Back in November I started playing with using Perl to scrape data from Instructables.com. I saw lots of information that was scattered around that would be useful to members of the site if made available to the. One of the first scripts I developed was one to visit all the instructables of a user and tally up the views of each to give a total. I asked users to subscribe to me and in return I ran the script on them (link), showing them how many total views they had.
In the latest incarnation of this script I created a group for people to join. The new script, run on the 1st and 15th of every month reads the members from the group and scrapes the data from their instructables for each, dumping it into a .TSV file. Twice a month I will be running this script and handing out the following cartoons by Caitlinsdad as patches as people pass the 50k, 100k, 250k, 500k and 1m views marks.
Tomorrow (1st June) will be only the second time it’s been run so we’ll get to see some interesting stats on who’s count has grown the most.