Live TXT Voting Results Site

  • Posted on: 3 July 2013
  • By: Joshua Clark

Recently I've been working on an interesting project.
The Pocatello 2013 July 4th Parade, for the first time, is having a "People's Choice" Award for floats in the parade.

During the 4th of July parade, people will be able to vote for their favorite floats by sending the float ID (or multiple IDs) via SMS message.
First we found a SMS service that will allow you to connect via a Jabber client. Then we found a Jabber PHP library so we could listen to incoming SMS messages.

Next was some message parsing code and a MySQL database to store the votes. We also built in the ability to start and stop the voting period via a SMS message and restricted it to a few cell phone numbers. We also needed to handle outgoing message queuing, since the SMS service we used throttles outgoing messages and does not queue additional messages sent once that limit is reached.
Then I built the website, a fully responsive, AJAX reloading, live results page that updates as votes come in.

I have dabbled in AJAX type JavaScript calls and responsive sites before, but nothing using those technologies that was this cool.

I'll be putting up images and a bit more info in my Projects section after the parade is done.