Celly Blog: Hack for Portland Schools: Text GIVE to 23559 2012-06-04
This past Saturday we had tremendous fun at the Hack for Portland Schools event.
In a few hours, we built and deployed a live service that lets you text GIVE to 23559 (C-E-L-L-Y) or scan a QR code and then pick one of five ways to give:
- give books
- give time
- give money
- give clothes
- give food
Live features include:
- When you reply to one of the call-to-actions, you then receive web links to area resources that let you complete the giving process.
- You can also opt-in to join a cell (text group) for any of the five giving methods. This lets you submit requests as well as receive text message alerts whenever somebody posts a request. People can chat as a group about specific needs and coordinate resource sharing. In essence, each cell—@giveBooks, @giveTime, @giveMoney, @giveClothes, @giveFood—is its own cause-based social network that anybody can join in seconds. Anybody can instantly join one of these cells directly. Just text @giveTime to join the @giveTime cell.
- Finally, to help push new content, we hooked up the service to DonorsChoose projects so whenever a new school project in the Portland area is submitted via DonorsChoose, a text message alert about the project gets sent to members.
Future (very soon)
We will be adding a simple “Enter your zipcode” text menu option that will let you specify your location. We will then take your location and narrow search results (e.g, just show you DonorsChoose projects in your zipcode). That way you can give back directly to local schools right in your own neighborhood. What this means too is that the service will work for any school in the country.
The goal of the event was to hack solutions to help people give to Portland’s schools. The event was hosted at PIE (Portland Incubator Experiment) and organized by Nick Barham of Wieden + Kennedy and representatives from Portland Public Schools (Superintendent Carole Smith was there) as well as Mayor Sam Adams and CitySync. We actually saw the Mayor’s tweet about the event in the afternoon and showed up at 3pm. So we had only 2.5 hours to hack our service together. Fortunately, we leveraged the Celly platform, so it was simple and quick to hack the service together.
We enjoyed meeting the other teams and collaborating with them. There were a lot of fun ideas presented. We hope all of them blossom into viable public services. They can all be easily plugged into the “Text GIVE” service in minutes, so let us know when your service is ready and we can add it as a resource.
We hope Portlanders (and soon people around the country) start using the service to help their local schools. We’ve removed friction to giving with a fast, simple, ubiquitous call-to-action: giving by SMS.