If you follow trends on Tweetmeme you will know that MacHeist have chosen today to give away a free copy of DEVONthink to anyone who is happy to tweet. All users have to do to is tweet a special tweet including a link to the MacHeist ‘TweetBlast’ page (http://www.macheist.com/tweetblast/). This has gone viral, and as each tweet contains that little ‘http’ text, Tweetmeme has been busy collecting and counting all these tweets! It has had more tweets than we’ve ever seen on Tweetmeme for a single link, currently over 16,000.
We pride ourselves in getting upcoming stories out to our users as quickly as possible, but maybe this morning we were just a bit too quick. Users to Tweetmeme before about 9 GMT this morning will have noticed that we were showing an incorrect title for the MacHeist story, specifically a ’404’ error.
It seems the MacHeist developers were running some tests about two hours before they launched the TweetBlast, assuming no-one would see their test tweets on their quiet test account:
@kallebootest Yeah, I’ll take a free copy of DEVONthink! http://macheist.com/tweetblast/ #kallebootest #free
As this was before the launch, this link didn’t exist, and returned a missing page. Tweetmeme would have correctly ignored this page because an error occurred, but MacHeist appear to still return a 200 (HTTP ok) code on error pages, so Tweetmeme unknowingly stored it.
Two hours later MacHeist launched their free give-away site and the tweets flooded in, but Tweetmeme already had all the data it needed for the site so did not re-spider. The story climbed up the Tweetmeme front page, with its incorrect title. Obviously once we saw the error, we fixed it, and it now shows correctly.
Twitter users need to be careful when they post something that is not supposed to be found by others. No-matter how few follows the account has: Tweetmeme is always listening!