Since late last year I’ve had some pretty cool features in Favstar that I haven’t released. I’ve really really wanted to, but things have kept getting in the way. First there was Favit, the iPhone app. Then there was the crawler rebuild, and then the server migration (which I just completed and I’m stoked with!)
Apart from the distractions, my inability to release these new features is two-fold. The first blocker was that I want to charge a little for the new features with the hope that Favstar will become self sustaining. Hosting fees are US$730 a month now (keep it fast baby!), and I’m giving up a portion of paid work to run favstar.
The problem with this is that the only way I can charge US$ without you needing to leave favstar.fm, is with the Bank of New Zealand. They have crazy fees, so I’ve spent waaaay too long trying to find alternatives. The second blocker is that I’ve been having trouble coming up with a design that I’m happy with for the sign up process.
Now I have a client project which is occupying a chunk of my time, so it would be another couple of months of weekend and evening work before I can release these features. So, I’ve decided to simplify the whole thing. I’m going to make the features available early to donators.
Here’s the deal.
- You get ‘see more tweets’ buttons at the bottom of the leaderboard pages and the popular and recent tabs on user pages.
- You get a sweet notification system. You can configure notifications to occur at any number of favs, and you can choose whether you get DM’ed, emailed, or they are announced as normal by @favstar_bot. I personally love this feature.
- You get better RSS. Not everyone uses RSS, but for those that do, you’ll see a big improvement in the format. It will tell you who’s faved each tweet so you don’t need to visit the site.
- Your own favs will be crawled at least every 5 minutes. Sometimes more frequently, but never less frequently unless the server’s having problems. It’s important to be clear that this is favs that you’ve given - not favs that you’ve received.
- There’s a few other things I have in mind, but these are the big ones for now. In the future, more features will be added for people that have donated.
When I make these features generally available via onsite signup, the intention is that you’ll pay a small monthly fee for them. I haven’t finalized pricing, but at the moment the basic account will be US$5 a month. Because it will involve a bit of work for me to manually turn these features on for you until I have my system sorted, I’m offering to do this for multi-month purchases. If you make a donation of $30, I’ll turn it on for you for 6 months. If you make a donation of $50, I’ll turn it on for 12 months.
People who have already made donations of these amounts or over, will have these features turned on for them and made active from today. If you’ve made a smaller donation in the past, you can top it up to $30 with another donation if you want to try these features. Say you donated $20 previously, if you donate another $10 I’ll turn this on for you.
If you’d like these features, please donate here: http://pledgie.com/campaigns/5568 When you make a donation, please add a note that includes your twitter username so I know who you are.
Thanks for all the support, RTs, and reblogs! It’s been a joy seeing so many of you enjoy using something I’ve built.
ps. People that have donated $30+ in the past - hang in there, and these features will be enabled for you within a day or two, if not later today.