Twitter Alerts To Scrape The Olympics Site For New Tickets Are Proliferating

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The Federated Web Should Be Easier Than It Sounds

An unofficial Olympic ticket alerts twitter feed which was accessing the official Olympics ticket site to spot when tickets for events were released has been blocked. But others are now appearing.

Adam Naisbitt created @2012ticketalert on Twitter and deep-linked into the Olympics ticket site to allow people to find out about tickets as they became available. It garnered over 11,000 followers this week. A London 2012 spokesman has said its ticket agent had now blocked the feed. Naisbitt is trying to re-start the service.

However, a new site has now appeared doing the same thing. Andrew Davey, founder of tech startup Squadify, set up @SqadTicketWatch in the last couple of days.

“We built it in 2 days,” he told us. “It’s quite simple really. it’s just a web scraper with some tweaks to stop duplication and to help reduce spamming twitter. We check for tickets every 5 minutes.”

He says he saw the 2012ticketalert service being blocked, but his service will be harder to block as “they’d have to find us through all the traffic. I think his problem could’ve been that Naisbitt was checking every X seconds/minutes on the dot. i.e. every 5 minutes and no variation. Things like that make it easy to spot when someone is scraping your site.”

Clearly there may be more attempts, as people clamour for tickets to the Olympics following the scandal of empty seats.