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Tangent.cx
August 1, 2002 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Tangent.cx is now online. Endquote first came up with a concept for automating self-linking within his own blog. Now he's expanded the idea so that you can build a network of content-driven-sites that auto-link their content with your own. The niftiest part, to me, is his new link pop-up menus, so that one word can link to articles from multiple sites.
posted by nomisxid (12 comments total)

 
Bryan Boyer and I did this about 3 years ago on a site called Teeth. It worked well when we were able to define keywords for documents, and have those documents linked automatically, but also relevantly.

We'll have to see how well this picks up the context, etc.

What would really be neat is something like Teeth mixed with something like the second gen Deepleap engine I wrote (that nobody ever saw) that could really pick out the important keywords in a document and search on them.
posted by benbrown at 1:48 PM on August 1, 2002


... from the example given, it doesn't look too smart. Just because I use the word "Smart" and you use the word "Smart," doesn't mean there is a connection between the documents.
posted by benbrown at 1:50 PM on August 1, 2002


I sure hope as they build this they'll learn that some words are better off left unsearched, or learn to search by phrases, which could be more useful.

In the meantime it could be a great help when looking for other sites that may be discussing the same topics... a bit like trackback, except without the moderate effort involved.

Thank goodness we're now getting to the point where as we write, we no longer need to search for references. Now we can just sit back and let the references come to us.
posted by KnitWit at 2:01 PM on August 1, 2002


Currently it's not very smart, but that's because none of the content has keywords defined to search on. It's hoped that as authors join up, they'll define keywords in their content, so that those sites that care about relevancy over serendipity can have their links only go to relevant sites.

Until then, it should be thought of as a more advanced and automatically generated sort of webring, where you can define rules so that your site links to other sites that you like or are similar to yours.

Figuring out relevant words automatically would be neat, of course. I'd be interested in hearing how that part of your engine worked, Ben! Were you just counting word frequency and throwing out the short ones or what?
posted by endquote at 2:23 PM on August 1, 2002


Uh, the text was being run through a dozen or so filters to pick out what was relevant and what wasn't. It's been so long, I don't really remember what it did specifically -- pattern matching, db lookups, frequency, placement in sentences, context, etc.

It was really cool. Wish I could have open sourced it.
posted by benbrown at 2:29 PM on August 1, 2002


Isn't the entire point with weblogs that they work as a human "filter" of the information overload? Wouldn't this, then, at least in its current level of development, be running in the exact opposite direction?
posted by dagny at 3:01 PM on August 1, 2002


Bryan Boyer and I did this about 3 years ago on a site called Teeth
Bubbasomething? -- yeah.
posted by holloway at 3:26 PM on August 1, 2002


Isn't the entire point with weblogs that they work as a human "filter" of the information overload? Wouldn't this, then, at least in its current level of development, be running in the exact opposite direction?
'Bloggers' will still be able to point to links they want, this thing just appears to allow people to find the extra bits the writer may have overlooked. That and if you're interested in blog-surfing , this thing could become ideal (assuming the list of partisipating weblogs grows enough).
posted by KnitWit at 4:36 PM on August 1, 2002


Wasn't one of the uses of Microsoft's much maligned smart tags to automatically generate links based on keywords? Could they be used to do something similar to Tangent?
posted by Monk at 4:59 PM on August 1, 2002


One word. Three syllables. Sounds like the Card short story 'The Originist.' Rhymes with 'why berry.'

Although I seem to remember that he based it in a different authors world. Still a great story.

Oh yeah - Asimov.

Please excuse my weak ass links.
posted by folktrash at 8:02 PM on August 1, 2002


Also - aren't i not spupposed to be able to see the invisible dot? Isn't that the point?
posted by folktrash at 8:03 PM on August 1, 2002


dots need love, too.
posted by kilroy at 2:54 AM on August 2, 2002


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