Buudu is a project inspired by the creative member of the team Mr. Sorgho Lamoussa who needed a way to connect with people while traveling by locating nearby meet-ups within the airport's proximity to engage himself while waiting for check-ins. He said "...during my travel to California for F8 I noticed a lot of lonely people on transit who needed some form of social interaction and a healthy way of finding one", I (Anitche Chisom) understood this need because as a former member of Devcircle Lagos it was difficult for me to connect with DevCircle Ouagadougou when all along it was literally happening in my backyard so, a few conversations and a Hackaton (opportunity to secure the funding) later we began working on Buudu.
Along the road, we realized the scope of the project was limited so we decided to make it more diverse so that it covers more gatherings or meet-ups like sensitization campaigns, political rallies, and entertainment concerts in a way that enables us to categorize them under one term...Events. However the unprecedented Covid-19 epidemic opened up our eyes to another opportunity we missed to cover which was including virtual conferencing in the agenda, this very particular feature sets Buudu aside from other pre-existing projects that may share similarities with it...trust me, we did the research.
What it does
There are two kinds of users on Buudu, the Organizers and the Guests. Guest Users
To a guest, the application offers an easy way to book a seat/get a ticket to an event, track events using their coordinate as a filter to prioritize the order in which these events are displayed on their devices. And because the location is strictly authors by the application's admin and not randomly inputted by the public, every detail from physical address to coordinate is provided to enable the most efficient way of getting to its location. Organizers
For users in the category, Buudu offers a very easy way to:
track guests, issues tickets, check-in tickets and keep the guests updated on any Need to Know information concerning the event.
How I built it
Challenges I ran into
The most challenging aspect was putting together a team of people who are experts in their fields and are willing to contribute their skills and resources to the project with nothing to look forward to but hope in the success of the application.
The second was the Covid-19 outbreak, as fun as it may be to stay connected via Zoom, messenger or Whatsapp, the truth is nothing can replace the feeling of physically coming together in a room and spend all day brainstorming. This also made it difficult to find more people who may be able to help us with the project because of the mandatory lockdown by the government.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Considering the lack of skilled experts and social distancing, we managed to accomplish a lot in a very short period of time, am very proud of the level of determination and effort that was put into the project by the team.
What I learned
Working with Mr. Sorgho Lamoussa opened me up to a world of bots that I've never really explored. I now see how this could be implemented to improve visibility and also tap into the vast community of Facebook to draw more inspiration.
What's next for Buudu connecting people
Buudu still has a long a way to go before RC and a lot is still going to be done like to improve it like: UI enhancement and testing, hopefully, before the next DevCircle Ouagadougou meetup we hope to seize the opportunity for a beta test, by then we should have a native application for IOS and Android phones/tablets to further extend the functionalities of the application like barcode scanning, push notifications and a more precise guest tracking to enable a smart communication between guests and organizers, and when we get to a release candidate phase, publish a public API for developers to integrate a quick "Attend Event" button on their application (only for free ticket events).
Suggestions for Facebook
I think it would be a good idea to have "addons" or "extensions" that would allow Page admins to subscribe to services they already use to modify their bot menu. With this, we could create plugins to enable other pages to quickly integrate the "Attend Event" link their page's messenger bot menu after all most pages are either owned by artists or organizations constantly organizing events.