These days with Google releasing new web services every 7 seconds, existing sites must continue to improve their own services to stay in the game. It seems Torrentspy knows this all too well, and has started developing a few new features which could take downloading torrents to a whole new level.
I don’t know how much detail I should get into about the new version of Torrentspy, or about how I got these screenshots, but suffice it to say, I know a guy who knows a guy. Anywho.. Here are a few screenshots of the new features, which are approximately 95% done and nearly ready to be unleashed onto the public…
Starting from the top down, the first thing you’ll notice is that the plain ol’ download button has been replaced with a whole new section! This section contains the torrents meta information, a ‘new’ download button, and what looks to be a rating system. This very simple type of rating system seems to be catching on these days. It was popularized by Digg, but has now been incorporated into several sites now such as Shoutwire, Spiked Humor, SpankWire (adult content), and many others.
I think this type of system could work quite well for Torrentspy, as long as it isn’t abused by idiots. Though, with over 1.6 million registered users, Torrentspy has to have some clever people in there, right?
Next on the list are the User Attributes. Previously on Torrentspy, when a torrent was submitted, the person submitting picked the category, sub-category and specified the name of the torrent. Not a whole lot of useful information.
Now with the new features, each torrent has several attributes which can be set; these are: the familiar Category, an interesting new addition Tags, Age Rating, Languages, Subtitles, and Platforms.
I expect that the way these work is that if a user doesn’t feel that a torrent has the proper attributes, they may submit what they feel to be the proper attributes. Take the Category attribute for example; if a user doesn’t feel that a torrent is in the proper category, they must login (yup, it requires an account), then they choose which option they feel best suits this torrent. Out of all of the user-submitted options, the top 5 are displayed. This methodology is the same for all the other attributes as well, they all depend on user-submitted data.
The Tag attribute is one that interests me. Is Torrentspy going to hop on the tagging bandwagon like so many other services? There are currently a multitude of web services and applications that use tagging as a way to organize content, or at least supplement their content organizational system. Personally, I’ve never implemented a system using tags, though I do make use of del.icio.us’s tagging system for my bookmarks. I’m not quite certain I see the point behind tagging torrents if you already plug them into categories, but it might work. Crazier things have happened.
Torrentspy has also implemented the same ideas as above into it’s Suggested Archive Password, a section where people post passwords for those files that are, well.. password protected. They have a feature similar to this currently in place, but it isn’t nearly as robust.
Last, but not least, the Comments section on each torrent has been updated. Every comment can now be rated, ala Shoutwire or Digg, so you can now bury all the morons posting comments like “this toretn r teh sux, d00dz.”
You can now sort comments by Date, Most Popular, and Rating, not to mention that users will have the option to include an avatar in their profile, which will show up when posting. Pretty nifty stuff.
That’s All Folks
Sure, the new features being added to Torrentspy aren’t earth-shattering, or even ground-breaking, but they will definitely help keep the site more organized and easier for everyone to use. Torrentspy has incorporated a bit of the ‘wiki’ mentality by leaving content moderation, tagging, and referencing up to the users of the site. Since they are such a large site, currently ranked 323rd most popular site on the internet by Alexa (at the time of writing), I would expect that they are trying to ease a bit of pressure off their moderators, and give the site users a bit more power and sense of community.
Will it work? I think so. Look how well Wikipedia is doing, and everything on there is all user-submitted data. I think we’ll see more and more content categorized, and now tagged, properly. I think we’ll also see a greater sense of community on Torrentspy; the new features will give users a feeling of contributing to the site, so they’ll probably stick around longer and be more active on the site.
What do you guys think? Was it worth the work to add these new features? Will you use them?
All The Screen Shots
If you didn’t want to listen to me blabber on and just wanted view the screenshots, then this is the place to be. Click away. No hot-linking!