Hill East March on Potomac Gardens
Creative Commons License photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

For those of you who were on Twitter yesterday, you may have seen your friends tweet about Twifficiency, a service that offered to calculate your Twitter Efficiency based upon Twitter Activity, written by James Cunningham.

I saw several people tweet about this, so I myself gave it a go. Which realised why people were tweeting about it.

Basically, after authorising access to your profile (via OAuth), it gives what I think is an arbitary number, which is then automatically tweeted to your twitter feed.

Immediately people began crying spam, scam & leaving your profile open to attack, but I am not so sure.

Yeah, it’s a bit deceitful in that twitter automatically tweets things to your profile, but I don’t think that any malice behind it. After all, James put his Twitter handle on the site to hopefully create connections (it was something similar I did with UKSEOHere). If he was to use it to spam, would he have attributed his work to his site?

When I got into programming, there wasn’t the social API’s that is available now, so the worst I got was a corrupted database or server load being high. Now with the wealth of technology available, it’s remarkably easy to create something that interacts with popular websites (as demonstrated by UKSEOHere). To create an OAuth login for Twitter, followed by a tweet, it is impressive (I’ve been pissing around with the OAuth for Foursquare, and it’s not as easy as it seems).

Often the only way to test things is to test them in a real life environment, which is something I did with UKSEOHere, which got a bit out of control with Twifficiency, leading to what was seen yesterday.

I’d hate to see James – who is a 17 year old kid – be labeled as a scammer. From reading his twitter feed he realises he screwed up, and a temporary fix has been added (basically a disclaimer in bright red on the site), with hopefully a fix coming later. Being a smart lad, I imagine it won’t take long.

Nevertheless, if you want to get rid of it (which I do recommend anyway, just to keep your profile clean), you can revoke access using the Twitter Connections page.

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