We’re running an API contest over at Wufoo. We’re encouraging people who aren’t necessarily interested in participating in the contest to help us promote it over Twitter by tweeting a link to it with the “hashtag” #WufooAPIContest anywhere in the tweet. It seemed like a good idea to have way to track the entrants. It’s not a new idea at all, of course, lots of Twitter-based contests do this.
So we started the contest, and the first day to pick a winner came up, and I realized I was a bit unprepared! How exactly was I going to pick a random winner? I don’t exactly have a list in front of me of all the valid tweets. Twitter search might be OK, but it only goes back 7 days. Our contest is in 7-day chunks, so that might work, but it’s still way clumsy way to try and do it.
Turns out there is an absolutely perfect way to do it, and that’s a web app called RowFeeder. RowFeeder hooks up to your Google Docs account and basically can track Twitter searches for you and dump the results as they happen into a spreadsheet. Doing it this way for a contest means that you’ll have exactly what you need to pick a winner, a spreadsheet of valid tweets, numbered and ready to go.
I use my own random number generator to pick a winner!