Twitter / Balaji Sowmyanarayan
Friday, August 04, 2006
Today I came across the new Amazon Web Services: Alexa Thumbnail Service. For a really small fee, you can get thumbnail image of the site you specify. This will be useful in showing preview of sites say in a search result.
Ad sites like Text Link Ads, show site preview for potential link buyers. A quick preview of the site's look and feel will be useful for making an ad purchase decision. Site thumbnail could be a good way to link sites in blogs.
I see lot of opportunity for creating widget services around this: A S3 based permalink thumbnail that gets updated as the site content changes. This permalink image can be used as a profile image in social networks.
I was kicking myself why I did not think up this service. Looking back, AWS has all the crawl data available. They just have to render the html as a NxM pixel image to generate the thumbnail. It is simple and cool.
As an extension, if sites can be converted into small flash animations it will be cool.
If you want to enhance the search experience with site thumbnails it will burn a hole in the pocket with 20 cents for 1000 thumbnails.