Simon Willison’s Weblog

Web services in action

All Consuming is another one of those information-about-weblogs sites, but with a heavy emphasis on books:

This page is the result of several different processes. Inspired by Book Watch, I created a script that visits newly updated weblogs hourly via Weblogs.com [...] The script then looks for links to Amazon.com items and saves them. I then aggregate all that information together to find the most frequently mentioned books. My scoring mechanism is weighted to favor recently mentioned books, so that the list remains fresh, and offers new insight into what the weblog community is reading at the moment.

The site is a great example of web services in action—it pulls what’s related information from Google, book information from Amazon and even uses Alexa to snag a screenshot of the blog in question. Most impressive of all is the “edit friends list” feature (which you can only play with if you log in to the site—account creation is utterly painless though) which identifies possible friends of your blog based on blo.gs friends, Google related sites and blogs who have read the same books as you. Check the ones you want on your friends list and optionally used to send you book recommendations. Practically everything is syndicated (have a root around in the site’s XML directory to see quite how much information is available) and the site even offers javascript based syndication for those without the ability to use XML feeds.

This is Web services in action by Simon Willison, posted on 8th November 2002.

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Previously hosted at http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2002/11/08/webServicesInAction