Startup #2: TwitRiv.com - Control your Twitter experience
Startup #2 has officially launched! TwitRiv.com helps gives users the tools they need to better control their Twitter experience. My approach to Twitter is to promote others, share helpful content, and connect with others. TwitRiv was built as tool to help me accomplish these goals.
- Next Steps
The goal of TwitRiv is to provide the tools needed to work efficiently on Twitter on both desktop and mobile devices. The main Twitter timelines make it difficult to see posts from specific users. I often prefer pulling up individual user timelines and reading Twitter that way. Reading user timelines is not easy on Twitter and you have to remember the accounts that you want to check. TwitRiv has a "cycle" system that shows you recently visited timelines.
It also provides tools that allow you to add notes to a tweet and mark the tweet as a todo so that you can come back to a todo list to respond and interact in some other way with the content.
A major inspiration for the project is the Nitter.net site. It is a quick loading site that allows you to load Twitter content in a fraction of the time it takes to load on Twitter. Unfortunately, Nitter does not have a way to login and interact with the content from your own Twitter account. The idea for TwitRiv was to create a site that loads similarly to Nitter but shows the content tied to your specific Twitter account.
Along with quickly loading only the content you want to see, TwitRiv adds specific tools that allows users to interact on Twitter in a more efficient manner without all the additional distractions that Twitter displays.
While working on this project, I ran into a number of drawbacks. The Twitter API has some inconsistencies which then caused additional debugging time (for example, it is supposed to provide ways to page through data but for the main timeline, if you do not include replies, then it won't always provide additional pages of information).
The Twitter API also limits what information is available. For example, in some circumstances, it will not show content that is older than 7 days. This limits some of the original goals of the project - because Nitter is not using the official API, it is able to work around some of these items but with TwitRiv using the official V2 API, there are limitations that cannot be worked around.
Twitter also has limits on the total amount of content that can be pulled each month by the application. Due to these limitations, only 10 premium accounts will be available at launch. Premium accounts receive access to Twitter-limited features. The premium limit is to help ensure that I don't lose access to Twitter API resources for the premium accounts. Once some caching features are added and I have a better feel for the resource usage, I'm hoping to expand the amount of premium accounts available.
The launch for this project is significantly behind schedule. The 2nd startup was originally supposed to be launched August 31st. There are a number of reasons for the delay. Twitter had a hackathon where this project was entered at the end of August so the initial code was working but my goal is to build projects that I actually use. At that point, TwitRiv was not in a state where I would want to regularly use it.
I was also running into Twitter API limitations mentioned above in the Drawbacks section. I ended up spending a lot more time than expected trying to figure out solutions to the Twitter API limitations. The Twitter API limitations made things difficult to get it to a state where I would want to regularly use it.
Some freelance client work also came up and it ended up taking a significant amount of my time I was planning to devote to these projects which also pushed things farther behind schedule. All that to say, there have been a number of issues that have pushed things back.
My plan moving forward is to focus on getting everything back on schedule. Startup 3 has a launch goal of Wednesday, November 30th and I'm hoping to launch two more projects after that by the end of the year. I'm not sure how successufl I'll be in reaching these goals, but if I am successul, it would put me at 5 startups launched in 6 months which I would be really happy with.
Right now Startup 3 will be an RSS feed reader with a unique feature that I haven't seen anywhere else. As I'm working on Startup 3, I may end up shuffling projects around but right now that is the plan.
Thanks for all the support - see you soon!