Sunday, May 14, 2006

BarCampMumbai

To start with I must say BarCampMumbai was as coOL as its theme 'Bindaas Geeks | Hackin over Vada Pav'

Some highlights :
  • 3 simultaneous tracks named 'VadaPav, Bhaji on the Beach and ... dnt remember the name (?)
  • I luvd the wiki scheduler at the venue. Jst stick a note with ur name and topic on the board. (I moved my my note thrice ;-) . Finally I jst let it be..... and then Tarique moved it to the best slot (first on after the lunch brk)
  • Loads of ppl who I knew bt never seen/met in person. http://barcamp.org/BarCampMumbai#ConfirmedParticipants
  • The food... :p
  • Some coOL sessions
  • My talk (...LoL! Now I can say Been there | Done that! ... a nice experience for me)
  • ... Lots more... chk the BarCampMumbai wiki for what others had to say.
  • The conference extended after sessions too. Mahesh Murthy from Pinstorm decided to drop me and Barkha home. We ended up at his office and him showing us around his coOL work place. BTW his was one of the coOLest talks at BarCamp. (Don't tell me you missed it :p)

What I presented @ BarCamp ?

Topic:
TagSurfer - Extending the TagCloud
Motivation:

Unlike categories which are strict in nature tags are flexible. Flexibility of tags also comes from the fact that we use multiple words (keywords) to define a single item.
eg: barcamp barcampmumbai tagsurfer hacks

Now I would love to have a mechanism by which I could actually find some related content or may be jst digg some content.

TagClouds is a good way of doing it. Its intutive and looks good. But seriously its jst 1D... I click on one tag and I am jst shown entries tagged with that particular tag.

As the number of tags entries (or no. of entries in ur blogs or photoblogs ) increases one would surely need more intutive UIs than TagClouds

[
I did give examples of del.icio.us and flickr in my talk. I also commented that deli.icio.us doesnt allow me to search for entries tagged with 'ajax and css'. Here is what I meant. If I search for 'ajax css' in the scrh box on del.icio.us I am given with links that are tagged with 'ajax or css' and not necessarily with 'ajax and css'. I just verified this... which I i knew bt then I hadnt done much homewrk before my talk and so didnt argue with others... (btw I still may be wrong :p). on the other hand try 'ajax on my bookmarks'... you wud be shown links and on the right presented with 'related tags' links . Now this is interesting. If i click on the small '+' sign beside scriptalous I get all the links tagged with 'ajax and scriptalous' only. (... correct me if i m wrong :)

Newways.... more importantly TagClouds are jst 1D! and there is a lot we can do to improve them...!
]

Proposed 'TagSurfer':

TagSurfer is a TagCloud with added functionality of surfing through the tags. Its more like getting deeper and deeper within the tagcloud.

Here is a small limited demo: http://akshay.zeeblo.com/soc/ *chk the right panel with heading tagsurfer. [during this post the mysql server was down..: try you luck]

[
  • Just hover your mouse over any of the tags... * DO Not Click :d
  • Number in brackets show the no. of entries you would find after surfing that tag
  • Superscripts show the order in which you surfed
  • Top panel with images resembling '<' - Back and 'o' reload
  • Lots of functionality could be added like if you surfed through a few tags and then clicked on one then you would be shown entries within that path only.
    eg: 'barcamp -> barcampmumbai' is what you surfed through and finally click on 'hacks' you would be shown entries tagged with barcamp and barcampmumbai and hacks
]

What it used:
PHP + Prototype ( ;-) Ajax )

Yup this was my first attempt to incorporate Ajax. TagSurfer needed Ajax and thats why I used it. It wasnt redundant at all.

Acknowledgements:
Pradeep for allowing me to make a presentation for TagSurfer on his laptop. And Mohit, Abhishek, Atul, Ajay, Hitesh, Ajay, Narain, Kiruba, Murli and everyone who attended for making BarCampMumbai a reality and offcourse RocKiNg!!!

Download:
http://akshay.zeeblo.com/tagsurfer.zip

  • Edit the tagsurfer.php file to customize font sizes and color
  • Add <div id="tagsurfer">&ly;/div> to you template to get TagSurfer.
  • Copy the whole folder to you Wordpres directory and then enable the plugin in admin section.

Comments:
There was a lots of discussion during the talk and even later. Things like 'folksonomy' to ... collaborative filtering all came up and were spoken about. Now I know what 'No spectators , Only participants' means ;-). Ppl were not only listening but were also thinking and improvising.

Hey ...still open to discussion... would surely like to hear from you.

Requests:

Do wish me luck(I desperately need it )... my Final exams starting on 18th of May.

5 Comments:

At 11:14 PM , Anonymous Pratik said...

Hi Akshay !

Probably you can come to BarcampPune if you don't have exams during that time.

I checked your blog entry for a better undertanding of Tagsurfer. The problem you're trying to address, is surely a problem. But I guess, the best choice to address it would be to come up with a representation that's not much different from the current tagcloud and still does the job.

About wordpress categories as tags, yeah, you can do that. But if you want to tag a post with 15 tags that you didn't use before, you'd probably end up spending 10 minutes to create the tags(categories) :p Check out drupal 4.7.0. It's cool and uses combination of tags/taxonomy. Only reason I didn't use it at my blog, is that I suck at creating themes and drupal doesnt have many themes around.

Best luck with your exams :-)

 
At 2:03 AM , Blogger Prashant Poladia said...

Hi Akkie....

I missed your session on Tagsurfer. As it happened to be my 1st visit so i was not aware of it. Next time, i will keep an eye on it.

 
At 3:00 AM , Blogger Akky said...

@pratik: hm... true ....... BTW TagSurfer is Extending the TagCloud.

If you feel adding categories to WP is a headache... I guess you havent chkd the latest version 2.0 (:p.. no pun intended). Its coOL and true to its resemblance to Web2.0 you can add Categories(tags) while you post :d

@prashant: well, it happens to be my first visit too ...LoL

 
At 2:29 PM , Blogger Malika Kutub said...

Hey Akshay,
This is Malika.. a PR exe.
Was trying to source opportunities.. where can we pitch stories fer my client Webaroo. Nd it was on the bar camp site that i saw ur blog..
I started wid ur blog on bar camp and ur resesarch on Tagsurfer.. Dint get a word of it though..am technologically challenged..:)
yh.. so y I m writin is.. cuz I went thru most of the blogs that u hv posted in da past 3 yrs.. n cum across as an interesting person.. nd a neophyte.. thts nother thing tht connects..
Anywayz.. jus wanted 2 say tht u write well.. Cheers!!!!

 
At 7:26 PM , Anonymous Balaji Sowmyanarayanan said...

Good coverage of BarCampMumbai.
Your tagging method and TagSurfer is interesting indeed.
Best luck for making it into something big and amazing!

Cheers.

 

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