Yesterday I found a problem in how I was logging gawk.it predictions. My original idea was to require people to include the http://gawk.it url because the hope is that it makes the game a bit more viral (all player’s followers see a link in the tweet that they can click on and learn about the game [and hopefully join in on the fun]). However to make that work I have to rely on Twitter search and it’s API … and as it turns out, Twitter search specifically removes people/tweets from their index that they think are spam. How Twitter determines who is and who is not a spammer is fairly complex (and somewhat touchy) subject, but what it basically means is that there is a good chance some of our potential players would not get their predictions logged (ie. if someone just used twitter to play our game, because of the repetition of the http://gawk.it url, there would be a good chance they would quickly be flagged as a spammer and stop showing up in the Twitter search results – thereby making it impossible for them to play the game via twitter). So long story short - I built a second prediction logging script. Now users can log predictions by either including http://gawk.it in their tweet or by including @gawkit As a side effect, because of the way Twitter works right now, if a player starts their tweet with @gawkit then by default twitter basically hides that from their followers (unless their followers are also following gawkit). So while I feel like logging predictions via @gawkit is a more natural twitter action, it’s also less viral…which means I both love and hate it. :-) Anyway this is all already working and you can test it out if you like (I also updated the ‘recent gawks’ bit of the site to pull @gawkit mentions as well). Here are a few quick examples of tweets that should be picked up and logged by the system now either because they have @gawkit or http://gawk.it included in the text (and have a valid scoring category as well as a team/player name):There are of course lots of different ways you can go about tweeting your predictions…but the short story is as long as you include the three main components (a scoring category, a player/team, and either http://gawk.it or @gawkit) you should be golden. Anyway - play around with it if you get a chance and as always let me know what you think and if you find any problems with anything!
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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