This evening, I was adding new links to my Google Profile so as to improve my social search experience. As I added MyBlogLog profile, I got totally thrilled to see that all my social profiles were automatically identified by Google. These were the sites and services which I added to MyBlogLog earlier.
Now, this is really a great use of such open data and results in a wow experience. Lijit, a social blog search tool, and some other services have been using this data since a long time. If you are a developer, you can also grab this data using our APIs or microformats.
But, one way open is not enough!
While Google lets you import data in, you cannot export the same data out. Looking forward, I hope Google, Facebook, Yahoo and others will become more two way open and will drive creation and adoption of such open standards.
Trending topics on Twitter are useful to catch up with the interesting happenings of the moment. We at MyBlogLog also launched Hot Topics a while back, showing a moving list of the hottest topics that people are buzzing about in the MyBlogLog universe.
One of the key problems that is prominent in these trending topics is low relevance as these systems do not consider user interests. Ramanand did a tweet yesterday, wishing for “Trending topics for people I follow” which encouraged me to do this hack:
Twitter Trends hack presents the trending topics in your friends’ stream on twitter. Wanna know why a topic is trending in your network? Just check out the recent hot tweets from your friends. It uses OAuth. No passwords required . IPL (A cricket league in India) is the buzzing topic in my friends’ stream right now. Find out what is hot for you: Try here.
It took me just a couple of hours to complete the hack, all because of simple Twitter APIs, Tweetapp framework and App Engine. OAuth integration was very easy with Tweetapp. The hack analyzes recent two hundred tweets from your friends, finds keywords out of the stream and those referenced with more frequency are trending topics for you.
This hack is just a proof of concept. It is no where close to a perfect personalized topic trends. In ideal world, I would like to build user interest profiles, consider demographics and accordingly show trends. But, it will no longer remain a hack then
Update (24th April): Twitter has re-enabled OAuth. Try out twitter trends now
Update (22nd April): An OAuth security issue has been discovered and several OAuth services including twitter have disabled it temporarily. You cannot try the hack right now
Today, while looking around MyBlogLog: New with me admin, I was stunned to see no updates from Twitter since last couple of hours and all twitter requests are generating 503 errors. Got relieved, when I found, nothing is wrong with our twitter crawlers rather twitter is down.
In case you haven’t noticed, twitter was down for more than a couple of hours, precisely from 22:12:15 (5 Apr) to 00:42:46 (6 Apr) PST.