Brad Feld

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The Web Is Working Harder For Me

May 21, 2009
Category Technology

A few weeks ago I wrote a post titled The Maturing of the Implicit Web.  In it I talked about new releases from AdaptiveBlue and OneRiot.  As I sit here in my hotel room in Seattle waiting for TA McCann (CEO of Gist) to show up for our pre-board meeting run, I’m pondering how much work I’m starting to get the web to do for me.

For example, as part of my morning information routine, I go through my Gist dashboard.  This is a list of all the new information that Gist has found from a wide variety of data sources about people and companies in my social network.  It derives the social network from my email inbox, integrates it with my Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter social graphs, and then presents it to me in a way that is prioritized by what it thinks I find most interesting.  The level of relevance to me is amazing now that I’ve had it running for a few months.  While Gist is still in closed beta, if you want an invite just email me.

Gist is synthesizing the data for me from a variety of other web services.  At our board meeting today we have a long list of potential partners and data services that we prioritize based on (a) quality of data, (b) availability of data, and (c) ability to integrate the data.  Exactly one year ago I wrote a post titled No API?  You Suck! I feel so strongly about this; if I wrote the post again today I would have titled it “No API?  You Really Suck!”

One of the data sources that has a strong API layer is our company Gnip.  They recently announced that they will be integrating data from the Facebook Platform into their data set.  This comes on the heals of their announcement about adding WordPress as a data publisher to their system.  Gnip now has over 30 data publishers actively flowing through their system and have found rapid adoption from a number of interested customers.  Oh – and Gnip’s API is well documented, public, and evolving rapidly.

So – it was with great pleasure when I saw Alex Iskold’s announcement that there is now a Glue API. There is a tremendous amount of interesting semantic data in AdaptiveBlue’s Glue system – the API liberates it for anyone that wants to put some energy into working with it.

But wait, there’s more.  OneRiot also just released their API, which – while not public yet – is available by request.  OneRiot has a fascinating set of real time data available via a search interface that gets better and more relevant every week.  They’ve also demonstrated that they can build to search scale as they have some superb technical search folks on their team.

Gang – thanks for not sucking.  Y’all are helping set things up so the web does more of the work for me!