The Ocean protocol will level the playing field to the unfair advantage that big companies such as Google and Facebook have as more and more data sets come online and more data marketplaces powered by Ocean spring up. We want to help Ocean grow and getting the data science community to use it and consume the information on the data marketplaces. So how does one do that?
Bootstrapping Growth For Ocean Protocol
Airbnb started their growth by using Craigslist to promote their Airbnb listings on the popular classified site when they first started which contributed to their early success. By embedding the search functionality into search engines and sites that currently provide source of datasets -- the largest 2 being Google Dataset Search and Kaggle -- the hope is that we can generate growth the same way for Ocean within the data science community.
Ocean Discovery is a Chrome extension that will search through all Ocean powered data marketplaces whenever a user is searching on a dataset source website such as Kaggle or Google Datasets Search Engine. (In the future, as more Ocean powered data marketplaces come online, the Chrome extension will activate on these sites as well). The benefit of this is that users and data scientists can discover new data sets without any effort and without going through the various data marketplaces. The goal is to let them discovery high quality datasets, while the goal of Ocean is to surface up these datasets and driving adoption of the protocol and user growth.
We took some of our inspiration from the Amazon shopping Chrome extension -- an extension that shows related products (or the same product in a cheaper price) while browsing the Internet on various sites. It's a model that works as the extension has about 8 million active users and we believe it could be a growth tool for Ocean as well.
What it does
Ocean Discovery is a Chrome extension that will activate whenever a user is searching for datasets. Currently it will show up on Kaggle and Google Datasets Search Engine. In the future, the idea is to also appear on all Ocean powered data marketplaces (in addition to new dataset search engines), so data analysts can get the best data as they are doing dataset searches. This is a completely free extension
How I built it
It's a Chrome extension that sites on the browser -- as a user navigates to certain websites and pages and performs a search, it will call the Aquarius backend for various data set sites. For now we just use the Commons Marketplace but in the future it will connect to all Ocean enabled marketplaces and their underlying Aqaurius implementations to maximize discoverability.
Challenges I ran into
To be honest it was a little overwhelming the first thing I looked at Ocean's repository on Github as there were many sub projects and services, but the docs do a good job and explaining each component of the system. It was a matter of wrapping my head around the domain specific terms and concepts.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I'm hopeful that this extension will drive engagement and adoption for Ocean as I believe big companies currently have the upper hand at all the rich data they have privately -- having an ecosystem for data will allow a more level playing field. Until then I'm not that proud yet.
What I learned
I didn't know what Ocean was before, but after reading the docs and the different pieces and how it fits in, I think there's a real use case of blockchain tech here.
What's next for Ocean Discovery Chrome Extension
As more and more data marketplaces powered by Ocean comes online, the Chrome extension will add those data sources and do a cross search on those marketplaces as well. The goal is to enable the users to get the best data available and also for Ocean to distribution and growth for its data publishers. I have submitted the Chrome extension to the app store (still in review as of Jan 10, 2020). The link to the zip file of the Chrome extension is below.
The Chrome extension uses the Commons Marketplace data to retrieve the information
I blogged about my experience in a series of 3 articles
Zip file of the Chrome extension https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/acf-uploads/chrome-discovery-1.0.1.zip