Tectonica is always excited to explore new frontiers. Which is the reason that, when NationBuilder announced it was opening up its platform to 3rd party developers, we just knew that we had to create something great to work with the platform.
We were not the first to throw our hats in the ring. Many developers jumped in and created apps that linked to their theme services or filled the needs of a specific single nation. Other companies offered sync for their current platforms to NationBuilder. It has been exciting to watch the potential of the NationBuilder universe expand.
But - something was missing. Unlike the myriad widgets built for Wordpress users, few tools appeared for the typical NationBuilder customer who is organizing their communities, or building their cause, without a developer on staff.
We decided to create a feature that would be helpful for this audience. A third party widget that would be useful to any new (or old) NationBuilder client. We asked ourselves what would be the most valuable and came up with a basic importer - to bring in all of your contacts from other systems and use them to populate your nation’s database.
Creating an online app which is available to everyone involves quite a bit more effort than selling code to other developers. We had to make web application with an extremely usable UI/UX, create a membership system (including sign-in through facebook to make life easier), and test until it was unbreakable, even when used by thousands of NationBuilder customers.
The application is simple. In just a few clicks, anyone who uses Gmail can create an account in TectonicaTools, connect their nation, and import all the names and emails of every contact they have ever had in their gmail. All the contacts are added as ‘prospects’ in the people database in their nation.
We’ve also added Mailchimp and Constant Contact, whose contacts are imported as ‘supporters’ and given tags according to which list they were imported from in the newsletter systems.
We’re pretty proud of the results. We hope that you are, too, and that the application will be used widely. We’ve worked with NationBuilder to provide the applications entirely free of charge to their customers. We’ll be providing more applications soon to import from other systems and conduct other activities with your nation.
We’re hoping this inspires more developers to get out there and create widgets and apps to augment NationBuilder ecosystem for the common NationBuilder customer. We see enormous potential for the NationBuilder platform, especially with an ever-increasing group of outside developers.