My First Stab At A Trending Topics App – Toppics

The other night I pushed out Toppics, my first little app that plays with Twitter’s Trending Topics.

At the moment it grabs the current trending topics from Twitter every several minutes while searching every few minutes for new tweets that mention twitpic.com as well as the topic. Toppics, get it. 🙂

Version 0.0 is very basic, but very fun. For example, I know when a football game starts because all of a sudden two team names pop up and I have jersey pictures from both sides. I’ve been able to determine that tweeps really like the Christmas tree at the Four Seasons by watching that category for the last day.

The display is only within the last 24 hours, and that does two things. One – it keeps the pictures relevant. One “Monday Night” trending topic is different from another. Two – it can keep picture counts low. I’m learning quickly that some trends just don’t generate pictures. I hope to add some more features in as well soon, possibly refrain from creating a topic page until it has content to display.

The next goal is to add content. It’d be nice to grab visuals from other sources than Twitpic, especially for the topics that don’t generate a lot of traffic. And, while visuals are great, if I can add some context with text, that would be ideal.

All in all, it’s another playground. Feel free to play.

The Top 40 At TopTwit – What You Can Do Now

I’ve had some geeky fun the last few days and finally added a few features to the Top 40 most recent links page that I’ve been meaning to get to for a while. Here’s the rundown on what you can expect.

New User Signup: Anybody can now sign up for their own TopTwit Top 40 page. All you need to enter is your Twitter username, Trim username, Trim password, and Disqus shortname. I will fully admit that I’ve been coding quick, so I don’t have the checks and balances coded and you can pretty much enter whatever the heck you want for everything and who knows what will happen. But if you enter valid info for the above stuff, you will have access to all the features thus far. You can probably skip the Disqus info if you don’t care about comments. Also note that until I get things dynamic enough, you’ll only have a pretty URL if you tell me in advance that you’re coming. Otherwise you will still work fine, but the URL just won’t be as fun.

Comments Are Enabled: I just added Disqus comments to all the tweets that are captured. You can click on the comment count to go to a page specifically built for the tweet and comment there if you would like. I’m still thinking out smarter ways to go about this, but it looks pretty cool.

Trim, Postly, Bitly All Work: The page is designed around Tr.im because their API has a cool feature to grab the visit count on the last X urls posted, saving a lot of time when refreshing the data every 5 minutes. However, you can still get the view count from post.ly (the Posterous url shortner and bit.ly, so I do. Bugs are always possible of course and I haven’t read into the bitly API enough, but I may need to have you enter a bit.ly api key at some point.

Broken Stuff: Of course there’s broken stuff because I’m the only one using the site and nobody’s complained about the broken stuff yet. 🙂 Specifically the detection of URLs that you retweet but are from other people – those stats don’t show up the best and I’ll need to get some owner checking going on at some point. Also, reposting old urls does not refresh the age at this point, which would be kind of a nice feature in the future.

What else: That’s it. Please sign up and have some fun. It’s your own little personal Twitter Digg if you hadn’t thought of it that way yet. And if you hadn’t seen it already, this all exists because of Dave Winer and his challenge to have some fun after he made the first top40 app. So thanks to him because it has been fun. 🙂

TopTwit Update

FYI, this is more of a log for my use. But read if you’re interested.

The original TopTwit has pretty much failed for the time being, but that doesn’t mean the idea is dead. Soon I’ll head back into that code and clean it up (a year later). It does still work if you want to try it out– sign up and build your twit lists and you have a nice page to keep track of your favorites.

On the other side of things, I’ve been having fun playing copycat to the 40 most recent links from @davewiner. You can see my version over at 40 most recent links from @jeremyfelt. I’ve recently added support for bit.ly and post.ly in addition to the default tr.im functions. I have categories built in (using hash tags), but I took them off of the display for now because it seemed like a waste of characters. Not sure what new features will show up here in the near future, but it definitely needs a design overhaul.