Diffbot is one of the coolest new ideas on the internet. The service brings monitoring to the web in a new and interesting way. The company is just about to release a whole slew of projects built on its collection of Diffbot APIs for following changes to web pages and RSS, as well as extracting clean text from websites.
How do you monitor updates to a page that doesn’t have an RSS feed? Maybe the site does have an RSS feed but it doesn’t include the information that you want to monitor in that feed. Then what can you do? Why not fire up an API that takes advantage of computer vision and semantic analysis to watch that page and tell you when it changed. On and it will extract the meaning for you too. And tell your fortune. And find you a date for Friday night.
When an API is this cool, you know its straight JSON format. Come on, we’ll pretend that you didn’t have to ask. And yes, yes of course there are open source API implementations. This is one of 6 extraction APIs, but Diffbot naturally does more. It reminds us of what we hoped the Dapper API would become: a way to retrieve data from any web page, as it changes.