November is a busy time in the world of developer evangelism. Lots of hackathons. Lots of activity around developer events. Not surprising, yet annoying that I hadn’t been able to attend a single New York Times hackahton in the last two years that I’ve been at Mashery.
The stars were perfectly aligned this year though, when I was in town for Times Open’s annual Hackday. Held on the 15th floor of the stunningly gorgeous Times building in midtown Manhattan this past weekend, it attracted over 80 developers for a day of building cool and innovative apps using a slew of New York Times APIs in addition to the APIs available as part of the Mashery API Network.
Things kicked off at 9:30 with a warm welcome from our wonderfully gracious host Chrys Wu, followed up by API demos from New York Times, Twilio, Bitly, Sunlight Foundation, who to our pleasant surprise use the Mashery’s open sourced verion of I/O Docs to provide their developers an easy and interactive way to explore their APIs. & Mashery. With that out of the way, developers got to what they do best - code!
Arrangements were also made for quick 30 min workshops for each API, should developers want to get a deep dive into a specific API. This is usally a hit or a miss at hackathons, with developers not quite keen to drop coding to attend these sessions. It went surprisingly well here though, with a fair amount of developers showing up in each of Mashery’s deep dive sessions.
Best Mashery hacks
Know Your Representatives - A Windows 8 app that allows you to get more information about legislators using New York Public Library, Sun Foundation APIs. It further uses the Klout API to reflect the topics the legislators are influential in. Awarded the Best App built using Mashery API Network.
WeatherText - Created by someone who was new to the world of coding, “WeatherText” used the Weatherbug & Twilio to send weather updates via text messages.
News Analyser - Read news from New York Times and USATODAY in parallel to each other and analyse them.
New York Times API hacks
- Rightwingify The Times - A hilarious hack around the Times readership demographics.
- VizNews - Heat map of the news using New York Times API. Country views show Timeline of New York Times news for past month and recent articles using Google News API.
- Archives and Articles - Uses New York Times Article search API to give context to New York Public Library archival materials.
- Topic Timeline - Timeline that shows representative NYT stories for a chosen keyword using the Article Search API.
- NYTravelogue - A photographic patchwork of NYT photography.
- The Times over Time - A basic visualization about NYT article titles evolution over time
- Times 4 Teens - A twitter bot that reads the most recent tweets with instagram posts and compares the descriptions to keywords for trending NYT articles. If there is overlap, the bot will reply to the original post with a link to the relevant article in an attempt to educate today’s tweeters/tweens/teens.
- Geomap Loco News - Geographical map, location news.
- NYT Bill Explorer - Show bills related to New York Times articles.