Squidoo… my first lens

16 06 2009

I built my first Squidoo Lens today… Pretty interesting.

If you have not heard about it the site is worth checking out.  It is a little bit like a blog in the sense that you are writting content about a topic that you hope others will find interesting and may have some way for you to monetize if you get really good at it (that is my perspective at least).  Squidoo topics can generally be very specific in nature and many of the post keep getting refined… I guess it could be described as WordPress.com meets WikiPedia meets Affiliate Marketing.

Here is a link to my first Lens (i.e. post in blog terms): What else can a Amazon Kindle do? and here is a screenshot:

Squidoo Amazon Kindle Lens

Spezify…. gave me the idea for New-Used-Made Search

3 06 2009

The other day I came across a new search site called Spezify (http://beta.spezify.com/).  It was pulling news, images, products from a variety of sources such as flickr, Amazon.com, etc.

Spezify - Obama Search

I like the visual layout, but it got me thinking how hard could it be for a basic version… hmm..  I have already been playing around with some api’s and some visual layout.  So I went ahead and built it.  In my simplified version I just focused on Amazon, Ebay and Etsy… so I call it New-Used-Made Search.

new-used-made product search

I could use a bit more graphic design, but I am pretty happy with the basic result.  It really returns a diverse product set with some fun and weird items.

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook

Discovering Processing.js and All the Amazing New Possibilities

25 05 2009


Screen shot of HasCanvas

Screen shot of HasCanvas

So from some of my earlier post it is clear that I am a fan of the Processing IDE for create artistic programs and applets.  I have also been struggling with finding the right language (Javascript, Actionscript, ?!?!) to build out some new ideas with for the web.  I think my prays have been answered.  John Risig has ported Processing over to Javascript, call his creation Processing.js.  This means that “most” of the cool things that you could do in Processing, you can now do on the web without a java applet and much better integration with html. 


The biggest down side  I see at this point is limited and inconsistent browser support for the javascript canvas required for Processing.js to work.  So if your project is for commercial use it may not meet compatibility standards.  Of course Internet Explore is the least compatible.  Firefox is great and Chrome seems to work pretty good.

Processing.js has been around for a little over a year… it came out in May of 2008, but it really seems to be getting some traction.  And I just discovered it this month, so it is new to me.  Below are some resouces that I have found helpful:

The site from the John Resig: http://ejohn.org/blog/processingjs/

A blog entry from John with some ideas on how to get started and some reflecting: http://ejohn.org/blog/processingjs-aftermath/

A blog post with some good examples: http://felipe.wordpress.com/2008/05/09/processingjs/

An online Processing.JS IDE:  http://obsessing.org

An online Processing.JS game by Casey Reas: http://reas.com/twitch/

A good post on getting started with Processing.JS: http://lethain.com/entry/2008/may/10/getting-started-with-processing-js/

This is an online Processing.JS IDE and Gallery… super slick: http://www.hascanvas.com/

Using Processing.JS for sparklines: http://willarson.com/code/sparklines/sparklines.html#simple7

A lot of great examples: http://www.hyper-metrix.com/processing-js/docs/index.php

I am sure there is going to be a ton of cool stuff that can be made with this…

  • The I think some charts and graphs would be great (again no text rendering for now).  Have you seen Ben Fry’s book on data visualization:  Data Visualization by Ben Fry . A lot of the examples in this book should be portable.
  • Of course there is the art of processing
  • Games anyone?

Processing tool for creation and enabling it with Javascript would seem to open up possibilities to new audiences and new uses (I particularly like the sketch in the background of Robert O’Rourke Blog).

As you can tell I am super excited by this… my enthusiasm is only tempered by the fact that IE does not support the JavaScript Canvas object that is required to render.  😦

YQL: Yahoo Query Language… Query the Web…

15 04 2009

As a fan of traditional Business Intelligence and a student of the Amazon Associates Web Services I was amazed when I stumbled upon the YQL page of the Yahoo Developer Center.  My quick take is that using a syntax similar to traditional SQL one can write queries to web services offered by Yahoo and as well as any other API on the Internet.  There are some limits on the number of calls per day (100k) and per hour (10k).

So now comes the question about how to use it and take advantage of the possibilities it provides.  I am going to have to think about this… 

Querying RSS... and just about anything else on the web.

Querying RSS... and just about anything else on the web.









Yahoo Developer Network:  http://developer.yahoo.com/