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Show HN: Who's Hiring? (postings mined from Twitter) (jobstractor.com)
220 points by robinwarren on Oct 12, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 63 comments

Looks like a good start to something potentially very useful.

Some suggestions:

I'd like to see how old a tweet is. I don't have any idea how fresh some of this information is (without clicking on the user and searching through their history).

Related to that, I'd also like a link to the original tweet, so that I can potentially follow any conversation on that tweet.

It'd also be nice if any hyperlinks in the tweets were active links, rather than just text that I need to cut/paste.

Something that's potentially a little harder would be to let the user determine the radius that they want to see tweets for. I'm in Minneapolis, and I'm seeing some tweets for Iowa and Wisconsin. Those could be useful to me, but I'd more likely want to filter those to a smaller radius.

Definitely need to show how old the tweet is in days. Every job I clicked on was expired.

I do feel that you have built something quite useful.

organising them by date, ie Today/Yesterday/Later is high on my list. I figured it would be important for people coming back to the site after an initial visit. But for that I'd need people making an initial visit first hence I thought I'd wait until I'd got some positive feedback before doing that.

Nothing on there should be more than 6 days old which was a guess by me as to how much history made sense to show. Possibly that needs to be more recent even, or maybe ordering by date will just make it less of a surprise when you find one which is gone already.


Something's borked with your date filtering, because I saw at least one tweet from Oct. 1.

Thanks, I'll check that out. I've only been running it for a couple of weeks and have been actively developing it during that time so have possibly broken something and missed deleting some tweets at some point.

I'm getting some pretty consistent feedback on tweaks needed in UI now.

I think modifying the radius should be possible, I'm using mongodb for storage and I think it has some nice geospatial capabilities.

Thanks for the feedback.

This is crazy good!

A common complaint is that it's hard to find out about new openings because they're often pushed through your social networks.

Directly mining the social networks is a great man-I-should've-thought-about-that idea. I'm infinitely likelier to tweet about a job opening than to post it somewhere.

And as someone who might be hunting for a job, I hate having to comb through twitter and the thousands of daily posts to make sure I don't miss a job opening. I stopped following twitter because it was so hard to find the few things I was interested in from all the noise. Sites like this make me believe twitter is still valuable.

Hi HN. I'd really like to get anyones feedback on this. It's still a little rough around the edges but my main question would be

Is this useful? Or could it be with a tweak or two?

Thanks, Robin

Also, per the twitter developer guidelines, you need to parse the tweets and make all links, hash tags, and usernames hyperlinks back to twitter for those individual items.

I recently had to do a similar thing for a site I threw together to get my sporting news in one location (http://sportszealots.com). It's very hacky code written very quickly (in ruby), but if you'd like it send me an email and I'll send you back what I have.

EDIT: Well damn, I didn't know about the handy utility mentioned below...that's definitely better solution!

They offer a ruby version as well: https://github.com/twitter/twitter-text-rb


Nice, simple idea - solid MVP. Good use case for text processing too because the domain of candidate phrases, patterns you are looking for is relatively small :)

Here are UX some suggestions:

-It will require some effort, but you should try to surface companies as tags if you can. Will be a popular feature...We did this at my last startup Tracked.com and it was a really popular. You can start by getting a list of companies via Crunchbase API and then use that set to do the entity extraction.

-Same as above, but for programming language keywords

-Show timestamps of Tweets (you've heard this a lot)

-Make links hypertext (you've heard this a lot)



Nice. You need to linkify the tweets so users don't need to copy and paste the URLs to the actual job posts.

Agreed. Luckily Twitter makes it really easy: https://github.com/twitter/twitter-text-js

Thanks! This is even easier than asking on stack overflow!

Looks useful to me! I would like to see when the tweet was made, a link to the actual tweet, and the option to change location/filter by keyword.

Edit: I see that you can already change location. Well done!

Thanks. Yep you can change the loc but maybe I need to make it more obvious.

Better filtering is high on the priorities. As for the dates on the tweets. I'm only holding 6 days worth at the moment, I think I'll break them up by Today/Yesterday/Older in future. Otherwise it'll be too easy to miss new tweets maybe not at your exact location. Better linking or a summary pane is on the list as well.

Thanks for taking the time to look and comment.

It is useful and is something I'll keep an eye on if any roles come up.

One suggestion - a hide and/or mark as spam button would be useful. I noticed a "work from home" spam job appear in the listings which stuck out compared to the other tweets. A hide button would be useful to make jobs that I've applied for/are not interested in.

If I search for 'clojure' none of the links have Clojure in them. Does it only search for location or can you search for keywords?

it's great. can i get an rss feed for my city?

very useful.

good stuff. you should always be tweaking.

best of luck

Nice idea, and works well. The first tweet is a RT from a fellow student at RISD who I didn't even know had a Twitter. Some feedback:

The second tweet that comes up for me (Providence, RI) is one labeled "North America and Europe." I think local listings should be prioritized over broad ones.

Filters based on language/expertise. I see a lot of these tweets go into specifics already so this could probably be implemented easily.

As someone else mentioned, a link to the tweet would be good, and preservation of the hyperlinks in them so I can click directly on someone's job listing etc.

Perhaps you could also normalize the format of the locations, and group them under one heading. For example, most of the listings for Providence are Boston, and it's a list that looks like, "Boston", "Boston, MA", "Boston", "Boston", "Boston, MA", etc. A consistent format would be good for readability and having a new <h2> for each tweet is redundant.

Basically, you have a good crawler (I assume you're using one) and now you need to alter the design of your page to make it easy to explore.

Thanks, yep a lot of what is required is a better way of presenting and filterring the tweets. Working out the locations for the tweets could definately be improved, especially when it's quite vague.

thanks again.

No problem. Mind if I ask what you're using to track my location so discreetly? Chrome never asked me for permission. :P I'm also building a location-based webapp and would like to check it out.

I'm using this from google http://code.google.com/apis/loader/

Code runs in the browser then:

if (google.loader.ClientLocation != null) { loc = google.loader.ClientLocation.address.city; lat = google.loader.ClientLocation.latitude lng = google.loader.ClientLocation.longitude }

hope that helps.


Have you considered doing a similar one to help companies find good candidates to hire?

(forgive the mention of this fact but:)

StyleOwner (SF) is hiring (today we're at the UC Berkeley Startup Fair) and we'll be at the Github party on Monday. email matt@styleowner.com for more details. Hiring for both frontend and backend positions. Ideal candidate will want to do 20% time toward open source work.

Hi there. And good luck with the recruitment.

I'd consider something like this, but I'm not sure how it'd work. Would you just loook for people saying 'I'm looking for a job' or would it be something more complex based on what expertise you can infer from there tweets?

Thanks for the feedback.

Cool idea! I'll be sure to bookmark it...

Here's my $0.02:

- Typo in the about page : "As weel..."

- I'd change the 1st 2 paragraphs in the about section to "Jobs Tractor looks for people trying to hire developers on Twitter, but filters out tweets that are from recruitment agencies or jobs boards."

- Love the map view

- Does the search field allow you to filter by location, keyword, or both?

- Group by location maybe?

- I'd take the word "jobs" out of the logo - to me it looks cluttered

- Do you save the posts or is it just what the Twitter search API pulls up? Jobs might not get tweeted about more than once, so a posting could still be legitimate after a week or so

DOH! proof reading fail. Thanks.

re the search field. It's just to change locaiton at the moment.

re saving the posts, I'm saving them but only for 6 days at the moment to keep the data pretty fresh.

Thanks for the feedback.

Do you save the posts or is it just what the Twitter search API pulls up?

I think he stores them; the About page mentions the site uses MongoDB.

I like this. As someone said, normalizing locations like the 3 variations of Boston would be a plus.

Also, The locations could be refined. I see a lot of them being listed under the header "Boston" when they really happen "King of Prussia, PA", Burlington MA, or "West Newburry, MA". Those locations are not Boston. They're close, but not quite (and in the case of the PA one not even close). There's some value to the grouping things under Boston but I would prefer granularity in location headers.

Definitely see this as being very helpful though.

It looks like you have some room to refine your searching / filtering. I'm in the Seattle area and it's picking up some noticeable noise.


"Tacoma cannery property to be repositioned: Pinnacle Foods Group is looking for a real estate developer who can ... http://t.co/UobgHb39


"Online entrepreneur pitches for funding for app ... - TasteBand.com: An world wide web entrepreneur is looking t... http://t.co/JKAnZdBk

Thanks, I definately need to get better at filtering out the noise. I may just open it up to let people flag the noise themselves but hopefully I can improve the automated filtering to a point it's 'good enough'.

Very nice. Have you considered grouping the related locations instead of listing all the locations? For example, group "Greater NYC Area", "NYC", "New York, NY" under one section with a consistent name. Over time you could locally map the most commonly used location names under one heading. Also, I would prefer to see the actual tweet text a bit larger with a smaller font size for the location headings.

This is a neat tool. Great idea. One suggestion is that, do no default to Grand Havens.

Suggestions 1. People who dont look at the search bar at the top would have no idea a. why there isn't any job postings for their location b. How to search for jobs in a specific location.

2. Could be a good idea to get the browser location and search for that, to make the site instantly relevant.

I found the "Londinium, London, UK" funny. It came from the londinum.com website, but is also a place in the sense that it's London's original name. So technically, it places the job in Roman London, which is the main banking/business district today (aka The City) and therefore a major IT area.

Its a great idea and a useful app. I liked it. Looks like you have already included quite a few ideas from here but you should continue improving it to include different variations in verbiage and also to look for special conditions like telecommuting etc .. Good Luck

It would be great if the site url updated when I change location, then I could bookmark a link to the location I'm interested in!

Also, after changing location, nothing seems to happen for a couple of seconds. Some visual feedback that it's loading the location info would be nice.

Good idea, that'd definately be handy. I'll add it to the list. Thanks.

I'm finding that in the latest Chrome beta (unsure on other browsers) that the map functionality isn't that great. Moving outside the initial zoom area requires a re-search to pull up new results, and I can't seem to click on results either.

I see a lot of ideas come through through here and very few of them either put a smile on my face or have me thinking I'm going to use that, or it at least needs book marking.

Congrats I smiled, bookmarked, and did a search. I think you're onto a winner :)

Nice one, except ours don't show up. But for all you coders/synth-nerds want a great job! Check this out: http://twitter.com/#!/jugendingenieur

Thanks. I'm going to try and expand the number of jobs I can find in future.

Best of luck with the recruitment for those jobs.

This rocks. I've been looking for a better way of job hunting in specific areas. Are you planning on a mobile friendly version in the future? I would love to help! miles.matthias at gmail :)

I tried entering "Mountain View, CA" into the text field in the upper left, and hit Enter, and nothing happened. I tried this in Safari, Chrome, Firefox.

Seems broken to me. Am I doing it wrong?

ah, apparently it's currently broken if you load jobstractor.com instead of www.jobstractor.com which might be the problem. The other is there's no feedback whilst it's loading so possibly it was just running slow. Otherwise I guess my geo lookup could have just failed silently...

Thanks for letting me know. There's some improvements to be made as to how it fails wrt this.

You're right. That was the problem. I was visiting jobstractor.com, which does not work correctly.

Looks great, only suggestion so far is to:

hyperlink any links in the tweets.

Nice fresh interface, I like what it has to offer as a starting point this could be massive. It looks like it will evolve into something very special.

thankyou :)

Awesome work!

Do you have plans to expand the data source beyond Twitter? Maybe with filters for users to select source(s)?

When I view the listings on the map, the markers need to display an infowindow when clicked.

Hi there,

The map is pretty minimal/useless at the moment. There's a lot I can do to improve it.


Something simple, but really useful for the map would be to select different areas/location with a marker. Returning to the list view would show the jobs for that area.

The map would be for location search, the list for details. It'd be cool if you could filter the list view. Of course, it'd be great if you didn't have to switch modes from list to map.

Even how it is right now, this is pretty awesome. I'm looking for jobs and I plan to use this alot.

The simplest ideas are the ones that are commonly the most useful. Very interesting tool!

First off, I love the idea.

Secondly, I can't sign up for the weekly email. It says: Cannot POST /new

This should be fixed now. I broke it when I submitted to HN as I had to change the URL (I submitted jobstractor earlier in the year when it was a something a bit different)

Cool beans. Can you expand it to have an option for designer jobs?

Yeah! Or maybe, once you get the initial tweaks here worked out, tech jobs in general — with either categories or tags to filter to what's relevant for an individual user. Would be absolutely thrilled to see this expand into general jobs eventually..

This is a good idea. I just wanted to start with something simple and small enough to prove the concept. From there I'm sure there's plenty of other jobs on twitter I could be pulling in.


What about job listings that allow telecommuting?

I think it's much more important to highlight the technologies and the position itself than the location.

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