Generalizing the “Like” button: empowering websites with monitoring capabilities

Increasingly, a user's action in a website might have an impact in other websites. The Like and ShareThis buttons are forerunners of this tendency whereby websites strive to influence and be influenced by the actions of their users in the websphere. The term Web Radar is coined to denote software that serves to impact a website (the host) from what is happening somewhere else in the websphere (i.e. the target). Current approaches provided limited expressivity in either the reactions (e.g. the Like button is limited to write entries on the user's wall in Facebook), or the range of participating sites (pre-set in the Radar platform, e.g. Ifttt). We believe supporting Radars as configurable services might account for more domain-specific Radars, i.e. Radars where the monitoring sites, the tracking conditions and the reactions are not fixed by the Radar platform but rather determined by the Radar host. This vision is confronted with three main challenges: API heterogeneity, scalability and technical complexities. We address these matters in RadarThis, a service that permits webmasters to set Web Radars for their websites. We capitalize on YQL to hide API complexity, and use trigger-like syntax to specify custom radar strategies. A case study is presented using the website Instapaper as the Radar host.

  • SAC '14 Proceedings of the 29th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing

  • May, 2014

This publication has not any associated prototype.


University of the basque country