I’ve recently been playing with the excellent Meta-Markets.com site set up by the talented Burak Arikan. Essentially Meta-Markets is a virtual stock market for trading socially networked capital. If you have a hot blog, a popular Flickr stream or were the first poster of an essential del.icio.us bookmark you can offer it for trade through an IPO, just as if it were a company.
Each user starts out with a capital of 25 “buraks”, which can be used to buy shares in traded commodities in any of the 6 given “markets”: Flickr, Facebook, del.icio.us, Feedburner, Digg and YouTube. By offer an IPO of your own social capital you accumulate value that can be used for further trade. Ultimately the system will also include auctions and payment of dividends to stock holders.
You can make an IPO of any del.icio.us bookmarks of which you were the first poster. Finding out exactly which these are can be a drag, since del.icio.us does not provide an overview of this info. Even using the del.icio.us API won’t give you the needed information, the only way is to use the del.icio.us URL history feature. Needless to say, this can get tedious when done manually.
To address the issue I’ve hacked up a tool I call deliciousChecker. It downloads your bookmarks and then proceeds to check their posting history using HTTP calls to the history page. del.icio.us will block offensive applications that make repeated API calls, so deliciousChecker only downloads the bookmarks when there’s been an update. There is also a 15 second default delay between HTTP calls, it’s not recommended to go lower than this since Yahoo will think you’re a denial-of-service attack.
The code is written in Processing using the delicious-java and Apache Commons HttpClient libraries. The source is included, but for non-Processing users I’ve also provided precompiled applications for Mac, Windows and Linux. You must edit the “delicious.conf” config file to add your username and password.
The application can be exited safely by pressing the escape key. It also auto-saves the database with regular intervals. Upon exit (whether from interruption or upon completion) the application writes a HTML file with your bookmarks, indicating which ones were first posted by you as well as how many other users have saved them.