Thursday, April 28, 2011

Crowdsourcing (a la CloudSpokes) is for Real

Our CTO, Glenn Weinstein, tweeted something this morning that really caught my attention. There's a great article on TechCrunch entitled, Accel Invests $35M. in 99designs…After Years of Trying, that outlines 99design's growth and disruptive nature. The company has paid out $20 million to designers over the last three years and some 6.5 million logos have been submitted. The site is paying members more than $1 million per month. This crowdsourcing thing really works!

CloudSpokes is no where near the size of 99designs (yet) but we have a lot of great stuff happening here. The community is growing like a weed (over 5000 members in our first 10 weeks!), we have a stream of great challenges in the works and we are meeting constantly with high-profile companies that want to run and sponsor challenges. The next couple of months is going to be exciting for community members! Stay tuned and send us any ideas that you might have.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Let your Chatter Profile be Free!

The results are in for our Chatter Profile "Jailbreak" challenge and while we had a large number of submissions, I am only going to outline the top three.

When we originally posted the challenge we weren't even sure it was possible to meet the requirements. However, once again the crowd proves how #superfreakinawesome it is! It was amazing how each person took a different approach to the problem.

kyleisidorey took an interesting approach to the challenge. He wrote a Google Chrome extension that overrode the entire Chatter profile page with a custom Visualforce page and controller which gives you the freedom to display whatever you want on the page.

Kenji776 went an interesting route and implemented a Sites Visualforce page and controller that injected JSON content into a user's Chatter profile page. It therefore kept the existing Chatter functionality but allows additional markup to be inserted.

But the winner was fractastical with, once again, a very elegant jQuery approach. Here's the video that he submitted with his code:

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So the final roundup for the challenge is:
  1. Fractastical
  2. Kenji776
  3. kyleisidorey
Congrats to everyone who participated!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Be Cool... Build an iPad App for

All of the "cool kids" are building mobile apps nowadays. You know you want to as well. Admit it. Our iPad Account Checkin App for challenge gives you an excuse to spend a little time playing with the Toolkit for iOS as well as earning a little spending cash at the same time. Just tell your wife or girlfriend, "Honey... I'd love to go shopping with you at Pier 1 Imports... but this is for work."

To help you get started, Quinton Wall has a great tutorial entitled, Getting Started with the Toolkit for iOS with everything you need to look cool as you hang out at the virtual "water cooler".

Quinton is even hosting a webinar, Developing Mobile Apps for the iPhone and iPad, on Wednesday, April 27th if you need more help. Sign up for the webinar today and then start building our simple sample iPad app for some cash!

The challenge ends in a couple of weeks but get started now! Click here to get registered in our iPad Account Checkin App for challenge. It's gonna be rad!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Superfell Builds Super Android Admin App!

We had a couple of submissions for our Android Admin Application challenge but superfell's app really stole the show. It was "super" to say the least. He was able to meet all of the requirements in the challenge plus some additional bells and whistles. The Android app blew the iPhone version away.

Per superfell's docs, "The screen on the left shows details on the user, including their chatter profile photo, if they have one. You can tap any of the links in the contact section to send an email, call, or SMS the user. The action section at the bottom allows you to do a Reset Password operation, toggle the Is Active state, or start the clone user screen."

Check out the video below for a full demo. The challenge paid superfell $1,500 for his efforts. Congrats for a "super" job well done!

Feature Summary

  • OAuth login to both production & sandbox instances. No need to login when returning to the app later.
  • View recently accessed user records or search for users by name, works efficiently even for organizations with thousands of users.
  • View user details including their profile photo (requires Android 2.2+) title, username and contact info.
  • Contact the user via email/phone/SMS.
  • Perform a password reset.
  • Toggle the Active flag of the user.
  • Clone the user into a new user, setting the new usename, name and email address.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Generic Related List Visualforce Component Winner!

Talk about a tight competition! Both knthornt and TehNrd submitted great code for our Generic Related List Visualforce Component challenge. They both met the requirements but in the end TehNrd slightly edged out knthornt to take 1st place. Even though Knthornt's stored his setting in Custom Settings and submitted a video of his entry, TehNrd delivered a un-managed package (makes testing easy!) with a Visualforce component chocked full of features. In the end the features made the difference. TehNrd and knthornt take home $750 and $350, respectively. Congrats to both for great work!

Here is a short video of TehNrd's winning submission.

Knthornt included his own video describing his submission and it turned out to be much better than anything than anything I could have do.

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Click here for full screen of this video

In The News: Appirio turns cloud development wheels with CloudSpokes

CRN - Andrew R Hickey

...CloudSpokes is a "crowdsourcing" development community and marketplace launched by Appirio that pairs companies that need cloud development work with a global community of cloud experts. Appirio coined the term cloudsourcing, or helping customers move fully to the cloud. The community focuses solely on multi-tenant public cloud platforms and applications, and the projects, topics and skills related to public cloud platforms.

The CloudSpokes community offers a competitive and collaborative environment for contests, networking, discussions and jobs in the cloud and acts as a storefront for companies to find and reward talent and for developers to gain recognition while learning new skills from peers...


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

CloudSpokes - Where Do the Winners Go?

We want to thank all of our developer registrants and contest participants that have already gotten involved with CloudSpokes. Your creativity and skills are exactly what we were hoping for when we launched this crowdsourced community for cloud development (see also April Update on CloudSpokes Gives Back).

One of my favorite parts of CloudSpokes is that it helps separate signal from noise in the cloud for developer. For example, if a developer can’t easily and freely get access to all the resources they need, then we can’t run a contest because there is a barrier to participation. The public cloud allows crowdsourcing and collective innovation - try that with your Oracle cloud-in-a-box!

Our hope is CloudSpokes provides a marketplace to connect aspiring cloud developers and enterprises with cloud development needs. While Appirio has guaranteed at least a million dollars in contests, we think that’s just the beginning and expect many SaaS providers and enterprise customers to run contests in the coming months. In fact, we have already run anonymous contests for enterprise customers and Twilio has recently launched its first challenge on CloudSpokes.

The Basic Anatomy of a Contest
When we initially launched CloudSpokes, we received many questions on whether we’d open source the contests results, if Appirio owned the IP or something else. So we wanted to take a moment to walk through how all of that works.

By default the sponsor of a contest agrees to pay the winner(s) and in return receives the results of that work. The winner(s) exchange their work for the winnings - transferring all rights to the sponsor to do with what they’d like. This would allow a sponsor to build parts of their commerical ISV app, businesses or services teams to put out contests for key project requirements, or for either to forward invest in creating reusable components for future work.

If you participate in the contest but do not win, you grant the sponsor the right to use your work, but you retain rights to do whatever you’d like with it as well. In addition, in both cases CloudSpokes is given the right to display your work and use it for educational purposes (but not granted any commercial rights). This is useful as we will often use the winning submission to help other participants in the contest learn and develop their cloud skills.

All of this encourages and allow ISVs and clients to promote real world problems as contests managed through CloudSpokes. The sponsors (like Appirio) or customers are running these contests to aid in their development for a specific engagement or project. In those cases they are using Cloudspokes to help advance their projects or strategy - paying contest winners for the desired work.

These rules apply to all sponsors and participants, there are no special additional rights granted to Appirio as a sponsor. In some cases terms will be different from the above for a specific contest, but if so those will always be clearly spelled out when you register for that contest.

How Does Open Source Fit In ?
One of the drivers for starting CloudSpokes was to share innovation and inspire everyone to become a cloud developer. So for a number of contests the various sponsors have agreed to share the winning submission of the contest with the world.

For example, our Oauth2 with OmniAuth contest for, the Beat Jeff Douglas Firefox Extension, and the Facebook Like Box Visual Force Component are all examples of contests we are open sourcing or donating to their relevant projects. In the future, where it is known in advance, we will clearly identify if a contest will definitely be open sourced (exact license model for this will be dependent on related projects and the sponsor)

We are looking for more open source contest to help drive forward with the cloud - so your ideas are welcome !

Monday, April 18, 2011

Geolocation Toolkit - All Hail King Richard!

We've officially proclaimed richardvanhook the "King of Geolocation" for his Geolocation Toolkit submission! Richardvanhook submitted a regally engineered toolkit for geocoding Account records in using Simplegeo. Richard takes home a knight's ransom of $1000 for his efforts.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 iPhone Admin App Winner

Kyleroche has won our iPhone Admin App challenge which allows admins to reset a user's password from their iPhone.

Kyleroche takes home a cool $2,000 for his efforts. We are currently running the same challenge on the Android platform and there's still time to get involved!

CloudSpokes Video Interview with @Fractastical

Joel talks about how he became a stud developer, shares tips on how to win CloudSpokes contests and discusses his love for tea.

Sorry for the crappy video quality; we had some issues getting the right format into YouTube. Expect much better in the future.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Google Reminder Bot Reminds You To Be #Awesome!

Have you ever forgotten something really important like to deploy some wicked ruby code to production or buy a 10 year wedding anniversary card for your wife (guilty!) or feed your fish? Well then fret no longer my friend! In the spirit of infomercial king Billy Mays, "Friends you need the MyReminderBot from romin."

Our Google Chat Bot Reminder challenge was a huge success and we've awarded money to the top 3 winners:

  1. romin - $1000
  2. vrrathod - $500
  3. sindujaramaraj - $250

Romin's MyReminderBot is very easy to use. You simply invite it to chat in Google Talk (or from any Jabber client) and then tell it to remind you in a specific period of time with at message. For instance, if you want MyReminderBot to remind you in 5 minutes to make a phone call you tell it:

5m Call boss and ask for $1M raise

MyReminderBot will dutifully remind you in 5 minutes to make a quick call to your boss. Romin did a great job with the bot and went beyond the requirements. He added a help command to return the available commands, a list command to return your active reminders, a remove command to delete a specific reminder and an about command. All in all, a very useful tool and I've already started using it.

There's even an accompanying website for the bot so that it's easy for everyone to use:

Monday, April 11, 2011 Org Chart Winner!

We had a total of 9 submissions for our Org Chart challenge that wrapped up late last week. A majority of the submissions were of high quality and we have decided to pay out for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for this challenge. The top three winners are:

  1. kswiggum - $750
  2. dancinllama - $500
  3. varunkaushish - $250

Kswiggum did a great job and I thought everyone might want to take a look at the winning submission.

Friday, April 8, 2011

$15,000 CloudSpokes Animated Promo Video Contest

In addition to your #superfrickinawesome hacker skills, do you also possess the ability to craft visually appealing, enticing and (dare I say) sexy promo videos? If you are up to the challenge, head on over to our Tongal contest where we will be doing just that to promote CloudSpokes!

Our contest is to create a 60-second promotional animation to introduce developers to CloudSpokes, demonstrate the benefits of competing in challenges and show how easy it is to build a profile and compete.

The contest will consist of a "pitch" phase and a "video" phase with the top 3 winners taking home the cash. So invite your friends, family, co-workers or anyone you know that can draw a circle to head on over to our Tongal contest and start pitching away.

Disclaimer: Even though this contest is "all that" we will not be giving away bags of chips.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Extra $2000 Prize for the iPhone Admin Application for!

Our iPhone Admin challenge currently has 26 registered members and we are hoping to see some great entries. As an extra incentive we've increased the prize money from $1,500 to $3,500. This means more money for those second and third place entries.

Hurry up, time is running out on the challenge!

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Detect a CloudSpokes Winner!

Congrats to TehNrd for winning our Network Detection with Javascript challenge! Not only did we pay out $500 to TehNrd but we decided to award prize money to the 2nd (KSwiggum $250), 3rd (joeyqchan $100) and 4th (shanmuk1729 $50) place contestants as well.

The judging was extremely close give the light requirements. Some contestants went the jQuery route while other went POJS. In the end it went to error handling, commenting, style and submission date and time.

Great job to everyone and we look forward to more submissions.