What is TalkSearch?

The TalkSearch project is made of two main parts: a back-end scraper and a front-end library called TalkSearch.js. The scraper will extract data from YouTube while TalkSearch.js will help you build a front-end for it.

The scraper

The scraper is the main beast here. Its responsibility is to extract data from YouTube playlists and push records to an Algolia index. We run it on our own infrastructure at regular intervals, to keep content fresh.

The scraper is piloted through a set of config files. Each conference has its own config file containing the list of playlists to crawl. Config files also contains other hooks that can be used to enrich the records.

For each playlist, we get the list of videos, and for each video we get the textual transcript. We clean, enrich and reorganise this data to convert it to JSON objects that we push to Algolia. Each config results are pushed to a different index, that can then be queried directly from the front-end, directly into your website. That's where TalkSearch.js comes into play.

Note that the scraper code is entirely open-source. You can run it on your own if you'd like.


TalkSearch.js is the front-end counterpart of the scraper. Now that all the data is in an Algolia index, the job of TalkSearch.js is to help you display it in your website.

Note that the use of TalkSearch.js is entirely optional. The index created by TalkSearch is a regular Algolia index and thus can be used with InstantSearch.js, our front-end library.

TalkSearch.js is nothing more than a set of templates compatible with InstantSearch to help you integrate a battle-tested UI with your data in no time.

Note that InstantSearch.js also has comes with React, Vue, Angular, iOS and Android. TalkSearch.js itself is only compatible with the Vanilla JavaScript version, though.