12 October 2007

New "Draft" Gore 2008 website - See-Al-run.com

Building the See Al run website

I've had this idea floating around in my head for a while. My wife and I both feel very strongly that Al Gore should be running for President... well, actually, that he should be President.

Since this is a more-or-less technically focused blog, I'm not getting into politics here. But I had this idea for a website as a way to encourage support for Al Gore to run.

There are plenty of "draft Gore" type websites out there - blogs, petitions, and general information accumulation sites.

I was intrigued by the simple brilliance of the human element captured by Sorry Everybody after the 2004 election. People take pictures of themselves holding hand-written messages and submit them to the website. Visitors to the site get to browse through the photos. Some are very clever.

So, I wanted to do something similar, albeit with a more positive message. I wanted people to submit photos of themselves asking Al Gore to jump into the race for 2008. I was running out of time because I knew the Nobel Peace Prize announcement was coming up and I wanted to have the site live by then.

I've been swamped with work and other free-lance website projects lately and just never got a break to do it. But then in the last week I got to a stopping point on a project. Then the question was could I pull it off in a week? Build a site from scratch with uploads, tagging, moderator accounts, image manipulation...? In my spare time outside of my 40 hour work week? What the hell - I went for it.

I think I've said this before but it's worth saying again. Ruby on Rails rocks. I coded in PHP for a while and I could never have knocked this project out in anywhere close the amount of time I did it in Rails. But, much of the credit goes to those who create and maintain some of the great Rails plugins.

So, I met my goal. With the help of my wife with testing and content, we went live with the site Thursday night, just in time for the Nobel announcement. In all honesty I don't know that the timing made any difference since I'm still struggling to get people to the site, but it was a good challenge, and I'm happy with it.

Check it out. Post a picture asking Al Gore to run for President in the 2008 election.