“140 characters isn’t good for debugging code.”
Yesterday evening, when @kevinSuttle said that to me on Twitter it sparked a thought, that grew into an experiment, that expanded into an idea, and finally ballooned into a contest.
Kevin’s tweet got me thinking… “What could you code in 140 characters of AS3?” I spent a little time experimenting, and found out the answer was “not a lot”. Still, it crystallized the idea of building a contest around it. I spent a little bit of time assembling a simple page to outline the contest, asked for feedback, revised, and launched the contest.
You can check out the #tweetcoding page for full details, but here is a quick overview. You are provided with a framework of 140 characters of “gimme” code. To this, you can add up to 140 characters of additional AS3 code. You submit your entry via Twitter, and if your work is judged as the best, you win a full copy of Flash CS4.
The thing I find coolest is how this came together so rapidly and organically. It was about 6 hours from the initial thought to the start of the contest (including an hour for dinner), and it incorporated feedback from a handful of people. Within 24 hours there were already a number of interesting entries, a prize (FlashCS4 – thanks Adobe!), and online tools to help people track and participate in the contest.
You can check out one of these online tools, made by @machine501 that compiles entries directly from Twitter using the Flex compiler, and lets you follow all the #tweetcoding action without needing to start up Flash.
Check out the #tweetcoding rules page to enter the contest, or for more information.