Always remember Carpe Diem

3 minute read

One of the hard lessons that I have learned this year is "Always remember Carpe Diem". The corollary is that "If you don't execute on your idea quick, someone else definitely will."

For example, long back Vikram had this idea that there should be a company which takes care of odd chores such as electrical maintenance or plumbing, basically handyman work. Yesterday, I saw on the back of an auto rickshaw. I came home and checked it out and it does exactly that. It's a very useful service and seems reasonably affordable, at least for IT people. I'm sure lot of people in Bangalore will go for it.

Today, Mrinal pointed to, a TechMeme for the Indian blogosphere.

I started kicking myself.

I've had this idea for months but I couldn't really move on it because I don't have the knowledge yet, for example, about clustering algorithms. However, I did brainstorm it with a couple of friends and thought we'll work it out. But a single person beat us to it.

There is a range of reasons why such a website is a good idea, probably the same reasons why TechMeme is indispensable too:

  • Allows people to see what are the latest topics that Indian bloggers are talking about.
  • Allows people to see the discussions across blogs, not just one blog and its comments.
    • Encourages the above type of discussion.
  • The portal can become the gateway of the Indian blogosphere.
  • For the website creator's point of view, it can bring in a lot of visitors. And subsequently, advertisers.
  • An indispensable website means the creator of the website is indispensable too. Just like Gabe Rivera is everything behind the scenes of TechMeme. (Let's face it, we're all replaceable in our workplaces.)

And so on.

Anyway, the only downside I've noticed about is that the clustering results aren't good yet, but the thing is it is already out there. It has been executed. It needs refinement. And I'm sure it'll get there.

I don't know whether I should add this idea to my already-long personal 'deadpool'. Sigh.

When I started thinking about this idea, I came across one paper called Mining blog stories using community-based and temporal clustering which explained how this is a special type of clustering that takes time into account. They call it:

"[the] Content-Community-Time model that can leverage the content of entries, their timestamps, and the community structure of the blogs, to automatically discover stories. Doing so also allows us to discover hot stories."

I was thinking whether the same idea can be applied to an RSS aggregator and then I found that was done too as well.

I guess there are simply no low-hanging fruit left in this accelerated world.

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

-- Leonardo da Vinci


Ram says:

Hey Mrinal said better than me don't get disappointed. This is a fun project for me. You are right it is not perfect yet but hey i will get there one day. :)

Yahoo term extraction API is only used to get some tags from content, there is an algo which does the clusters. I am sorry if i confused you.

Mrinal Wadhwa says:

Dude !! don't be so disappointed .. this is the way of life on today's web .. things are new only for a few days, sometimes even hours .. but the flip side is that the number of opportunities on the web is extremely huge too and the investment required to innovate and create something new is really low as compared say innovating in the automobile industry.. so if one idea is gone several others will come along just be ready to grab the next one.

I was talking to Ram on twitter and he told me that he is using the Yahoo Term extraction API to help him create clusters and that apparently is not working too well for him .. so he's still exploring better ways to do that .. if you are really keen on this you may want to collaborate with him .. I dont know if he's interested but we can surely ask.

Cheers to many more exciting ideas :)