Saturday, September 5, 2009

Yes, There Is Now An API For Thumbfight

It has been a while since you have heard from us, dear friends. Suffice to say there has been quite a lot going on. Sorry if you have been lonely.

We now have an API so you can easily integrate Thumbfight results right into your application. It is really easy, just a single JSON call.

Here is a simple example using curl with a single term:

$ curl ""

which returns the following JSON:

{"challenger1":{"score":"3 thumbs up","title":"apple"}}

Here is an example using curl with two terms:

$ curl ""

which returns the following JSON:

{"challenger2":{"score":"undecided","title":"microsoft"},"challenger1":{"score":"3 thumbs up","title":"apple"}}

Anyhow, enjoy, and we look forward to seeing what people come up with.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

You Say You Want A Revolution

It has been great to be fully operational again, just in time to join in the Iranian social media revolution. If you have not done it yet, change your Twitter location and time zone to Tehran, to confuse and befuddle those who would stop free speech.

We do not pick sides here at Thumbfight, we just report on what the Twitterverse has to say. That said, we still cheer for particular sides, and in this case I am very glad to be able to report that comrades, we are seriously pulling for liberty, democracy, and most importantly the freedom to choose. Even with the misinformation bots and other evil forces at work to subvert the Twittersphere, there are a lot of people willing to stand with any human on Earth who just wants live in peace.

Rock on, Iran! We've got your backs, at least here at Thumbfight...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tweeting Into A Black Hole?

The last two days I have suspected something was wrong. Suddenly, the massive waves of traffic that had been pounding our site had slowed to a veritable trickle. Say wha? In depth researching of code, server logs, everything commenced. It was not until this morning, that an unfortunate conclusion slowly dawned on me: we may have been blocked!

About a month ago, we started to send out hourly tweets matching up the top 10 Twitter trends against each other. I thought it was a fun way to keep track of what we trending on Twitter, and a lot of other people have told me they like it as well.

And it has been a really great way to build visibility for our cool sentiment analysis technology for social media. HAS been, that is, because it appears that since this last Thursday, the @thumbfight Twitter account is no longer showing up in search results! I am pretty sure we have been Twitterblocked.

I have read over the Terms of Service, and also we continued doing this on the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have been getting. But now, that has all come to a crashing halt. No notice, no warning, nothing. Boo, hiss!

Please, in fact, pretty please with sugar on top, Twitter people, give the people back their @thumbfight...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Well, I am finally almost recovered from the incredible energy of TWTRCON. Everyone came together to make a really successful experience, and Thumbfight was among the winners.

My fellow demo-ers were extremely nice, sharing water, advice, and everything else. Special shout-outs to the crews at TweetFunnel, Jobaba, ObjectiveMarketer, UserVoice, and HootSuite for being especially helpful and cool.

I was the first TWTR Bootstrap company to arrive...first to secure the battlefield. I had been very inspired by the Maker Faire, so I had put together a super-custom multicolor LED display sign, that showed the latest Thumbfight tweets in real-time. That's right, superior firepower thru homebrew hardware hacking, baby!

Not to mention, we introduced a cool new feature for Thumbfight just in time for the conference: you can now display the real-time results for a particular Thumbfight as an embeddable widget. You can put it on your blog, or put together an internal web page matching up with all your competitors.

I am very pleased to say that Thumbfight was one of the winners of the "TWTR Pitch" voting. That meant that I got to go onstage in front of the entire crowd, and give a 140 second pitch about what we are doing. I still had 40 seconds left over!

The response to the Thumbfight demos was amazing. Many people were checking it out, and we had to triple our server capacity to handle the load! Thanks to our hosting at Heroku, for making that just ridiculously easy to accomplish on the fly.

Later, I was interviewed for the Twooting podcast for TWTRCON. It was awesome to be a part of the same podcast as Guy Kawasaki and MC Hammer! You can check it out here, my interview starts at about 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Thanks again to the volunteers, attendees, speakers, sponsors, and the fantastic organizers for making the event a big win for everyone.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Getting Pumped

We pushed a major update late last night, that makes Thumbfight work even better than before.

Our newest update, code-named "Bob" should do a much better job of weighting the results, and eliminating undecideds from the sentiment analysis. We can also now display the "Deadlocked" result, which indicates that there was not a clear preference either way.

Check it out, you're going to like the way we look!

Thank you to all of our dedicated users, who are helping us improve our service, and get all ripped in time for TWTRCON! We appreciate it!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thumbfight Will Step Into The Ring At TWTRCON

Well, things have been very, very busy here, with all the Thumbfighting going on!

One extremely cool thing I have not had a chance to blog about, is that Thumbfight has been chosen as one of the TWTRCON "bootstrap" demos.

What does this mean? It means that you can come see Thumbfight demo live right there at the conference. You will also be able to see our first live unveiling of some ultra-super-secret new new stuff.

Also, people will be voting there at the conference for their favorite "Twitter pitch", which is an 140 character long version of why people should care about what we're doing. The winners get to do a 140-second long pitch to the assembled investors, press, and most importantly... Twitterers! With our superior technology, and fighting spirit, Thumbfight should show that "we're the greatest", or at least not embarrass ourselves too badly.

Thank you to the organizers of TWTRCON for giving us a chance to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Go, Thumbfight, go!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thumbfight at RailsConf

I was in Las Vegas last week, attending the International Ruby on Rails programming conference, aka RailsConf.

Why is this at all interesting to readers of this blog? Because this was the first time that people were Thumbfighting live from an event which was one of the Top 10 trends on Twitter itself!

Or, as one of our advisors quoted us,
"The circle is now complete..." - D. Vader

People were whispering in my ear "What is THAT?" during the conference sessions, as they noticed me Thumbfighting. Others were already busy retweeting Thumbfights along with the general Twittering, IRC back-channel chatter, and general snarkiness always going on at these things.

But then, the massive level of Twittering going on pushed the #railsconf hashtag into the top 10. Suddenly, the level of Thumbfighting was actually perceptible amongst the deluge of tweets. In fact, people all over the world who were following RailsConf, were introduced to Thumbfight right in context, as an interesting way to monitor how the Twitterverse 'feels'.

And there was one other immediate payoff: for the rest of the conference, all I had to do was say to a fellow attendee "I'm one of the guys who did Thumbfight," and I would get an immediate offer of a beer. Talk about quick ROI!

Many thanks to everyone who helped get the word out about Thumbfight at RailsConf. We appreciate it!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thumbfight Is Going To TWTRCON

Once we at Thumbfight heard about TWTRCON, the first Twitter conference for business, we immediately decided we had to go and represent. After all, knowing how your business or personal brand is being perceived by the Twitterverse is one of the most important assets you have these days. Just ask Dominos about that one!

The lineup of speakers is an impressive one, with big names like @guykawasaki and @shelisrael, as well as hot up-and-comers like @kogibbq, and @adventuregirl. Plus @MCHammer... yes, that is what I said, apparently you CAN touch this, if you register for TWTRCON. Hope to see you there, but with a limited number of spaces available, you probably just better follow @twtrcon and search #twtrcon cause it will fill up pretty quickly.

Anyhow, Thumbfight is now on the fast track, and we will be introducing some amazing new capabilities of the service there at the conference. Get ready, people! Thumbfight is on the move.

Welcome To The Thumbfight

Hello, friends! Well, it has been a crazy few days since last week's unexpected "soft launch" of Thumbfight. We have been working on our reputation monitoring service/game for a while, but suddenly someone let the cat out of the bag, and ready or not, we are live!

Just in case you are not exactly sure what Thumbfight is, go check out the site RIGHT NOW! I'll wait, don't worry.

OK, wasn't that fun? Thumbfight lets you enter two search terms, like "Apple" vs "Microsoft". It then goes and does a search of real-time data from Twitter, and using some crazy mad science (aka Bayesian filters) it categories each Tweet into "good" and "bad" sentiments. Thumbfight then does some more mathemagical calculations to figure out how well liked that thing is. Each competitor gets a ranking from "3 Thumbs Up", meaning really liked it, to "3 Thumbs Down" meaning really hated it.

It is really easy to retweet the results of a Thumbfight, just click on the link there on the "fight" page. You can then send out the results of the Thumbfight, along with your witty comments. Yeah!

Thanks to feedback from our users, we are already adding cool new features. For example, if you follow @thumbfight on Twitter, you will receive our hourly battle tweets (daytime hours only) between the top 10 hottest trending topics on Twitter. Keep track of what's happening on Twitter in a really fun way.

Anyhow, this is only the beginning of our adventures in real-time reputation monitoring. Please check it out, follow @thumbfight on Twitter, and give us your feedback!