Using Delicious Tags to Describe Your Site

By analyzing the tags people use to categorize your website on Delicious, you can get a pretty good idea of how you should describe it to new visitors.

Here, for example, are the top tags used to describe Preceden:

Using the top five tags above, Preceden could be described as a free web 2.0 timeline visualization tool. Pretty good, I’d say.

One thing you have to keep in mind is the crowd that uses Delicious may differ significantly from your target audience, in which case the tags might not do you as much good. Consider what would happen if I polled the Mechanical Turk audience or my family. They’d probably say “timeline” and “tool” but how many would include “web 2.0”? How many would even know what that means? Probably not as many.

Lesson learned: choose your words carefully.

Charts, an LLC, and LifeHacker Coverage

Today was an incredible day. Here’s why:

1) For the last ten days or so I’ve been working adding charting capabilities to Preceden. Since the timelines were not designed with this in mind, I had to do quite a bit of refactoring to ensure that both normal layers and chart layers would play nicely together on the same timeline.  Saturday alone I spent a solid 10 hours or so writing the final unit tests and making last minute adjustments in preparation for last night’s release. Today was the first day users got to play around with it, and that’s always an incredible rush.

2) Big news: I formed an LLC today. This has been in the works for a little while now, but today its official: I am now the proud founder of Preceden Solutions LLC (I couldn’t use Preceden LLC because it’s too similar to Precedent, which a lot of businesses apparently use).

This is a big step for me and its simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying.

3) To top it off, a short while ago, I checked Preceden’s daily stats to see if anything interesting was going on and was blown away to discover that Preceden was featured on Life Hacker today, the blog in the personal productivity arena. Their coverage of Preceden is the largest to date and I’m happy to say it was extremely positive:

Timelines are excellent for visualizing change over time, but most timeline generators limit you to a single timeline. Web application Preceden features parallel timelines and accompanying charts.

At Preceden you can create multiple unique timelines by adding layers to your intitial timeline. In the example image above a company’s growth is charted by the stages of the project they are designing, when employees joined the company, and the monthly visitors to the company website with all information displayed in parallel so you can easily see the connections between different segments of the data.

You can share charts for public browsing or keep them private for internal use. Timelines can be generated using spans of time ranging from years down to seconds. Preceden is a free service that requires a sign up—no email confirmation—to use.

One funny note is that the screenshot they used in the article reads “Montly Visitors” instead of “Monthy Visitors”–I was in such a rush yesterday to add an example that I neglected to proof read everything and go figure, it gets featured today in their article :) Guess I can’t complain too much…

Ancient Greek Timeline

Check this amazing timeline out:

Here’s a quote from the author’s blog:

… I’ve found a cool new tool for studying history: allows you to build timelines which can then be embedded in other web pages. If this works, I’m going to be putting this on my class wiki, and talking it up with my students, and… and… It’s just COOL. I’m totally thrilled with the tool.

How to Calculate Your Equity vs Every Other Hole Card Combination

This is post #15 in an ongoing series of articles about my work as a poker bot developer.

One of the most useful command line tools I developed in the course of building the poker bot was a small program called eqall.

Eqall, short for Equity All, calculates your equity against every other hole card combination given the current board.

As a simple example, imagine you have Ks Qs and the board is Ad As Th 3h. Pretend your opponent has Js 9s. You’re in good shape vs this opponent–any jack will give you a straight and anything other than one of the three remaining nines gives you the win.

Your equity in this simple situation is 1 – the number of cards that will give your opponent the win over the number of cards left in the deck or 1 – 3/(52 – 4 – 2 – 2) or 1 – 3/44 or 0.931818.

What eqall does is it calculates your equity vs every possible hand your opponent can have. So it calculates your equity vs Js 9s, like in our example, plus Js Ts, Js 8s, Js 7s, and so on until it has calculated all of them.

You can download here (7KB).


>> eqall Ks Qs - Ad As Th 3h

Ks Qs - Js Ts = 0.204545
Ks Qs - Js 9s = 0.931818
Ks Qs - Js 8s = 0.931818
Ks Qs - Js 7s = 0.931818
Ks Qs - Js 6s = 0.931818
Ks Qs - Js 5s = 0.931818
Ks Qs - Js 4s = 0.931818
Ks Qs - Js 3s = 0.272727
Ks Qs - Js 2s = 0.931818
Ks Qs - Js Ac = 0.000000
Ks Qs - Js Kc = 0.921053
Ks Qs - Js Qc = 0.931818

The output is relatively simple: Ks Qs are your hole cards, the second column are the hole cards your opponent could have, and the last column is your equity, or your chance to win, against those hole cards.