Today I am launching the most ridiculous site I’ve ever made. www.iwillpayyourparkingticket.com
It was inspired by something that happened at this year’s brilliant FlashBelt, where we all decided to get together and pay some poor guy’s parking ticket.
[sorry, viddler video no longer available]
I don’t know why we did it, but it seemed kinda fun, and I thought that maybe the person who got the ticket would be cheered up by the fact that $24 + €5
+ £5 was in an envelope along with their parking ticket.
The next day I decided to do a search on twitter to see if I could find the the guy who’d had his ticket mysteriously paid. Sadly, I couldn’t find him. Instead, I found hundreds and hundreds of tweeters who had also got parking tickets. Some of them were angry, some were sympathetic, and some were just downright weird.
But they were all interesting!
So I got together with my good friend Jamie Matthews and made iwillpayyourparkingticket.com. It agregates all the parking ticket related tweets on twitter, and allows you to send the poor tweeters love, depending on how much you think they deserve.
Every month, I will then find the one that has had the most love, and pay their ticket for them!
It’s been ages since I last did any web programming (ie not Flash) and it’s come such a long way! I discovered Django, thanks to Simon Willison, the brilliant Brighton geek responsible for the recent crowd-sourcing MP expense report reviewing system at the Guardian.
And I also discovered jQuery, Cufon, and the Yahoo css reset code.
But I have to admit, Jamie did most of the hard work on the server side. I just decided what colour things should be, and of course wrangled with the front end stuff.
I’m still trying to figure out how to make the site more sticky, and of course, figure out exactly how to get the money to the people. And perhaps also allow people to donate money so I don’t have to pay it all myself? Who knows!?
And, in line with my new policy of making as much of my work open source as possible, we’re releasing it with a BSD license and you can check it all out on github.
Please try out the site, let me know what you think, and I’ll keep you informed of how it goes!