At CloudSpokes.com we wrap a lot of the challenge process functionality into Chatter. So when we started to add more functionality to our site and org we naturally wanted to leverage the new Chatter in Apex functionality. However, it was a little more difficult that I anticipated. Chatter in Apex is a collection of Apex classes in the ConnectApi namespace that allows you to develop native, social Force.com applications. Perhaps I'm dense and a slow learner, but the docs and available recipes make it even more confusing. I just wanted an easy "hello chatter" application to get started.
So after getting some code up and running in production, I thought I'd publish some simple code to get people started. Disclaimer: this is not production code and is for demo only. However, you should be able to drop it in your sandbox and get going. The code has the functionality to make a simple text post, a post with a URL, a post mentioning another user and return a news feed. The code is also available at this gist for easy reading.