Today is the public release of something that I have really enjoyed making! All friends and clients know that I really enjoy work that tests me, and I enjoy the problem solving! The project that I’ve been working on – ill be honest – I wasn’t 100% sure at first how to do it or if it were possible, but I took it on because my theory knowledge said that it must be possible!

Over the last 2 (and a bit) weeks I’ve been developing a clever searchable database system that goes live this morning.

The client was my former employer (funny how things go like that). I’m sure anyone that knows about the UK radio industry will have at one point it he last 4months have heard the competition: “who’s on heart?” (ok it deserves capital letters!)

It’s been going since February I think and I recoils fair to say on more than one occasion the team behind it have at times been scared that punters (that’s what I call listeners) find the competition too difficult and they might have at times who tried that the competition grates on listeners so they get bored.

To counter-act this they have attempted a number of techniques to encourage punters to get involved.

First was to up the jackpot, start at £10,000 and going all the way up to £50,000 in hourly gameplay (10-3) slots. Then they added another game play just before 4pm, so as not to interfere too. Much with local programming. Presumably this particular,y game play is perfect for the mums who have just finished the school run.

The 2 jolts were to up the prize finds even further. £60,00 if you guess all three and £20,000 if you guess a second. (somewhere amongst all this Katie O’Brien. A aged to guess Tina Turner correct,t which won her £5,000!

But enough about them what have I been doing?

Well they eventually released “a list” of wrong guesses. This wasn’t so much a list but a huge number of photo galleries, which were limited to approx 50people in each. Thus tactic is (and was) great for page views, and a good story for those selling web real estate on the pages. However from a punters point of view this was very annoying. Especially when many in London who had heard a very similar game play on Magic 105.4 were used to just a long list searchable in your browser. (since the start of “Who’s on Heart” a handful of other brands have picked up on the format and released answers in a long text list format.)

It’s got to the point now where there are over 1300 unique celebrity guesses and asking punters go go through that many web pages (even with Ajax/jquery) is a bit much!

So they asked me to help them write a script that will search the database and see if that person has already been guessed!

This system went live at 8am this morning, and I’ll do thing the commercial radio way and leave it there until later this week when I’ll write a blot post about how I made it and what happened next!

Now that’s a tease! (for the geeks)