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

TWTRCON Was A Big Win

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.