exPhone.org: How to create a simple but rich web application in just three days

Citizen Agency‘s Chris Messina shares his story about a very cool pet project of his, going by the name of exPhone.org.

exPhone is one of those examples of how the web can (and should) be applied to find great, quick solutions for a problem.

Chris had a simple enough question: What to do with your old cell phone once you get your shiny new iPhone?

Thus the seed for exPhone.org took root and began to germinate in my mind — as something simple and feasible that I could create to raise awareness of the issue and provide actionable information for busy people who wanted to do the right thing but might not want to wade through the many circuitous online resources for wireless recycling.

So he sat down with his buddy Alex Hillman and wanted to come up with a simple but powerful web app to answer this question.

And a simple but powerful single-purpose they did build. In his post Chris describes how they put it all together: By just pulling together information and resources from different sources (Flickr, RSS feeds, some websites, del.icio.us and Ma.gnolia bookmarks, you name it), added plenty of social functionality (from Flickr groups to Ma.gnolia groups) and put it all back together through Yahoo Pipes.

Sounds pretty wild? Sure does, sure is. And still, it’s pretty simple – especially compared to what you get out of it. In just three days they got it up and running, and there you have a neat little piece of engagement.



Hey thanks for the kind words and glad you like the site! It was awesome working with Alex and iterating quickly — we also collaborated entirely on Skype and SVN… how cool is that?

Cheers! Glad you enjoyed the site as well!

Working with Chris is always a good time. Good ideas, good vibe, quality execution.

Source control as a collaborative tool…who knew! :-)