Diffbot Makes The Web Machine-ReadableBy: Zach Walton - March 23, 2012
Microsoft’s Bing service has a cool promotion vehicle known as Bing Booster. It helps tech startups connect and collaborate with other startups and people in their field. One of the events Bing helps sponsor is LAUNCH, an event that give startups a platform to launch from.
One of the startups that Bing brought to LAUNCH this year is really interesting. The company is called diffbot, and they have a mission. They want to make the entire Web machine-readable. What does that mean? According to the official Web site, diffbot is a “visual learning robot that enables developers to easily use Web content in their apps.”
So diffbot lets a robot read the Web regardless of layout, design or language. That’s pretty cool, but what kind of applications would it have for the Web. The diffbot team lays out its potential uses on the BingBooster Web site:
Using Diffbot’s existing Article API (which automatically parses blog posts or news articles into machine- app-friendly XML or JSON) to migrate users’ blogs — regardless of existing platform — to a new blog-platform provider.
Providing Diffbot’s forthcoming Product API (which can parse product pages of any type across the web) with additional training data or edge cases from existing product-search and price-comparison applications.
Leveraging Diffbot’s language agnosticism to help power a multi-language tablet newsreader focused on global content and stories.
Powering a forthcoming event and activity search engine using Diffbot’s impending events page functionality.
Using our image-identification and extraction capabilities to power a personal photo-book printing service, allowing the inclusion of photos from any gallery software or photo-hosting services.
The LAUNCH event was a great chance for the diffbot team to meet various people that were interested in using their API as well as helping them find new uses for their technology.
The BingBooster Web site says this is just the first in a series of startups that showed off their product at LAUNCH. There will be more development technologies being shown during the coming days.
Here’s a presentation of diffbot at the DEMO Enterprise Disruption 2012 from a few months ago: