Late Nights With Tourneytopia

posted on 03/08/06 at 01:55:46 am by Joel Ross

Here we are, about 1:30 AM, and I'm just finishing up deploying a minor (very minor) update to Tourneytopia. We're definitely starting to stabilize, as we were able to skip a build last night, and both tonight's and Sunday's build were purely cosmetic.

Now, Saturday's build was a different story. We had some major fixes in there. The web services we expose weren't working, so we fixed those. We didn't (and still haven't, really) hyped those, but we offer a few feeds that allow you to get data out of Tourneytopia, so you can use it on your own site. There's quite a few integration scenarios that you can do, so instead of just listing out what we offer, we'll walk through a quick scenario.

Let's say you run a forum and you decide to use Tourneytopia as a promotion for your members. First, you set up a custom user demographic field to collect their forum member id (we're hoping to have a better user account integration story later this year), and once all picks are submitted and the window closes, you go export all of the entries and users to an excel file. Work a little data magic, and you can import entry IDs for each user in the system. That's the first part. Now, whenever a user comes to the site, you can do a couple of things. First, the simple one. You can show them the top overall standings. Then, you can show them how they are doing - you can query our site for information about their entry IDs, and we'll give you information about them, including their total points and current rank.

But that's not all. You're the forum administrator and everyone knows you. So you set yourself up as a Featured Entry. You can also query Tourneytopia to get the featured entries and show them on your site too. You can also get the featured entries based on an entry - so you can show a user how their pick is doing against the featured entries.

You can also query the standings by name, email address and entry id, so you also have some searching capabilities too. Overall, it's a nice way to bring some of the information in Tourneytopia back and be able to use it in your site. Of course, if you just want the standings, you can just use the RSS feed that we have for those.

One last feature we added? A new way to upload images. Before, we allowed you to upload an image and then we put a size on it. Unless you did some planning to get a logo the size we specified, you could end up with a pretty distorted image. So we fixed that, and now are using a tool that resizes your image to fit into our space, but keeps the image looking good.

I'll talk more about that tool a little later, but if you want to check it out, head over to Tourneytopia and set up your own pool, and test it out.

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Categories: Develomatic