Last week I released http://tweetclaims.com with the help of my buddy and designer stud Blake Crosley. It was a very interesting week and thought it deserved a little recap. So here goes the timeline..
I was sitting with my wife, looking for Twitter usernames. We need a couple usernames for some new products our startup is rolling out. Trying to find a Twitter username is as frustrating as looking for a domain name. Everything is taken and most logical combinations of everything is taken. The worst part is, the names I want are created by people who havent tweeted since 2007, if at all. I was able to find something that sorta makes sense but it wasn’t ideal.
I was doing my daily tech news reading and ran across this article. It talked about Twitter releasing deleted accounts in the upcoming weeks and eventually releasing inactive accounts. This was perfect for me b/c we didn’t need our name right away and I want it to be right. The only problem was Twitter was going to do this silently, so the only way you will know is to constantly check the site. Monday night I figured I would write a service that ran on my laptop and would email me when one became available.
I woke up thinking that I could make this service available to other people. I mean, surely I am not the only one with this problem. I called up Blake, told him my thoughts, and he thought it sounded like a cool idea. So I spent the morning writing the service. I spend the afternoon writing the website (ugly as hell of course). Tuesday night I met Blake at Barnes & Noble and we brainstormed and he came up with a very slick design for the website. He also came up with a lot of great ideas on how we would use Twitter and blogs to advertise this thing. This is his area and I have learned A LOT from him this last week.
I polished up some last few things on the site and pushed it out by 10am. Blake and I hit Twitter and the blogs just like we talked about. We got some action at first, but not a lot. Then all of the sudden the registrations went crazy. I was rushing to make sure everything stayed up and ran smoothly. The server did fine and we had a few hiccups, but nothing I couldn’t fix pretty quick. We figured out that the source of the spike was a ReadWriteWeb article that was written about our service. That was extremely cool to see. Twitter was blowing up with retweets and we were well on our way to 1000 users, which I never figured we would get.
We got lots of great feedback so I spent thursday fixing bugs and making updates to the site. Our registrations continued to grow but was slower than on wednesday.
Fast forward to sunday. After an awesome 6 hrs of yard work and landscaping, I was checking email and Twitter. Not much activity and we were hovering around 1200 users. Then within 5 minutes we blew up to over 1300. I immediately called Blake to find the source of the traffic. We couldn’t find a blog or a tweet that would cause the spike. Blake mentioned that we could have been talked about on TWiT and it turns out he was right. Leo mentioned our service around the 50 minute mark of TWiT 245. Now that is really cool!
So we went from idea, to RWW, to being mentioned on TWiT within one week. All by using the power of Twitter and blogs. At the writing of this post we are right around 1500 users. That is a pretty fun week!