Category Archives: Web2.0

Introducing Tweepz

logoDuring the last couple of weeks, I’ve been spending some evening-hours on a new project called Tweepz. It actually started when I noticed that it is rather difficult to find people on twitter which might be interesting to follow. Twitter’s own usersearch only allows to search by name and another similar initiative twitdir has been down for quite a while already. Thanks to my job @ exalead I have the opportunity to develop upon a pretty powerful search engine, so I started crawling twitter.

The first version is now ready (although there might be some bugs here and there), it’s available on

Besides performing a regular search, you can also use a couple of operators in order to restrict the search to a specific field (bio:, name: and loc:). Next to these operators, you can perform fuzzy queries using spellslike: and soundslike: or by using a wildcard *. Think I’ll add an advanced search window later this week, that should make it a bit easier to perform advanced queries.

Currently around 400.000 twitter profiles have been indexed so there’re still a lot to collect by the crawler. If you are twittering, you can speed up the indexation of your own profile by following @tweepz.

Hope you’ll find it a handy tool, suggestions or feature requests are of course welcome!

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How to open up the social web

open standardsThe social part of the web is a hot topic these days. We see a development in which a lot of webapplications are incorporating some way of social interaction with friends, collegues or family. New applications arrived which enable us to inform our friends about what we’re doing, where we are or what we would like to share. The big players like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft understand the importance of online social activity and are rapidly taking steps to adapt their platforms (see yahoo opens up) or introduce new platforms (e.g. Google’s OpenSocial). I think this is a good thing, social activities often enrich the experience of online applications and it will become a more important aspect of the web in the coming years. However, this also introduces a couple of new problems (or should we call it challenges). A friend of mine, @kleverlaan, wrote an interesting post (dutch) after visiting the Web2.0 expo in San Francisco explaining why the social web is currently broken. In a nutshell, it comes down to the fact that for every webapplication that you register for you will have to:
1) Register with a new username / password combination (and try to remember it)
2) Provide some more detailed profile information
3) Find all your friends, family and collegues who happen to use the same application
4) Define the relationship between you and your friends

What we need to do is open up the social web: making all our data portable between applications. The good news is that a couple of open standards have already been introduced. OpenId, OAuth and OpenSocial provide the technology to make a big part of our data portable across multiple applications. But an average user should not be involved with any of those technologies. The technologies need to be utilized to build the ‘services of the Social Web’. Namely: Identity Providers, Social Graph Providers and Content Aggregators (like Plaxo Pulse, FriendFeed). It might even be possible to make the social graph part of your online identity, leaving the need for a separate Social Graph provider.

The services of the Social Web still leave some problems unsolved. For example, they don’t provide a solution for the management of your online reputation. I would like to take my Ebay reputation with me when I register at Craigslist. Or use my slashdot karma when I go to digg. It’s a tough one since the context often matters for reputations, but most certainly a step we have to take in order to open up the social web.

Yahoo opens up

Yahoo’s new CTO, Ari Balogh, presented the new kind of Yahoo! at the Web2.0 expo in San Francisco. And I must say, I like it! In a nutshell, Yahoo is going to:

1) Open up their platform, enabling developers to build their own applications for various Yahoo! products like mail, my yahoo, search and even Yahoo’s frontpage on

2) Unlock the social data that lives within Yahoo’s databases (like mail contacts, messenger contacts).

I think Yahoo gets it. They could have also kept all the data for themselves in an attempt to build a new social app. Instead, they completely open up which enables the developer community to build some brilliant applications on top of Yahoo’s platform and data. And, eventually, chances are good that Yahoo’s platform ends up as the place to be.

More on these developments on Yahoo’s blog and in the video below:

Here comes another bubble

Will there be another bubble in 2008? I don’t know but this song by Richter Scales really made me laugh:
Warning: Robert Scoble had Diet Coke coming out of his nose after watching this.

Dick Hardt on Identity 2.0

I attended thenextweb conference last friday. Dick Hardt was one of the speakers, he did his ‘usual’ talk on Identity 2.0. Althought it was the second time I saw his presentation in real live, it’s still inspiring and fun to watch. Online identity is becoming more and more important and initiatives like openid are about to change the way we deal with our online presence.

For those who haven’t seen Dick’s talk yet, it’s a must see:
(oh, and be sure not to miss the shirt of the guy hosting the conference in this movie)

We feel fine! Visualizing human feelings

We feel fine is an interesting project which analyses recent blogposts and extracts information about what the world is currently feeling. Fun idea and I think they did a great job on the user interface:

We feel fine

“Every few minutes, the system searches the world’s newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling”. When it finds such a phrase, it records the full sentence, up to the period, and identifies the “feeling” expressed in that sentence (e.g. sad, happy, depressed, etc.). “

I know about a few similar initiatives, for example moodviews which works with the content of LiveJournal. I expect a lot of tools like these, the blogosphere is full of valuable information that we don’t really use at the moment. There’s a lot of potential, for example in the field of marketing.

If anybody knows other tools like / moodviews, please drop a comment.

Why is netvibes getting that much attention in the blogosphere?

I’m always a bit surprised by the amount of attention that is given to netvibes in the blogosphere. Sure, it’s a great app and they are pretty successful in what they are doing. The same however holds for other personalized homepages like Pageflakes and Protopage. I always assumed that all the buzz was caused by the fact that most early adopters are using netvibes, a recent poll on read/writeweb however proves the opposite. Exactly 1700 people answered the question: which personalized homepage do you use?

The top3:
1. Pageflakes (30%)
2. Google reader (26%)
3. Netvibes (21%)

Now it’s time to compare these numbers with the attention that number 1 (pageflakes) and number 3 (netvibes) are receiving from the blogosphere.

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Musicovery, discover new music

Just came across an interesting site:

Musicovery enables you to discover music that fits your mood. There’s music available for every genre (from rap to disco) and after you’ve selected your current mood, musicovery will suggest some tracks. It’s not only fun to play around with the nice visual interface, you also discover lots of new artists and music that you may want to download buy.

W3C working draft for Widgets

Via ajaxian, I read about a new working draft from the W3C: Widgets 1.0.

Everyone and their mother have created their own widget specifications, and now as a developer you need to make choices. Do you want it to work on Dashboard? Vista? Google? MSN? Yahoo!?

This draft is similar to the opera widgets implementation, but it also has info from Apple’s Dashboard, and the auto discovery support was based on the work in Atom Autodiscovery.

This standard will live and die by the support that it gets. Now is the time to give feedback, and see where this train goes.

Wikipedia articles on Google earth

Nice idea: grab all wikipedia articles which are enriched with geo-coordinates and make the information accessible within Google Earth. That’s exactly what Stefan Kühn has done!

The KMZ-file can be downloaded from his website and you can easily import that in Google Earth. Now you can fly over your favourite holiday destination and immediatly read the corresponding wikipedia articles.
I like it:

Wikipedia in google earth