Saturday, October 20, 2007

Using Google AJAX APIs to show "me on the web"

I realized the other day, as I was struggling to find all the videos of me/by me on YouTube, that I'm scattered across the web. I'm guessing we all are - at some point, we choose some arbitrary service to upload our creations or thoughts to, and at some later point, we might abandon that service and start putting ourselves somewhere else. That's one of the reasons I love Google -- I hope that at some point, everything I put on the web will be within a Google service, and I'll have one profile I can point people to. But, that day hasn't come yet. So how can I create a page that requires no maintenance but still reflects my current self on the web?

The answer: Google AJAX APIs. The AJAX APIs let you retrieve solely via Javascript information on the web, either ATOM/RSS feeds with the AJAX Feeds API or Google search results with the AJAX Search APIs. The AJAX APIs also come with several controls (slideshow, video bar, etc) that you can take advantage of if you like. So I've replaced my server front page (previously featuring my old projects blog) with this. It uses the AJAX Feeds API to display thumbnails from my flickr feed, youtube uploaded videos, youtube playlist, and uses the provided FeedControl class to display snippets from the Google Maps API blog, my old projects blog, and this blog.

So hopefully I won't be depressed anymore when I go to my server front page and see loads of outdated information. Atleast I know that atleast some section of those feeds will update frequently, and the knowledge that this is the representation of me to the world should motivate me to add to the feeds. Here's for hoping. :)

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