You might know that I made a little Twitter application called FollowerHQ. It was born out of frustration of being unable to keep up with the people following me. I’d try to evaluate each person to see whether I wanted to follow them back, but I couldn’t keep up. So I made an application to help me decide who I wanted to follow back.
Of course, like any developer, I wasn’t fully satisfied with my final product. It was nice, but it had a big flaw. If you loaded the site, you needed to wait for a long loading screen to complete. Part of this was due to the Twitter API. Thanks to how it was structured, I needed to break my requests up into multiple smaller requests. (In their defense, Twitter has a good reason to do this. It likely keeps their server load down.)
Depending on how many records I needed to pull, this back-and-forth would take awhile. It might not be so bad for someone with a thousand followers, but ten thousand or more would get painful. Furthermore, you needed to keep the browser open at all times or you would need to start again. Finally, if you came back to the site the next day, you would need to pull down all of these records again.
My solution was to restructure FollowerHQ into a "request and report" system. In FollowerHQ Version 2, You submit a request to see the followers you haven’t followed back (including your e-mail address as a contact method). In the background, FollowerHQ will queue your request up, retrieve all of the information, and store it in its database. When it is done, it will e-mail you notification. Then, you simply come back to the site and view the results.
Have a hundred thousand followers? No problem. Your report might take some time to generate, but you don’t need to wait by the browser. Go do something else and FollowerHQ will let you know when it’s done. Too tired to get through the whole list or computer crashed? No problem. Coming back to the site gives you the ability to open the report again and pick up where you left off.
Of course, I’m sure there will be bugs that I haven’t picked up on, cool features that I didn’t think of implementing, or refinements that I didn’t think of making. That’s why I need some beta testers. So who’s in? Who would like to try out FollowerHQ Version 2 and let me know what they think?
If you’re in, please comment below and then visit http://www.followerhq.com/version2/. Happy beta testing!