Solid for Social Networks: Reflections on our Hackathon with the Data Transfer Initiative

Challenging developers to create new social media experiences with Solid
Hadrian Zbarcea, Solutions Architect and Developer Relations
October 30, 2023

At Inrupt, we’re dedicated to the awareness and adoption of Solid. We help current markets benefit from the technology, but we also like to encourage the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. With our hackathons, developers get the opportunity to develop new Solid projects and learn from Inrupt’s team of mentors. We were pleased to see that participants from all corners of the globe registered for our September Solid Hackathon: including North America, a few countries in Europe, China and even Australia.

The theme of the September hackathon was "Solid for Social Networks.” We ran the event jointly with the Data Transfer Initiative (DTI), a nonprofit organization backed by Apple, Google and Meta. DTI’s mission is to enable users to complete simple, fast, and secure data transfers directly between services. Together, we tasked participants with creating Solid projects that integrate into a social networking service.

And the results exceeded our expectations: The winning projects showed a mastery of Solid and creativity in integrating with social networks. We want to congratulate all participants for their outstanding work.

First place, by a considerable margin, was secured by Vincent, who wanted to build an app that's part of the fediverse, yet stores the data in a Solid Pod. And Vincent succeeded brilliantly, demonstrating how Solid can be seamlessly integrated with Mastodon.

The race between the second and third place was very tight. With a photo finish margin, second-place was won by a two-man team of Ludwig Schubert (the winner of the previous hackathon), from Germany, and Thorsten Steuer, from Austria. The team put together an exceptional social bookmarking app, focused on a secure and collaborative experience for users. The team delighted us with an excellent user experience and aesthetically pleasing UI, as well.

In a close third place, Kabul Kurniawan demonstrated a feature-rich professional social network application. It was similar in a way to platforms like LinkedIn, but leveraging the power of the Solid protocol. I found the project very well put together, and I sincerely hope Kabul will continue to work on it.

Another great project was submitted by Yashar PourMohammad and Reza Soltani, who implemented a bridge between Solid and Slack. They achieved a successful implementation of the Solid Chat protocol, which Sir Tim Berners-Lee himself has urged developers toward.

All of the projects submitted showed a great level of hard work and dedication, and I want to thank all of our participants for their enthusiasm, and to thank our co-organizers from DTI. 

We're looking forward to continuing to foster innovation with more hackathons in the coming months, and hope to spotlight themes that showcase the value of Solid in a networked society.

Want to learn more about Solid?

Check out the Solid forum, or try Inrupt PodSpaces, which allows developers to create and test apps against Inrupt’s Enterprise Solid Server.

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