Updatesville: Buzooka, Tweetoo, Beh.roo.piya: who all are you?

Last week, we had a blast at the Yahoo! internal Hack Day. Suraj, Kunal & I created an application: Updatesville which was the overall winner. And another social hack, which Uma, Kumar and I did, also bagged a prize!

Updatesville makes sharing updates on Yahoo! fun. More updates you share more points you win. You also unlock badges on reaching milestones like tweeto on sharing 5 tweets, buzooka on buzzing up 7 times, Beh.roo.piya (impersonator in Hindi) on creating an avatar, etc.

Try now: http://pulse.yahoo.com/y/apps/7BNRkt42 and see where do you rank among your friends!

YQL, Social SDK and YAP made it very easy for us to complete the hack within 24 hours. YAP is the platform where our application runs and via YQL we query Yahoo! social APIs to find out your contacts and updates. (More on Hacking Yahoo! social here)

Updatesville was greatly inspired by OneTrueFan, Foursquare, Zynga games and Retweet RankOneTrueFan is the latest idea from the founders of MyBlogLog. In OTF, you compete to be the biggest fan of your favorite sites. If you like Foursquare, you will love OTF too! Try it out.

Do you want to hack?
Yahoo! is hosting its 3rd Open Hack India on 24th-25th July 2010 at the The Taj Residency, Bangalore. Sign up now.

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Webmeme.In – Indian Techmeme

If you like Techmeme and are interested in following Indian technology news, then Webmeme.In is for you!

Webmeme.In, an Indian technology news aggregator, is my brand new mashup built on top of Yahoo! BOSS. Its a meme, presenting you the hottest Indian tech stories that are buzzing on the web. Want to know more about a story? Just click on it and you will reach the source blog. Sidebar presents the most recent stories from Indian tech blogs. You can also search amongst the tech news right from the site. Try it now.

Most of the stories you see on Webmeme.In are from Indian blogs. At the same time, stories from the top international blogs related to Indian tech industry will also flow into Webmeme.In river. So, you will not miss if TechCrunch is talking something interesting about an Indian company.

Follow @webmeme (top stories) or @webmemeFH (Firehose: all posts) to receive new updates in twitter. You can also subscribe to the RSS feeds.


How it works?

  • Data aggregation: I use YQL to aggregate and extract data from all the sources.
  • Story selection/Ranking: Recent stories which are generating maximum conversation over the web are selected automatically using APIs including Y! BOSS site explorer, Google Trackbacks and the most important postrank API which tracks almost all of the social media including bookmarking sites, Twitter, Friendfeed, comments on the blog post, etc.
  • Related Stories: Related stories are found through similarity calculated over several features like content, tags, links, etc and is easily accomplished using text mining methods present in BOSS Mashup framework.
  • Search: Site restricted search powered by Y! BOSS.
  • User Interface: YUI. Get your grids quickly through YUI Grid builder
  • Hosting: Site runs on Google App Engine, my favorite hosting platform.

Have suggestions/questions/feedback? Drop a comment below or contact me.

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Twitter trends and Hot tweets for YOU

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 EngineOAuth 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 :(

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What is your retweet rank?

Obama is the most followed twitter user, but who is producing the most interesting content across the twittersphere lately?

Retweets are great indication of the originator’s topical influence and the audience’s interest. Recently, after reading a post “Are You Retweetable“, from Todd Sampson (co-founder MyBlogLog), I thought of creating a quick hack, Retweetrank, for ranking twitter users based on the number of retweets.

Retweetrank lets you find rank of any twitter user. With the rank, latest retweets of the user are shown and an RSS feed can also be grabbed for the same. Monitoring retweets can provide a better understanding of audience to the originator while others can see the most interesting tweets of a user.

The top ranked twitter users, who have been most retweeted recently, are listed in the leaderboard. They are the ones producing most interesting content across the twittersphere.

Find your retweet rank now.

Retweetrank searches the public timelines of twitter users through the twitter APIs and is deployed on google appengine.

Update (Jan 11): As Ian Kennedy suggested below in the comments, here is a greasemonkey script to see recent retweets for any user in the twitter sidebar.

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Natural Language Image Search with Yahoo Boss and Google App Engine

Natural language processing is partly used in text search today, but its use in image search is mostly unexplored. I did a quick hack: askBoss, which retrieves images to questions posed in natural language. askBoss attempts to enhance image results for queries around factual question answering. It uses Yahoo Boss (Search) APIs through Boss Mashup framework and is deployed on Google App Engine.

This hack is an extension of Vik Singh’s qna service, which finds answer using the popular phrases in the top search results for a query. I do image search for the best answers and blend them with the regular image search results. The hack is a basic prototype and natural language image search gets triggered only for questions (queries including who/what/which).

Try askBoss: http://ask-boss.appspot.com

Below is a quick comparison of search results obtained by askBoss, Google image search and Y! image search for query: who is batman in the dark knight?

askBoss results: who is batman in the dark knight?

askboss: who is batman in the dark knight

Google image search results: who is batman in the dark knight?

google: who is batman in the dark knight

Yahoo Image search results: who is batman in the dark knight?

yahoo: who is batman in the dark knight

Try askBoss: http://ask-boss.appspot.com

With Yahoo Boss APIs and a deployment platform like Google App Engine, building a decent search service is pretty easy. I could finish this hack within a few hours by using Boss Mashup Framework and App Engine. Apart form the qna service, other popular Boss API/app engine integrations include 4hoursearch aka YUIL.

Update 1: askBOSS got covered in TechCrunch and Yahoo Search Blog.

Update 2: Now running on BOSS v2 and code open sourced on github

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