When we announced the Developer Challenge in January our biggest concern was that not enough developers decide to participate. Instead we had a much tougher problem – how to decide on the winner. In the end we had to pick one and here it is…

The first ever Flattr Developer Challenge was won by Ahmet Topal with fundd.de which is a questions and answers platform that uses Flattr in a clever way to incentivize and reward the highest quality answers. Q&A sites aren’t anything new – Stack Overflow, Quora being the most famous ones but fundd was the first solution to marry it with Flattr’s monetary aspect. This is something that has been a highly requested feature from many Q&A sites.

Why did fundd win?

Here are some comments from the judges:

A mix of Stackexchange and Flattr is a great way of supporting helpfull answers and good questions. The site is still in an early state but it’s already a very usable site. Very curious how this will turn out. The biggest problem will be how to beat Stackexchange. But I can see this becoming a big thing in the Flattr community (maybe using this instead of Stackoverflow for support?) – SkaveRat

Making Flattr about people doing something useful rocks and the implementation looks neat. Tante

A rather obvious and briliant idea of combining a “question site” ala Quora but using Flattr for paying back for answers that are great, they have an obvious value for the one getting an answer. I see this as a huge future market. Linus

It won’t be all plain sailing for fundd, as the judges pointed out there’s a big challenge of getting a critical mass of users to adopt the site – both asking intriguing questions and giving high value answers. The competition is tough but the potential huge. We’re big fans of the nice implementation, clean design, good user interface and quick usability improvements to the site.

Congratulations to Ahmet and hope you put your 1st place prize to good use!

What about the 2nd, 3rd place?

Glad you asked :) Actually the competition for the first place was really close and Open Aid Charity authors Petter Samuelsen and Pierre Gomez should be very proud of their work that won them the 2nd place. Congratulation guys!

If you haven’t checked it out yet then Open Aid Charity mashes up live data of real-time events broadcasts by civilian reporters with the world map, and points out which humanitarian organizations are currently working in the area making it easy to donate to them and help them in their struggle to help people.

It’s adding a totally new visual approach to observing world events, keeping informed about what’s going on and acting right there and then with a tiny click of a button. Whole Flattr team cares very much about charity work around the world and Open Aid Charity shows clever out of the box thinking it approaching important side of charity work – fundraising.

Why didn’t Open Aid Charity win? It really came down to the implementation. While the idea is great and the potential to change the world is huge there were enough things in the way the solution was built that left us wanting. The Flattr buttons on the site redirect to flattr.com, there’s no “read more” links in the news bits, site authors have set up new Things for each charity which brings up trust issue – where is the money really going?

All these issues are quite easily solvable and we hope to see Petter and Pierre continue work on the site and will offer our help as much as possible to make it better.

3rd place goes to Instacast podcatcher that integrated Flattr so it’s possible to flattr the podcast you’re currently listening to, or even automatically flattr all podcasts that you finish.

As podcasting and Flattr have found a very good match with each other then moving it into the player software has potentially a big impact.

Introduction to Instacast from Vemedio on Vimeo.

Tim Pritlove, one of the judges and a popular podcaster himself had this to say:

Implementation itself could make Flattr much more visible but the impact is potentially big anyway. It does anything Falltr API (unfortunately no subscription support yet). Extra points for not only allowing normal flattring of podcasts but also introducing the auto-Flattr mode where every episode gets flattred when listened to.

We can only wish that more podcatcher apps copied what Instacast has done.

What about the others and what’s next?

We’ll pass the feedback from judges on to all developers who participated, hopefully it helps them make their solutions better. I’m happy to say that several developers have shown interest in continuing to develop their solutions and our team is happy to help them. In fact, we’re inviting all participants to join our developer program that we’re just starting up.

Stay tuned to more competitions like this and meanwhile check out all the other cool submissions we got, and if you’re a developer then your might want to hack your own thing on top of our API found here: developers.flattr.net

8 thoughts on “And the Developer Challenge winner is… !

  1. Thanks to Flattr, Judges and the whole Flattr Community!
    I’m so happy, that you selected me as winner :)

    I’ll write something about that!
    Some Ideas and Feedbacks are very use- & helpful! Thank you :)
    I’ll build on fundd!

    Ahmet – Fundd.de

  2. Congratulations Ahmet! It’s a nice thing you’ve build and hopefully it will become a major information exchange platform for the web community. Really nice design by the way!

    Congratulations also to all other competitors who made this a high quality challenge, which eases the pain of the defeat ;)

  3. Congratulations Ahmet!

    Flattr integration is great for a Q&A site, especially since Stackoverflow does not want to do it.

    But you should really make it optional to link your Flattr account to your profile. Otherwise you severely limit the audience for the site (which is essential for a Q&A site). Right now, you cannot do anything without a Flattr account: not ask questions, not answer questions, not vote or comment on anything.

    Also, when linking your Flattr account, do you really need to have all those permissions? I won’t give permission to any site to flattr in my name. That stopped me from creating an account on fundd.

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