ASP.NET MVC, GoogleReader's Unofficial API and PostRank.com == TheDotNetDaily.com

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I had some spare time this past week so I thought it might be a good time to finally take a look at asp.net's new mvc framework.  My plan was to start out by building a very simple application that I could add features to slowly over time.  I figure I will start out with a handful of read-only screens and then as I learn more about mvc and gain confidence, I could start looking at some of the more advanced/complicated stuff.  Just sort-of start out slow with some of the basic stuff and go from there.

The app I decided to build is going to allow me to browse the feeds I have subscribed to in google reader.  I have more feeds that I can keep up with, so I plan on running each feeds individual posts through a ranking service and using the my new asp.net mvc app to browse the posts by rank, topic and author.  Nothing too complex, but I thought it would be a nice bonus if I could learn a little bit about asp.net mvc AND build a useful application (even if just to me) in the process.

Here is a quick screen shot of what it looks like so far.  I was originally going for a newspaper theme so I named it TheDotNetDaily.com, but based on the content, something like WhatMattBersethIsReading.com really would have been more accurate.  Under the title bar is a typical navbar that lets you browse the feeds by the most popular tags (you can browse all tags using the sidebar).  Each of the individual posts are ranked in descending 'hotness' order using PostRank.com post ranking service.  If you would rather view by freshness, you can click the 'most recent' link to re-order the list.

And that's pretty much it so far for the UI.  The site is live, so feel free to go check it out.  The UI is plenty rough, but I figured I can pretty that up later if I wanted to.

To maintain my feed database, I have a scheduled tasks setup that uses google readers API (its not an official API, but there actually is some pretty decent documentation on it here) to extract my list of feeds.  Then I loop through each of the feeds and identify any new posts and extract its assigned categories and authors.  When I find a new post, I run it through PostRank.com's ranking service to give it a score, then send it back to the database.   

If you haven't been over to PostRank.com, its really a pretty neat site.  You give it a feed, and it will rank the posts for you.  There are options for how the scoring is done (you can have the post ranked relative to posts that PostRank.com thinks are similar to the target post.  Or, you can optionally provide your own list of sites.  You could imagine defining a core set of asp.net mvc bloggers and then scoring any new posts tagged with asp.net mvc against your known baseline).  Here is the description from the developer documentation ...

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I have no idea how much time I am ultimately going to put into this, but it has been fun so far, so who knows.

 

That's it.  Enjoy!


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