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FilterBubblet is:

  • a JavaScript bookmarklet that sends Google search results for a term to a web service
  • a web service that stores the results in a database

The idea was born of the TED Talk "Filter Bubble" and Jeff's earlier experiment to test the filter bubble theory manually.


  • determine if the 'filter bubble' exists, and
  • analyze the data and make useful observations, like showing people results they didn't see
  • open the filter bubble experiment we conducted on the mailing list to a much larger userbase
    • potentially thousands of people could install the filterbubblet bookmarklet and send their results

Open Questions

  • Is it possible to reliably extract Google search results from the result HTML?
    • Yes, or so it appears. The list of links is always in an ordered list with an element ID of "rso". Individual links appear to all be of class "tl". Drew 12:40, 8 June 2011 (MDT)
    • Even easier than that. The <a> is always of class "l" so the following code will dump, in order, the list of google search results (assumes use of Firebug plugin for Firefox).
var p=document.getElementsByTagName('*');
function gc()
  • Now how do I get data out of the browser to the webs? Drew 14:19, 8 June 2011 (MDT)
    • Ok, so jQuery must be able to do this. 'cause , ya know, AJAX. But how exactly? Drew 14:35, 8 June 2011 (MDT)

Random Ideas

  • Geographic coordination
    • Web service could use GeoIP to guess user location, associate results with that location

Technical References