16.10.14

Safe Check

Back in September of 2012, I went to a Facebook Developer's Hackathon in Vancouver where in less than 7 hours my team (consisting of me and my husband) developed an app called Famcheck. It basically grabbed the location of a user's closest people, fired an API call to Wunderground to check if there are any severe weather alerts for the areas where they live, and gave the user a chance to call their closest people using Twilio API.




What was unique about it was the fact that it used the Graph API to make a "call a person" action or whatever and so it won the award for Best Open Graph app. You won't actually see any mention of it anywhere on Facebook other than somewhere in the beginning of this group. This is how I learned to only go to hackathons that promise free software that I can use in my more profitable ideas.

I really didn't expect it to win anything especially since Facebook supposedly cut access to survivors of the Haiti 2010 earthquake because they were overwhelming the system. I don't have family in Haiti but I do have family in other eathquake prone areas such as Bulgaria and Japan.


I won an iPad and not a single mention of it anywhere on FB.
Silicon Valley is not a meritocracy. It's an oligarchy.

Anyway, winning felt good. Being accused of winning only because I'm cute didn't. That's right, after the ceremony a sore Vancouverite loser came up to me and told me that I only won because I'm cute and not because my app was based on a great idea that used 3 different APIs and was built in less than 7 hours.

I dropped Famcheck from my list of apps I care to work on and since then I've moved on to implementing other, more profitable ideas but it was always a sore spot. Until today.

Today Facebook released a new tool called "Safety Check".