ptoogle is pronounced with p silent as toogle, a twitter search engine for pricing. The desire to research on the latest deals and gossip about prices of stuff on the internet promoted us to create ptoogle.
It actually started when researching on buying a HD camcorder. After a lot of research on the functionality and the selection finally narrowed down to Flip UltraHD, Kodak Zi8 and Kodak Zx3, one last thing to look for was what kind of prices people were talking for these products. Big retailers like Amazon and others have their prices listed, but they are current prices. The question was, were there deals either currently happening or in the past for these items? That's when, we turned to twitter's own real-time search engine. However, searching for a product number brings back a lot of tweets that have no price information. Rather than scanning through all these tweets, we decided to create a custom search engine, using Twitter's excellent API, and provide searches that focus on showing tweets with prices in them. Further, along with the search term the prices available in these tweets are also highlighted. The interesting observation from looking at these filtered and highlighted tweets is that you can see that even in this internet age with real-time information flow, the prices of products vary a lot.
Further, we realized that many of these tweets have various different critical information other than prices. For example, in addition to pricing, some of the tweets contained information about
- free shipping
- no sales tax
- time sensitive such as auctions
Since most people narrow down their purchasing option to just a handful of products, we also want to provide them the ability to compare these pricing options across the products. Hence, ptoogle's user interface is designed to allow retaining the search results. That is, when a search is performed, the previous results are pushed down and the latest search results are displayed on top. There are also several options for each of the search results such as refreshing, removing, downloading as a csv file, a permalink to bookmark and even tweet the permalink to your friends.
We thoroughly enjoyed developing this specialized twitter search engine and designing this website. We hope you like using it. If you have suggestions please send a tweet to us at @ptoogle. Make sure to bookmark us and visit us for your pricing research and look at other new features we plan to add around personalization. You can also follow us on twitter.