Trendolizer is a website that automatically detects the stories, videos, links etc. that are popular on Facebook right now. It collects a large number of links from a variety of sources and then uses the Facebook API and a ranking algorithm to find out which ones are currently trending. The most popular stories get posted on the front page In other words: it behaves much like a linkblog but without human editors at all. The entire editorial 'team' consists of a few lines of Perl code and some API calls.
Trendolizer uses a variety of sources to discover new links to evaluate. The three most important ones are RSS feeds from leading websites, the (public) submission queues at Reddit.com and the Twitter search API. Suggestions for other sources or topics are very much welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Right now Trendolizer covers general news, technology, science, movies, Apple related news, mobile technology, the Olympics, the Tour de France, books, politics, the LeWeb tech conference, video games and Wikipedia articles. There are also sections about the Dutch and Flemish press (both in Dutch). As you can see, quite an assortment of topics, and more get added every week. If you have suggestions, don't hesitate to contact Trendolizer.
Currently there are Trendolizers in English and Dutch, but support for more languages is in the pipeline.
If Trendolizer discovers that a link is trending it will post it to the front page along with a title and/or description and/or image. It extracts these either from the HTML 'title' tag, the HTML meta 'description' tag or the Open Graph API tags for title, image and description (if present) on the page. In other words, exactly like when a link is shared on Facebook or displayed in Google search results. If no title, image or description are present, the bare URL is used.
The main use of Trendolizer is to find new, cool and interesting links/stories/pictures right as they become popular. No more waiting for your favourite website to pick up the news, no need to wait until the story reaches someone in your network, no need to manually follow dozens of RSS feeds. If hot news starts trending anywhere, chances are good Trendolizer will have already picked it up.
Trendolizer is the work of Maarten Schenk of YesItCan.be. The backend is written in Perl and uses memcached in combination with a variety of APIs (Reddit, Facebook, TinyURL, Twitter, Movable Type...). The website itself uses Movable Type as its CMS.