Let the API challenges begin. As part of his presentation at the Hacks/Hackers NYC Meetup yesterday, Vineet Gupta (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Daylife offered a special challenge just for Hacks/Hackers members nationwide:
- You hack an application with the Daylife API, which receives over one billion calls per month, that a publisher may want to enhance their site (e.g. neat visualizations, search user interfaces, alerts or personalization).
- Daylife supplies the API, hosting, and markets to their clients
- And if any client bites, proceeds are split 70% (to the hacker) / 30% (Daylife)
Interesting. Some context: Daylife, a 26ish-person company led by Upendra Shardanand, is an aggregator who offers a range of products to publishers, including self-updated curated topics pages. For example, this is a Daylife-powered page on Forbes.com of Mark Zuckerberg.
Daylife tracks some 50,000 streams of content from 15,000 sources, tagging articles and stories as they appear. It’s much more of a B2B play, than a consumer-facing company, which is why you may have come across their service without realizing it. Their clients include traditional media outlets (like NPR and Washingtonpost.com) and standalone brands that feel a need to have fresh contents on their Websites (treehugger.com and Roadrunner). It seems everyone wants to be a publisher now to keep their websites fresh, and that requires content.
The Daylife API allows you to pivot around topics, people, date range, specific searches, quotes. Daylife even offers some fun ideas for projects that they were — ahem — too lazy to build themselves: newsmakers plotted on a map; a fashion tracker, maybe for Fashion Week; a celebrity tracker; and our personal favorite is probably the top 10 dictators of the world.
So far the company raised $15 million in funding, including $4 million from Getty Images. Investors include The New York Times, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, John Borthwick of Betaworks, Ron Conway of SV Angels, Scott Heiferman of Meetup, Ken Lerer, and Craig Newmark of Craigslist.
To get started: here are some basic concepts to the Daylife API. For those of us who are more hacks than hackers, you can try the API without writing a line of code (but first you will still need to apply for an API key, takes about a day). This is a pretty straightforward API with fairly rich offerings, and their documentation is pretty robust. So it’s a good project to practice with if you are new to APIs.