Thursday, August 26, 2010
Let's say you're really interested in coffee and tea and would like to know every time someone talks about them. You've been able to do that for the web with Google Alerts. Now you will be able to do the same thing for Google Buzz with our latest feature: Track. Plus, you can restrict your search to a specific geographic area! This API will allow you to enter a search query and from then on receive any new public Google Buzz posts—in real time—that match that query. It uses PubSubHubbub, which is the same open standard used by our fire and garden hoses.
To start receiving updates, you only need to send a query to the track endpoint, subscribe to the returned link, and then start receiving updates. If you'd like to take it for a quick spin, simply subscribe to a track endpoint via Google Reader (which happens to support PubSubHubbub). For example, if you’d like to receive all the new public Google Buzz posts about coffee or tea, simply open Google Reader, click "Add a subscription," and paste in the following URL:
Two of our firehose partners, Gnip and SuperFeedr are already using this feature. Gnip was able to add the feature into their API aggregation service with only a couple hours of work; their service update should be live early next week.
We’re excited to see what you develop with this cool new feature. Please note that it’s experimental and we may make changes in response to its use.
Additionally, we’ve been looking for ways to make the development experience with the Google Buzz API easier. One of the things we think we can improve upon are error messages. So, over the next couple weeks we’ll be rolling out significantly improved error messaging.
For example, if you tried to read an activity without including the activity id before today, you’d receive an HTTP error code and nothing else. Starting today, you’d also get a detailed error message returned in the body of the response:
<internalReason>Post ID is required.</internalReason>
The count API we announced back in mid-July has been returning the the number of times a specified link was shared on Google Buzz. We have started including short links (e.g. tinyurl.com/runningwithfins) in the count as well. Now you can specify the long link or any corresponding short link to get the total available count. This will give developers a much more complete count of links to a certain URL, however indirect.
Please visit the Google Buzz API documentation site for more details on these updates and swing by the Developer Forum if you have any questions.