Introducing Fathomer

Project Page: http://code.google.com/p/fathomer/

I started working on this late last week after brainstorming with a friend. We wanted a way to dynamically promote some one’s Twitter account to users who are most likely to already be Twitter followers themselves. Imagine you are working at a large company with lots of traffic (like us) and want to promote your company’s Twitter account to your users, but don’t want to have to explain to the 95% of non-Twitter users just what the hell you’re talking about. The idea is that you can grow your community much easier if users are already on Twitter. As more of your general audience join Twitter themselves, they are introduced to the promo. Fathomer tries to work along the principal of gradual discovery of features.

If you are a Twitter user, you are most likely seeing Fathomer on this site. Its the orange badge in the top-right of the page.

Fathomer is a highly customizable tool that detects if a visitor to your site is a Twitter user and shows a badge, or ad, with your message and a link to your Twitter account.

It works by detecting if a user has visited the account settings page on Twitter, which is a URL you can only access once you have been logged in to the service. The user does not have to enter any personal account information, nor do you. You can configure Fathomer in many ways:


  1. Custom message – A default is used if none is set.

  2. Specify your account name. This is the only required piece of information and is used for display purposes only.

  3. Custom CSS and badge html – A complete default badge comes installed. Its possible to customize the CSS and even make your own html for the badge.

  4. Change detection url – You can change the Twitter url that is being checked if you need to.

  5. Target badge placement – By default, the badge loads in the top-right corner of the browser. However this can be changed to whatever load in whatever html element you want.


I’m also thinking about some improvements to the detection methods that could increase the precision of the targeted promotion. If there’s enough interest in Fathomer to warrant improvements, they’ll get added in. I’m also interested in adding some conversion metrics, but that takes Fathomer from being a simple and easy to install tool to being a larger project. If it grows, so will its capabilities.

You can visit the project page at http://code.google.com/p/fathomer/ or you can install Fathomer directly by adding the following script to your page somewhere and configuring the username and/or message.

All feedback is requested and appreciated!

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://fathomer.googlecode.com/files/fathomer-latest-min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
// Required. Your account name.
fathomer.account = 'yourAccountName';

// Optional. The message that is displayed.
//fathomer.message = 'Sample override message.';

// Optional. Can specify a specific element to attach to. ID, class, or css selector
//fathomer.target = '';

// Optional. Turn off default css if you have your own styles.
//fathomer.loadcss = false;

// Optional. Can be changed to a different Twitter url to check the visited history state.
//fathomer.urlcheck = '';

// Optional. If a custom html structure is needed, it can be loaded using standard jquery methods in altbadge. Properties are accessed/set via fathomer.var, e.g. fathomer.message.
//fathomer.altbadge = function(){};

fathomer.init();

</script>

One thought on “Introducing Fathomer

  1. bflora

    You misspell “conversation” in the default message. I’ve tried changing the output in my code, but shouldn’t have to. Please fix.

    Also, awesome piece of code!

    Reply

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