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SMS Shortcodes and plain old phone numbers can be used for interacting with your users beyond blasting them with one-way messages. This application is a complete example on a working system for this in Rails. It utilizes the Twilio API to handle and record incoming votes while including required flows for shortcodes, utilizing a standard US phone number to handle folks that can't use shortcodes (e.g. some MetroPCS, Verizon, and foreign cell provider customers). This demo will be featured and discussed at length at Twiliocon 2012. See you in San Francisco!


To begin using this, register an account with Twilio and buy a shortcode and/or phone number. This application uses the Rails Config gem. Place account details in settings.yml (in the root of this application's config directory). Example:


  twilio_sid: 'your sid'
  twilio_token: 'your token'
  twilio_shortcode: 'your shortcode (number)' 
  twilio_phone: 'your non-shortcode phone number'
  contest_start: '2012-10-16 00:00:00'
  contest_end: '2012-10-19 00:00:00'
  admin_username: 'a cool username'
  admin_password: 'a hard password'
  postgres_prod_db: 'database name'
  postgres_prod_username: 'a cool username'
  postgres_prod_password: 'a hard password'

From there, tweak anything else you want and deploy to the web host of your choice, like Heroku or whatevs the kids are using these days. This is a Rails 3.2 application. If you're new to Rails, check out these fine dox:


This application is distributed under the MIT license. Please see the included copy of the license for deets.