When developing software you are almost always looking to code for reuse. It’s great if you can use it multiple times in an application, but what about taking parts to create something standalone and useful as a marketing tool?
While doing some experimental coding for Referral Rock I was trying to find out if I could see how many times a link was liked, shared, tweeted, pinned…
I planned on using this code to truly validate when someone shares something on a social network. In testing the code with various websites I realized how incredibly useful it was.
I could put any URL in and measure the link’s social impact. My favorite use was putting in a website that I just heard of, just to get a sneak peak on how big they really were. Reminds me of how I use to look up websites back in the day on complete and alexa, which is still useful at times, but not as granular as seeing individual likes and tweets.
And like that Social Impact was born. It has a functional use to me so maybe others can benefit.
I needed to built the functionality anyway, so why not give it away for free and maybe get some exposure? All it really took was adding a simple UI.
One of my other requirements was that it would be nice to see these statistics over time, so that led me to poll the statistics once a day so one could eventually see the changes over time of an individual URL. So I threw that into the tool as well, so that users can be updated weekly on changes to a URL(s) of their choosing.
FYI For better or for worse it only gives you the statistics on that exact URL. So looking up a site like a blog was not very useful because most of their social impact came from individual posts, not the base URL.
Hopefully, it will lead to some people finding Referral Rock, creating some new customers and even inspire an amazing follow-up post, right? if not… not too much was lost as the code will still serve its original purpose.
What can you salvage out of old projects that could be something people want?