UPDATE: I’ve completely rewritten this post. My apologies for the prematurely released version.
May I introduce… Scrabb.ly!
I love Scrabb.ly, the *MMPOG version of Scrabble. Scrabb.ly was an entrant in the Node knockout coding contest in late August 2010, and I believe the grid was created at that time. I found it indirectly via Mr. Rowfeeder, a.k.a. Damon Cortesi, a very genuine Scrabble enthusiast and founder of the very young company RowFeeder. Actually, that sounds unkind, it isn’t intended as such. I’ve been a fan and follower of the company and its blog, Row Feeder: Because Data is Beautiful since May. They are part of the TwitterVerse, and were one of the first companies to offer easy ETL-type options for results and activity files in *.csv and a variety of other easily portable file formats, so as to actually be useful outside their own application. RowFeeder is also enabled for location-based services. I don’t know if the company is prospering, but Damon did seem to have a genuine understanding of descriptive statistics, unlike the glut of parvenu web analytics and influence metrics providers that are proliferating like… well, you know.
The other trend and influence metric-related service that caught my eye was Peer Index They actually use predictive algorithms with numerous data sources in addition to Twitter activity. Peer Index has potential for more than social media purposes. They are still in the process of data acquisition, but are developing a methodology for gauging relative authority in various categories of subject matter expertise. While that sounds somewhat unlikely, and not very quantifiable initially, I’m willing to watch and wait and withhold opinion for now. I like what I’ve seen so far, and they are more willing that most to discuss their services and engage users as they develop their business.
This began with Scrabble, and will conclude similarly, with a few more tributes to the subtle pleasures of word play. Have a look at Scrabble for Web Developers. Self-promotion warning: that takes you to my WordPress blog, where I began. Yes, Scrabb.ly is probably the most interesting variation in word games I’ve seen to-date. It is certainly superior to playing Scrabble on a Kindle reader, which is a recent and somewhat odd entrant in the world of Scrabble variations. Note that Amazon chose Scrabble as the very first paid application to offer for Kindle.
*MMPOG = Massively Multiplayer Online Game, no role playing involved, thus not an MMPORG. MMPOG is a word of my own coinage, I think, but I might just not get out enough and haven’t seen it before.