Nate SwannerFormer Reporter, TNW
TNW's former West Coast writer in the PNW (Portland, Oregon). Nate loves amplifying developers, and codes in Swift when he's not writing. If TNW's former West Coast writer in the PNW (Portland, Oregon). Nate loves amplifying developers, and codes in Swift when he's not writing. If you need to get in touch, Twitter is your best bet.
Twitter has announced the winners of its Powered by Tweets contest, which challenged users to create something beautiful or solve a problem using Twitter.
Solve a problem
In the ‘solve a problem’ category, the first prize went to the birds (naturally). Winners Pierre Duquesnoy and Matt Daniels came up with the idea of fitting pigeons with backpacks full of sensors to report air quality.
Second place finishers Mark Carroll and Alex Willimott will use Twitter to track changes in how we use language, effectively watching the evolution of the written word (or emoji!).
The third place winners partnered with WaterAid to engage those who have donated to the cause via social media. After pledging a donation to help bring a water tap to a community that doesn’t have one, #TweetTap will let everyone know how the tap has impacted the local community.
Create something beautiful
In the UK, gay men are prevented from donating blood. To raise awareness, the team of Vincent Versluis, Florian Hollander and Oliver Dennis have created an interactive art piece featuring “a flag-shaped installation filled with different colour liquids resembling the rainbow flag.” With each tweet, red will find its way back into the rainbow.
Second place addresses chemotherapy, which will “harness the power of Twitter to enable cancer patients receiving chemotherapy to communicate non-verbally and create a visual #mindscape they can collectively enjoy in real time.”
The third place winner — that project may take a while. In one of the more interesting takes on interactive social media, Word by Word will use Twitter to write a book.
Each word of the book is ‘released’ by Twitter in real time. As a Tweet appears somewhere in the world containing the next word of the book, so Word By Word will release the book’s next word — until the entire book has been gradually revealed. The centrepiece in the exhibition is a typewriter, which types the next word in the manuscript whenever a Tweet is detected that contain it. The manuscript is revealed gradually on one long scroll of paper.
Each of the winning entries will be built by Pixie Labs, and presented during the London Design Festival Somerset House in September.
Read next: Twitter’s #PoweredByTweets competition calls for innovative ideas using its data
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