Archived entries for Info Mgmt

A Dozen Cool Uses for RSS Feeds (via Basement.org)

Basement.org delivers a dozen interesting uses for RSS feeds, and reading blogs isn’t on the list. Weather, comics, contacts and deals are though. They’ve titled this post “Part One”, so check back at their site later for another installment.

Most Underrated API? The Yahoo! Term Extractor

There’s a million APIs out there, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s easy now to translate street addresses to lat/long coordinates. It’s easy to grab local results, and overlay them on a map. It’s easy to use Yahoo or Google to get all types of search results (local, images, etc), and sites like Amazon to get prices and products.

But I think one of the coolest and most underrated APIs is the Term Extractor API from Yahoo!:

In other words, you point it at a piece of content — a news article, blog post, movie review or whatever — and it returns a list of terms, or keywords (or “tags” for those of you keeping score at home).

What do you do next with a list of keywords from a piece of content? Well, lots of things. Jeremy Keith wrote yesterday about a few ideas (that seem up for grabs, if you’re in a hacking mood!).

What if you treated each returned term as a tag? You could then pass those tags to any number of tag-based services, like Flickr, Del.icio.us, or Technorati.

So, instead of the simple “here’s my Technorati profile” or “here are my Flickr pics” on a blog, you could have links that were specific to each individual blog post. If I sent the text of this post to the term extractor, it would return a list of terms like “api”, “yahoo”, etc. By passing those terms as tags to a service like Technorati or Del.icio.us, readers could be pointed to other blog posts and articles that are (probably) related.

Like he suggests, it gets interesting when you let the output from this web service be the input for another service. I was lucky enough a few months ago to lend a small bit of help to the team that brought you the Yahoo! Events Browser mashup. One challenge of that product was to get images associated with each event. If you’ve ever worked with unstructured data — event listings are super unstructured — then you know that they don’t provide many high-quality hooks for understanding their content. The team tried doing image searches on venue or artist name, but the results weren’t very relevant or interesting, even when the parsed venue or artist was accurate. So, being the put-lots-of-pieces-together types there are, they decided to use the Term Extractor to discover more accurate, meaningful, and specific query terms to then find images for. Here’s how they summed it up:

To display appropriate images for events, local event output was sent into the Term Extraction API, then the term vector was given to the Image Search API. The results are often incredibly accurate.

I’ve only seen a handful of implementations of the Term Extractor API so far. If you’ve got a cool one to point me to, or a cool idea for a future implementation, please leave ‘em in the comments below.

Dotrush 2006 – Hurry, whatever.youwant@yahoo.com going fast.

Over the last few weeks, Yahoo! Mail has started offering a “dot” within your Yahoo ID. Instead of nate98317ab, you can now be firstname.lastname, or anything else containing a dot. I was triz_n, but now I’m nate.koechley. This new namespace offers many great names that have been grabbed long ago in the dot-less namespace. Here’s what the Yahoo Mail blog has to say about it:

Well, you’re in luck. We’ve just opened up new “dot” addresses to all Mail users. Now get an extra email address like stunt.racer@yahoo.com or poetry.stud@yahoo.com or whatever.youwant@yahoo.com. It’s absolutely free. Use it just as you would your primary address (which of course you can still use). To make things handy, even use one Inbox to send and receive messages to and from both addresses. But hurry, the good names are going fast!

Click here to claim your dot username.

AllPeers Filesharing Extension for Firefox, a TechCrunch Review

Michael Arrington points to a forthcoming Firefox bittorrent extension called AllPeers for sharing files with your friends and family. Sounds pretty good, I could use a tool like this.

I signed up for the beta, and you can too via the link towards the end of his TechCrunch review.

Riya Photo Search Screenshots


riya_reg_step1
Originally uploaded by natekoechley.

At brunch this morning, I received an email invitation to play with the early “soalphaithurts” alpha of Riya. Riya is consumer facial recongition software. After you name a face, it will scan and auto-tag the rest of your photos.

The concept is great; I took 9000 photos on my backpacking trip earlier this year, some help tagging them is very welcome.

Anyways, I just signed up and installed the uploaded. It takes quite a while to upload and process the photos, but in the meantime check my screenshots of “Nine Step Registration Process” and the “Six Page Tour”.

More Riya details, screenshots and first impressions coming soon.


How To: Find Your “Friend ID” for Yahoo! My Web 2.0

I was looking for the url that points to my links on Yahoo!’s MyWeb 2.0 social search and social bookmarking product. When I’m logged in, it shows a clean url, but if you’re not logged in as me that generic url wouldn’t take you to my links.

I’m sure there’s an easier way to find this “public url” for your links, but I had a hard time finding it just now. Here’s how you can do it relatively quickly:

  1. Remember one of your most-recent or unique tags (that you’ve used to save a bookmark to MyWeb)
  2. Log out of Yahoo!
  3. Go to the “Everyone’s Tags” page and do a search for your tag.
  4. In the results, find your name in the “Shared by” of a link with that tag. Click your name.
  5. Copy that url, it’s the public view of your MyWeb page. Here’s mine.

This process could be smoother, but it must be on the to-do list. Others get it right, like Y!360, Y!Calendar, del.icio.us and Flickr. They all use your username in the url of your page: http://360.yahoo.com/triz_n, http://calendar.yahoo.com/triz_n, http://del.icio.us/natekoechley, http://flickr.com/photos/natekoechley/.

By the way, have you claimed your MyWeb badge yet?



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