Inspiration

As busy college students, we don't always have the time to check multiple sources to stay up-to-date on all of the latest news and trends. We saw an opportunity to provide busy people with a quick, convenient, and cool way to check out what's going on today in one simple interface.

What it does

PoundPop uses a number of different APIs to aggregate media from across the Internet. It takes in data from news sources as well as various social media outlets to compile a concise and uniform view of what's popular and newsworthy today. Using a fun and easy personality quiz, we gain a sense for each and every user's media preferences. Using this data, we personalize each PoundPop page to the user. From the PoundPop homepage, our users will have the option of "Popping In" to posts that interest them. Simply click the "Pop In" button and be taken to the original post.

How we built it

PoundPop was crafted using the powerful Ruby on Rails framework. Using this framework, our team worked throughout the night to design a user interface and data processing algorithm for this project. On one side of our application, the PoundPop algorithm contacts four different APIs to retrieve social and news data. It unifies this fragmented data and sends it to the front end. Our frond end development team utilized the Bootstrap framework to create a beautiful, mobile-friendly, clean interface for our users to view.

APIs Used: YouTube, Vine, Twitter, New York Times

Challenges we ran into

Since our team uses a wide range of equipment including operating systems, computers, and programming environments, we often ran into conflicts with software incompatibility and version control discrepancies. However, we quickly figured out ways to work around these challenges.

Additionally, we ran into DNS problems which prevented us from fully deploying our site to the domain http://www.poundpop.com. However, we were able to deploy to the cloud via an alternate domain.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Our team is extremely proud of the fact that PoundPop utilizes such a high number of APIs to aggregate data. Each of these APIs were very different, and so integration was time consuming and difficult. It is very exciting to see that this integration was able to take place within 24 hours.

What we learned

We learned that it is essential to have a diverse team in which each member brings unique skills to the table. Our team members vary in skills and backgrounds, which helped us to get a wide range of things done. For example, our wonderful project manager Sarah placed tech support calls and developed concepts while our backend developer Zach constructed the server-side applications.

What's next for PoundPop

We intend to develop this idea further since it seems to fix a common problem in our lives. PoundPop has the potential to reduce our time spent on social media sites. It gives us the ability to stay up-to-date without spending countless hours scrolling in each separate social media app. Our developers have already developed a prototype mobile app in addition to the flagship web version of PoundPop, and so we also would like to see this facet of the project through.

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