Monday, January 6, 2014

Carrying on great conversations #hashu

Some of the best conversations are usually unplanned and they tend to happen when I surround myself with smart people that I've just met. This usually occurs at a conference or meetups over beverages and/or grub. However I'm terrible at remembering names.

That's where Hashu comes in. One day while pairing with Andre Ortiz he mentioned an approach he took to starting conversations and recalling them at SXSW. He had written a web app that leveraged Twitter and the power of the #hashtag to keep a record of people he met at SXSW. It was a great idea! So we teamed up and put together Hashu!

The Nickel Tour

To use Hashu all you need is a Twitter account and a Twitter client, that's it! Then just follow these 3 quick steps:

1. Use your phone, iPad, laptop, etc etc to open in a browser and follow the prompts to authenticate with Twitter.

2. Send a tweet and mention somebody you found interesting and tag the tweet with #hashu

3. Return to at a later time to view all your tweets tagged with #hashu

3a. Aside from showing you your tweets in a cool tiled format with images and Google maps, it will also show you the profiles of all of the people you have mentioned.

The Technical

Hashu is a Rails 4 app, using Ruby 2 and Mongo. My original intent was to demonstrate modeling for NoSQL and Riak, but given budgetary constraints and that I was using Heroku's free tier for hosting I switched from Riak to Mongo. However I chose to model as I would for Riak and used Braintree's Curator gem so at a later date and time we could easily switch back from Mongo to Riak.

The code is public and can be found on Github. Please don't go stealing our ideas! We're so cool we opened up our code so you could have a peak under the hood :)

The Extra Credit

I'll be attending CodeMash this week and plan on using Hashu throughout the week. Don't be surprised if I #HashU! If you'd like to chat about Hashu, Riak, pair or have a beer at CodeMash just send me a tweet (@msnyder) or look for the guy who looks like me. And for those attending CodeMash, you can also access Hashu at

The Leftovers

This is the first production iteration of this application and Andre and I are working to improve it. We'd like to add in some cool per conference branding, better parsing of tweets, and some other coolness. If you're interested in helping out or have some feedback for us, send us a tweet or leave a comment on the CranialPulse blog.
Enjoy using Hashu!

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