Inspiration

I'm a huge news junkie, but I often get frustrated filtering through different sources to find articles that interest me. News feeds offer an okay solution, but they're not searchable. Plus, if I'm trying to show someone an article I read earlier, it can take me ages to find it.

What it does

Bellman allows users to search for recent articles related to topics of their choice, as well as pick the news sources (all of which are reliable, unlike many news feeds) they want to see.

How I built it

I built Bellman primarily using Python with Flask and HTML. I also added CSS and jQuery for a cleaner appearance. On the backend, I'm using Beautiful Soup to scrape news sites and WordNet to get similar words to users' inputs.

Challenges I ran into

One of the biggest challenges I faced was deciding the level of similarity for words in WordNet. After some trial and error, I decided on a value that, while not perfect, gets a reasonable list of synonyms and other associated words.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

More than anything, I'm proud of completing my first hackathon in under 24 hours! I never would have dreamed this was possible yesterday.

What I learned

I learned Flask from the ground up and taught myself some basic natural language processing skills using WordNet. Most importantly, I learned how much persistence pays off.

What's next for Bellman

I'm looking to expand Bellman by adding more news sources and maybe register it under a domain once I'm confident in its performance.

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