Posts Tagged heroku

Microsites as Ad Filters: Meet Stockmoose 2.0

(Image lost in the Great Update of 2009)

When I originally tossed the Stockmoose up a couple of months ago, it was mostly a prototype–one that had taken a single evening to produce, and one that was based on a single request to my artist girlfriend: “Can you draw me a moose with a tie?” Well, now it’s finally back with a new coat of paint, some basic anti-gaming measures, and a few other things to spice it up. The “borrowed” Yahoo stock charts have been replaced with our own proprietary charts, and each stock now has a sort of miniature info card so the choice isn’t based solely on name-recognition. We also created a list of 25 Silicon Valley stocks that most people around here have probably heard of–just to make it a little more engaging. Some of the early results are actually a little surprising. In our SV25, TiVo is actually pretty close to the bottom while Netflix is near the top. Based on what I know of the two, I would’ve actually assumed this to be the opposite of what would happen.

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Meet the StockMoose

(Image lost in the Great Update of 2009)

Another day, another kooky web idea. This time, it’s the Stock Moose. We’ve had a lot of debate at work on how to gather data, how to present that data, and how to make that collection/presentation process engaging enough that someone might actually enjoy doing it just for the sake of doing it (rather than tying it to some future promise of “Oh, we’ll give you an edge on the trading room floor”). Back when the college football season was in full swing, Yahoo! introduced what they called the Team Ranker. The concept is incredibly simple: pick two teams out of a hat and display them both (with perhaps a few bits of useful info such as a win-loss record or… a stock chart). The user simply has to click on the one they think is better. Period.

Whichever team (or in this case, stock) has the best win percent is rated as #1, and the rest are sorted accordingly. The system was far too simple to game, at least for football. What this usually meant is that earlier in the day (when the East Coast is awake and voting) highly ranked teams in the SEC and other eastern conferences dominated the rankings. When it got later in the afternoon, teams with East Coast fan bases slipped in the rankings while PAC-10 teams rose into the top spots. This is unavoidable for something like football, where fans are fiercely loyal to their own teams over all others–but is the same true for stocks?

Would users on the East coast sway the list towards East-coast stalwarts like Coke and Home Depot while the West coast might favor silicon valley darlings over all others? It’s hard to say–especially considering that I limited the field to the Nasdaq 100, which is primarily dominated by tech stocks. Read the rest of this entry »

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Insoshi, Meet Heroku

(Images lost in the Great Update of 2009)

When I read about insoshi on Mashable and TechCrunch this morning, it got my mind buzzing… and immediately my thoughts turned to another Y Combinator startup–Heroku. I’ve been using Heroku for quite awhile now, and both my fondness for Ruby on Rails and my disdain (so far) for Google’s Big Table make it my prototyping engine of choice for the time being. The integration is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but here’s a quick and dirty way to get an insoshi install running on Heroku (assuming you have an acccount):

First Steps

  1. Download the insoshi tarball
  2. Create a new heroku app
  3. Import the insoshi tarball (how convenient is it that the heroku app importer wants a tarball!)
  4. Run rake db:migrate (this will run a ton of migrations… once complete you can press escape to close the little popup)
  5. Run rake install (this will create the default preferences file and the default forum.

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