Major Update!

July 6, 2009 at 9:13 pm 1 comment

So… it’s been a while. How’ve you been? Me? I’ve been swell. I quit my job. Been chillin’. Trying to buy some land. Y’know, the usual.

Anyway. I recently was roused out of slumbering funemployment of the non-coding kind, and started working on a major revision for Twitterank. I just pushed it live to twitterank.com, so let me tell you about the new stuff… in bullet list form. Mmm bullet lists.

  • No More Passwords! – If you have more of a long term memory than I do, you may recall all the brouhaha Twitterank stirred up when it was first launched. It’s a scam! They’z steelin’ ur passwurds!! OMG! Yeah. Well, in case you had any lingering doubts about Twitterank’s intentions, you can stop being so frackin’ paranoid now. The new version will no longer require your password. Instead, it’ll use this thing called OAuth that Twitter has since adopted (yay), which allows me to make authenticated requests on your behalf, without you giving me your password. So yeah, you can keep your stinkin’ password. I don’t want it anyway.
  • New Algorithm – Speaking of authentication, the new algorithm works using the public search APIs which don’t require authentication. This means 2 things. First, you won’t see inconsistent scores like you did in the old version. In the old version, there were actually 2 different algorithms being used, one that used your password, and one that didn’t. Depending on which algorithm was used, you might’ve seen inconsistent scores. That doesn’t happen any more. Secondly, since the new algorithm works great with the public APIs, Twitteranks can be calculated for any Twitter user. And that’s what I’ve been doing. The old version had about 90k users in the DB. The new version has something like 2.5 million, and I’m constantly adding people as I come across them. One unfortunate side-effect of the new algorithm is that a lot of people will have lower scores than the old algorithm that used your passwords, because the search API returns less data than the authenticated APIs. But hey, in the grand scheme of things, that’s not a huge deal.
  • Developer APIs – If you’re a developer and you think Twitteranks might be useful for something, check out the nifty new APIs. I’m still not entirely sure what it’ll be good for, but try it out and let me know. It seems like developers are looking for a good way to weed out spammers and SEO/marketers. While that wasn’t the original goal of Twitterank, I’m considering incorporating some anti-spammer filters to the scoring algorithm, so we might get there eventually.
  • Frequent Updates – In the old version, scores were only re-calculated if someone looked up their score. In the new version, scores will be re-calculated periodically. Currently, users whose scores are in the top 10,000 will have their scores re-calculated every day or so. That means the Top 50 list will change at least once a day, which should make things a little more interesting.

And… I guess that’s it. Maybe it wasn’t such a huge update. Oh, but wait! I have one last thing! I really do, but it’s not done yet. So I’ll announce it when it’s done.

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