Imaneed Wins Twilio Location-based App Contest

September 02, 2010
Written by
John Sheehan
Opinions expressed by Twilio contributors are their own

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Imaneed is a service that provides a way for people to find neighbors who can help them out quickly. It is also the winner of the Twilio location-based app netbook contest! Congratulations to Matt Lally, your netbook is on the way!

To use the service, a person looking for help sends in a text request to 954-876-4128 telling Imaneed their location and what they’re looking for. Copies of the request are then sent to the ten nearest people who are listening for the keywords used in the message. The recipients are then given the option to connect to the requester via a voice call to finalize the arrangements.

For example, if someone is looking for work painting houses, they can be alerted when someone requests their services and call them back to do business. It’s kind of like an SMS-and-voice-based, real-time version of Craigslist.

You can learn more about the service and try it for yourself at Matt also put together these screencasts showing how Imaneed works:

We interviewed Matt to learn about his experiences building Imaneed with Twilio:

How did you get started building Imaneed?

Matt: Imaneed was started around August of last year and we originally used only the voice features from Twilio with a shared short code for the SMS component. When Twilio SMS came out, we switched over in about a day.

It was started as a free lead generation service focusing on getting people what they need within a short time. We have had decent amounts of activity due to coverage in blogs and on TV. Currently trying to build up a paid service.

What technologies are you using to build/support it?

Matt: The site is built in Ruby on Rails from top to bottom. All SMS and voice components are done using Twilio.

How did you get started developing with Twilio?

Matt: I think I saw Twilio on one of the major tech blogs a few years ago. I kept the bookmark and when building the application it seemed like a natural fit.

How was the experience of integrating Twilio with your chosen tools and technologies?

Matt: Very easy. As I said, I switched out the shortcode I previously used for Twilio’s service in one day. The actual development time was probably no more than four hours. Voice took a little longer, but no big deal.

Want to win a prize of your own? This week’s category revolves around the new API released this week. Head on over to the contests page to learn more.