoMore discussion in a fun and accessible way, by getting them to guess whether random tweets are about Justin Bieber or IdleNoMore. Using Twitter’s public API is perfect for this project because #IdleNoMore is very active on Twitter and is constantly evolving in terms of messaging, action, and public perception.

Note: This app is meant to educate, entertain, and raise awareness. I’m not trying to offend anyone or trivialize the important issues being discussed by Idle No More and related parties.

How the App Works

1. It pulls 15 of the latest tweets about Justin Bieber and 15 of the latest tweets about #IdleNoMore

2. It strips out any identifying keywords from the tweet.

3. Players have to guess whether a tweet is a Justin Bieber or #IdleNoMore one.

Play Now

Link to app: http://davidrs.com/ex/idleBieber/?src=blg

Lessons Learnt

This project was done in just 2 days and a lot of that time was spent trouble shooting some technical issue. If I were to go back to it and make a couple of key changes to maximize its impact I would fix the following problems:

  1. The tweets are a little too distinct, so it’s not too challenging. I would choose a third option that helps to bridge the gap between IdleNoMore and Justin Bieber.
  2. Let users create their own versions of the game by supplying the two Twitter queries, and the keywords to be blanked out. (Could easily accept these parameters via a GET statement to make sharable links for individual’s version of the game.)

Technologies Used

Download source code from Git Hub: https://github.com/davidrs/idle-or-bieber

JavaScript: For core code.github

jQuery: Pretty animations, fades, and to simplify ajax calls.

Twitter API: Lets you pull tweets from the public feed. Twitter  GET search

PHP & MySQL: For getting and setting values in the highscore database. or something so simple a NoSQL solution might be better, but this is a legacy database I use for all of my highscore enabled apps and just include a uid for each app.

* The app is designed for 480×800 Mobile devices and works with deployment with Phone Gap. *

 

 Download Windows Phone App

 

http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/idlebieber/1d3a29d2-4ca3-468d-8922-9a0a12e537a5