plusplusbot: Karma for anything and anyone #

The recent release of Foamee reminded me that I had never blogged here about plusplusbot, a little toy of a site that I started to work on this past summer. The idea behind plusplusbot is that you can express your (dis)pleasure with something or someone over Twitter, and the site will keep track of the target's score over time. All of this is done over Twitter, in a barnacle-like fashion. The thinking being that Twitter handles message delivery over a variety of mediums (Jabber, SMS, Web) and provides a ready-made social network to piggyback on (you can view the activity of you and those you follow, for example, here's mine). This concept should be familiar to those that have enountered "karmabots" in chatrooms.

The targets can be anything. Companies, food, people, even Twitter itself. For whatever reason, the site has caught on most with Japanese Twitter users, so the homepage is often incomprehensible.

Technically, the site is not too exciting. Like Twitter Digest, it also uses python-twitter to talk to Twitter and templet for simple templates. The site itself is not dynamic at all, instead a script running on one of my machines polls Twitter every two minutes (since it has to fetch both friend updates and direct messages, fetching both every minute would go over Twitter's 70 requests/hour API rate limit). If it determines that a new plusplus or minusminus has been sent, it re-generates those pages (the user's and the target's) and uploads them. The simple design means that the site can be hosted nearly anywhere.


I think I might be too old to understand this. :(
It's also what I had in mind for starting site where you swear and complain online). It's on a break for now, but hopefully in a couple of weeks it'll be integrated with twitter - everything you publish on the site gets sent to twitter, and viceversa.
You better give leg (and his CMU Zephyr forebears) a cut when is acquired for $3.7B... for the name, at least.
Keep up the good work. merry Christmas!
Um hi, there are a lot of people upset about a recent change to Google Reader. Can you fix the problem and give folks their privacy back, please?
@Anonymous: See the official response on the Reader Blog:
hey mihai....canya resurrect that *Gmail Conversation Preview Bubbles* puhleeeez...lifezAloteeeeeZier tht way
I realize I should've posted my comments here first.

I very much like the idea of plusplusbot and will certainly be twittering to it soon, but by complaint is that the opportunity for abuse is great. If it ever gets the size of user base to make it truly interesting/useful, self-interested companies and people will launch a spam campaign to skew the results.

I also wonder how minusminusing people on this tool would play out as a social experiment. It's the height of passive aggression for one thing, and could be pretty malicious if you chose the person's email.

Or maybe this will catch on as a 3rd wheel to digg/reddit and become a way to kudo some recent internet find. I think that would result in a lot of noise, though.

Thanks for making this; I'll be watching to see if it becomes a pandora's box.

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