inFormed – A LinkedIn Hackday Project

Last Friday I participated in the LinkedIn Intern Hackday event that was hosted at LinkedIn's headquarters in Mountain View. I joined my classmates from Waterloo Michael Truong, Kenneth Ho and Sumit Pasupalak.

We started a project dubbed "inFormed". The aim of the project is to raise awareness on global issues around the world. Currently, it's a Firefox plugin. As you browse the web, it will analyze the content of the page you are browsing and, based on that content, will show a fact, or a statistic, that is both relevant to the content of the page and related to a global issue. Along with that, it will provide a link to a charity where you can donate and/or get involved.

For example, if you are buying a book online or browsing an educational site, you would see, at the bottom right-hand corner, something like this:

Have a look at the screenshots below for some more examples. Take a close look at the fact displayed at the bottom right-hand corner and notice how it's related to the content of the page.

[nggallery id=informed_screenshots]

To summarize, the goals behind inFormed are the following:

  • Help you stay informed on global issues around the world.
  • Facilitate how you can be involved by providing links to related charities.
  • Provide a seamless and an uninstrusive user experience.

Behind the scenes, inFormed sends the URL of your current page to the server where we fetch the content of that page, extract the text, and run it through a Naive Bayes classifier to select what is likely to be the most relevant fact or statistic on that page, and feed that back to the browser.

This event is the first hackathon we ever participate in, and we are well proud to have made it to the final round! We didn't win the event, but were extremely impressed at the quality of the projects that people presented.

We had some votes on twitter as well:

 

inFormed will need a little more work to be ready to publish. Should we invest the time in doing so? Would you use it? Let us know!