AtaconApp, Facilitating Conference Participation

Over the course of 48 hours, Stephen, Brad, Nick and Jaymes cranked out one of the 180 web applications to hit the Internet thanks to the Rails Rumble. The result of their efforts is AtaconApp, an app to facilitate conference participation.

Starting with a Linode Stack Script written by Brad Grzesiak and Levi Cook, the team aggressively ignored the typical, shiny web 2.0 style and instead went for substance, Bendyworks’ core strength. Heavily using external libraries and services such as Twitter, Google Maps, and Pusher, the guys developed the following features:

  • Real-time twitter stream for a conference’s hashtag
  • Sign in with Twitter OAuth
  • Tweet from the web interface
  • Presentation schedule
  • Auto-saved notes per presentation
  • Attendees can ask questions about a presentation
  • Attendees can vote on others’ questions about presentations
  • Presenters can view vote tallies for each asked question
  • Presenters can poll the audience
  • Attendees and Presenters can view live poll results
  • Separate conference organizer and presenter roles
  • Subdomain for each conference

† – This feature is implemented with WebSockets, allowing real-time browser updates without refreshing. This method is faster than AJAX polling and more scalable than AJAX long-polling.

In addition, they put together fun 500 and 404 pages. In normal usage of the site, however, it doesn’t seem that these pages are ever triggered.

Now that the Rumbling has finished, Bendyworks is spending some of its spare cycles re-developing and re-designing the site. Expect great things in the coming months!