How I Automated a Process by Chatting on Reddit

I wrote an article a couple of weeks ago that focused around creating profiles on my outreach targets. The tutorial showed my process for finding my targets, understanding the content that they looked at and where I could gain exposure to them.

The process itself is pretty time-consuming but can return some incredible insights - I have been doing this for the past year and as a result I've dramatically improved my relationship building approach.

What I want to talk about is how a very generous Reddit user managed to streamline my process, which takes a few hours to complete, into a task that can be done in under a minute.

My Most Productive 10 Minutes on Reddit - Ever!

My article actually got picked up on the /bigseo/ subreddit and was driving through some great traffic. Naturally, I logged-in to answer any questions people had within the comments, but whilst I was there I stumbled upon a very interesting post.

Reddit postThe post was made by Dinesh Agarwal, the founder of Prostart.me (a service dedicated to helping entrepreneurs bring their ideas to fruition).

Dinesh had offered to create a SEO tool based on whatever anyone needed (and would do this for free - no strings attached). Someone had asked for a deep spinning tool and Dinesh had created it completely within 24 hours, which is pretty amazing.

After seeing this, I thought I'd make a request to see if Dinesh and his team could streamline a few of the processes outlined in my articleย and save me a huge amount of time. Here's what I asked:

[sws_blockquote_endquote align="" cite="http://www.reddit.com/r/bigseo/comments/1oyj1m/any_small_tools_you_wish_you_had_access_to_for/" quotestyle="style02"] I'd love a tool (one single tool) that pulls of a list of any URL that a Twitter user has tweeted (i.e. if they have tweeted any link via Twitter in the past, the tool will scrape this and give me a list of them all). Then, the tool will unshorten the URLs (most tweeted URLs are shortened using something like bit.ly, etc) and present them in either raw text or in a spreadsheet format. If you make this, I'd send a few bucks your way and I'll promote the hell out of you! [/sws_blockquote_endquote]

I started off fairly small because I wasn't sure of the scale that Dinesh could go to - plus, I didn't want to take the piss!

Dinesh, being the good Samaritan that he is, refused any kind of payment from me and responded to my message within a few hours. After around 24 hours, he had a link to the tool for me to try out...

TweeLinks

After giving it a quick try, it seemed to work really well - After waiting around 5-6 minutes for the tool to do its thing, I received a list of a load of links that had been tweeted by any given Twitter user. This part of my manual process took at least 45-60 minutes to carry out, so you can imagine how impressed I was...

Slow clap

But was Dinesh finished there? No he was not...

I got back to Dinesh on Reddit and contacted him via email to say thanks and that I really appreciated his generosity. I donated $80 through his site (I know, not a huge amount, but I'm sure it helps) and Dinesh let me know that he used it to buy his team pizzas (great guy).

Good guy, Dinesh.

Dinesh then went on to say that he had gone through my article and found a way to increase the functionality to incorporate even more steps of my process. On top of this, he had increased the speed at which the tool runs. The extra functionality included actually sorting through the results to find the most frequently tweeted domains and then placing them into a table. As well as these, he had even managed to display a graph of the results!

I gave it a whirl and the results were...

Rainbow Vomit

I still can't believe how awesome the tool is. It has taken a task that I would literally spend days working on, and turned it into a 5 minute job!

The tool now allows you to input any Twitter handle and it will return a list of all of the URLs that the user has ever tweeted. It will then unshorten the URLs (as most tweeted URLs are shortened using bit.ly, owl.ly, etc) and then place them into a list. There is another list that will display how many times each domain has been tweeted and then a graph to show the result is created. The graph shows the distribution of domains that have been tweeted by the user, which can be incredibly useful information to have as you can get an understanding of the websites that your targets regularly visit and value.

TweeLinks Results

Go and check out the tool now and let me know what you think -ย http://www.textfreeapp.org/TweeLinks.php. Dinesh has told me that he's going to be adding further functionality to the tool next week as well as work on the layout/aesthetics, etc - so it should become even more powerful!

I just want to say a personal thank you to Dinesh and his team for their generous work on putting this tool together - it goes to show that not everyone is out for themselves.