First of all, I want to make the code open source. The only barrier to my doing that is that I have passwords saved in version control that really can’t be shared with the outside world. I didn’t even think about that being an issue until I was actually deploying it and saw someone mention it in a blog tutorial. There are ways of getting around this problem, and I’ll have to look into them before I can do it.
Next is the issue of expanding the size of the explored social graph. Right now I have found about 2 million users and know the followers of 500 thousand of those. When I was doing everything in memory, it was very fast for me to expand it and relatively easy to merge them. Now I am using a database (MySQL) and doing operations on it for the social graph are just not fast. So I need something better.
Also, I want to make the TunkRank scores available as a data set or at least via an API, so I need to look into ways of doing that. Merb makes it pretty easy to deliver results as xml or json — I just have to get around to doing it. Right now you can find user jimbob’s TunkRank score either by entering “jimbob” in the search box on the main page or by going to the URL http://tunkrank.com/score/jimbob. Extracting it via json or xml will be just a matter of going to http://tunkrank.com/score/jimbob.format.
I need to provide additional scoring systems other than TunkRank, so that TunkRank can be compared. I’m not sure whether this isn’t something better served by just providing the data set and letting people play around in their own database or if I should provide alternate views. The former is more versatile, the latter will probably reach a larger audience.
Currently I show Google ads on TunkRank, mainly because I have spent a small amount of money on it and wouldn’t mind getting that back. If it starts making any real kind of money, that probably means the traffic has increased significantly and I will need to look at hosting it on EC2 or somewhere. I have no illusions that TunkRank will make me rich. I expect it will make me literally tens of dollars … poorer. :)
Finally, there is the issue of the score I display. I chose to show the percentile ranking because it’s easy to see where you are in comparison to other twitter users. If I just showed you the raw TunkRank score, you would have no frame of reference. My solution was to show you both. The downside is it groups all the “interesting” users into the top three percentiles. @NealRichter has put some thought into this, and I urge you to check out his post, leave some comments and help come up with a scoring mechanism that offers better granularity and yet lets you easily compare yourself to the rest of the world. Thus completes today’s desperate plea for crowdsourcing.