Skip to content

Homeless World Cup Rio 2010: the developer’s report

Loft’s Andreas Jansson (far right) headed over to the Homeless World Cup tournament in Rio this year, to help ensure the massive annual live reporting operation ran smoothly. Andreas writes…

I just got back from 10 days on what could have been an amazingly relaxing holiday on Copacabana Beach, had it not been for the 8th Homeless World Cup, where I was in charge of ensuring that the website was working, up to date, kept relevant and bug-free.

I knew that our office was going to be based on the beach, so I wasn’t expecting light-speed internet. But I was expecting some sort of Internet connection. That expectation was met on the third day of the tournament. Because of this I spent the first two days in the hotel foyer, uploading content that was brought to me on a USB key from the beach once per hour. On the third day we were given a 1Mb/sec WiFi connection, wired under the sand, behind the porta-loos, through the window of one of the containers, into some sort of disassembled telephone plug and finally plugged into a modem and a D-Link router. It wasn’t great, it broke after a few days, but it was something.

If the lack of proper connectivity was the worst part of the tournament, the high-paced, agile team of volunteers and staff was probably the best part of the tournament (especially since I don’t really watch football). People joined and left all the time, and the website had to change based on who was involved.

One of the top Brazilian tweeters turned up in the middle of the week to help out – great, let’s fire up Google analytics and compare to Tweet Reach and see what we can do to maximise our impact. A journalist from one of the top Brazilian web news papers gave us a couple of days and a few dozen articles in Portuguese. Fabulous, let’s create a new news page on the main site, completely in Portuguese!

Lots of great photographers from around the world were on site during the whole week, offering photos on content to us for no charge – fantastic, let’s overcome this horrid Internet connection by batch uploading hundreds of photos over ssh to the Matchbox CMS system, letting the journalists pick and choose images to add to their articles. Burn a DVD for a Chilean player in exchange for a mention on a major Kenyan TV station, sign a shirt of a South African player in exchange for a great top story, and so on.

In retrospect, the week was really all about pragmatism, trying to maintain a website for one of the world’s larger charity events with minimal tech resources. But in the end we did pull it through, thanks to a great group of people, and you can find the result on

Andreas Jansson at Homeless World Cup Rio 2010

Date posted

5 October 2010


2 min read

Loft - Related posts

More news

Loft - Post grid item

Big data boost for the UK cycling industry

Loft is helping the Bicycle Association take its UK Cycling Market Data Service to the next level. Working on a consultancy basis with the BA and Sports Marketing Surveys, Loft is providing advice and insight…

Read more

Loft - Post grid item

Loft joins Vantage to support digital health startups

Loft CEO Nick Nettleton is working with the tech startup accelerator Vantage on a new series of workshops tailored for company founders in the digital health space. The inaugural MedTech Growth Series will take place…

Read more

Loft - Post grid item

MyEyeSite academic paper published

A research paper focusing on the MyEyeSite project has been published in the UK, which helps demonstrate how technology can be used to benefit patients, improve treatment and advance medical research. Collaborating with Moorfields Eye…

Read more

Loft - Post grid item

Boosting senior leadership diversity with Sapphire Partners

Loft has recently begun work on a new website for Sapphire Partners, a London-based executive search boutique that specialises in helping organisations find exceptional talent to enhance the capability and diversity of their boards and…

Read more

Learn more about our news

Take the next step with Loft

Learn how Loft can help solve your most challenging technology objectives.

Talk to an expert