IndieWeb Google Custom Search Engine

TL;DR: it exists! Try it below, or here.

A search engine for the whole IndieWeb has been a hot conversation topic, on and off, for many years now. Many of us offer search on our own individual sites, and more ambitious projects like cweiske‘s phinde can search our IRC archives, but building a full fledged search engine to crawl and index all IndieWeb sites has always been a bit too big of a project to tackle. (Not to mention the question of which sites we should include in the first place.)

As usual, my first instinct is always software prevention. Whatever the task at hand is, someone has else has usually already tried to do it. Often they’ve even succeeded, to some degree. Search is certainly no exception. Google has offered custom search engines for individual sites for a long time, so I threw together one that searches all of the sites in Indie Map, plus lots more that have joined the IndieWeb since then. It seems to work ok so far. Try it out and let me know what you think! Continue reading


Bridgy traffic bump

A few weeks ago, Bridgy‘s traffic suddenly shot up to 20-50x its baseline, from 5-10 human visitors per day to 200-300. Humans in browsers, not bots or other requests; this ain’t Google Analytics’s first rodeo. They’re all generally coming to the site directly, not from search. If they’re coming from links or social networks, we can’t tell, due to HTTPS etc.

Our best guess so far, based on the timing, is that the influx is Google+ refugees who found Bridgy via either spreadsheets like these or evangelism by Greg McVerry and others.

Regardless, whoever you are, welcome! The traffic is still tiny compared to all the work Bridgy does on its own for backfeed, behind the scenes, so scaling isn’t an issue. It’s ready and willing to take in any and all new users!


Introducing Color Data

We’re pleased to announce Color Data today! It’s a public research database of aggregated genetic and clinical health information from 50,000 people who took a Color test and opted to share their de-identified data.

Building Color Data was some of the most fun I’ve had at Color since I joined. We’ve been using it internally and with partners for a while now, so we’re very excited to share it with the world. We’re announcing it at ASHG in San Diego today, and the early press (GenomeWeb) is very positive. Try it out!

I plan to write more about how we designed and built it soon. In the meantime, huge thanks to Alicia Zhou, Anjali Zimmer, Ben Kobren, Cynthia Neben, Gilad Mishne, Jeremy Ginsberg, Wendy McKennon, and many others for their tireless work and selfless contributions.

If this sounds interesting, we’re hiring! Ping me any time, I always like talking about Color.


Interactive map of SFUSD school bus routes

TL;DR: click here for the map!

We have a school age kid, so we’ve been ramping up on the San Francisco school admissions process, aka lottery. It’s, um…complicated.

We’ve been to a couple informational sessions so far. At one of them, a representative from PPS-SF mentioned that there are no central databases for yellow school bus routes or school tour dates. My antennae immediately went up.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I found a bit of time to poke around. The school bus routes are all published as PDFs, so after a quick script to parse and clean them up, I was able to import all 44 schools, 143 routes, 153 locations, and 579 stops into Google MyMaps. Click here for the map!

Sadly, it’s limited by a few MyMaps restrictions. It doesn’t include a visible path for each individual bus route since maps are limited to 10 layers, and every driving path has to be in its own layer, and only some schools’ stops are grouped and color coded because maps are limited to 20 colored groups. Still, the map is searchable by school, location, route, stop, and time, so it should be pretty usable.


Tea “toppings” at 3 year old’s tea party:

  • milk
  • sugar
  • honey
  • rainbow sprinkles
  • unicorn sprinkles
  • dinosaur sprinkles
  • dinosaur poop
  • dinosaurs
  • kittens
  • kitten fur
  • flour
  • baking soda
  • eggs
  • coffee
  • tea 🤔
  • water
  • almond milk
  • soy milk
  • kitten milk
  • dinosaur milk
  • dinosaurs again

“Cheers, Papa!”