Archive for the ‘Mashups’ Category

Scrapblog Tells a Story using my Flickr Pictures –This one is about what REALLY happened at TechCrunch7


A few days ago, I had a wonderful conversation with Carlos Garcia, the CEO of the self-funded Scrapblog startup. I promised to give a trial run of his Visual Mashup, I just tried creating a Scrapblog, which is an online version of a scrapbook.

I quickly imported my flickr pictures, and then selected a theme. I grabbed some of my more famous photos –those from the most recent TechCrunch 7 party.

Scrapblog Demo of TechCrunch7
Find out what REALLY happened at TC7. You’ll see pics of Scoble (and his Camera), Pepper, Laughing Squid, the Guy, Winer, Canter, and Flockstar.

I had the same issues as Tara, the Scrapblog would not embed. The player is kinda slow –that needs to be improved (Hint: Flatten to image). I also want to see collaboration between multiple authors, perhaps use your ‘flickr contacts’. The editor is a tad slow, however the interface is pretty intuitive. So far, I’m really impressed by this mashup –there are other features I think that should be included, I sent the info to Carlos.

I’m not employed by Scrapblog (Although a few of my friends are helping them) –but I’m willing to try interesting or cool new products and blog about it.

Maybe, someday he’ll fly me out to Miami to meet the team –I’ve got some other ideas.

Flickr integrates with Yahoo Maps


Flickr has integrated it’s Photo feature with Yahoo Maps. I’ve selected a few photos by dropping them on a map at Hitachi Data Systems. Stewart has posted more details from the official Flickr Blog.

Ian from Yahoo has some additional info about and maps.

I’m watching Thomas Hawk as this is a space that Zooomr has been in already –Zoomr will be one of the companies presenting at the Web Expo at Lunch 2.0.

Folks are already using Flickr for Marketing such as events, people, companies, and products, this will add yet another level of richness –more to come on this soon.

Understanding Microformats for the Non-Technical Web Professional or Marketer


I’m not a developer or software engineer.

I am an individual that needs to understand technology in order to impelement web strategies –consider the following as a public learning experience.

I first heard Marc Canter talking about Microformats a few months ago, and talked to Tantek about it at dinner –I didn’t understand it fully at the time, I’m beginning to see the value now that so many voices are appearing on the web due to blogs and social media.

I am NOT a microformat expert, if you have a suggestion or correction, please leave a comment below and I’ll update the text –let’s learn together.

Q: What are Microformats?
A new method to organize unstructured information into an organized fashion that could be used universally. Edit: You can learn more about the “Big Picture on Microformats” from John Allsopp.
Q: I’m not technical, Why should I know about Microformats?
While still in it’s very early stages, this could be a protocol that could further define RSS or make information publishing, categorizing, or managing more effective. Marketers could benefit by quickly publishing information in organized methods, consumers could quickly obtain information in organized fashions.

Q: Why Microformats?
Social Media (blogs, forums, wikis, etc) are exploding; so many voices, reviews, thoughts, and memes are being spread through the internet, a method to identify, collect, organize, and repurpose/manage will be a service to the world. So much information, very little structure.

Q: How do they work?
Since it’s not a new language, it can be embedded in HTML (as I understand it from Wikipedia) I believe that RSS can also contain the information which will be great if you need to get the word out or update information quickly. Think Vitamin has published a nifty article on embedding Microformats in HTML.

Q: What are the Benefits?
Here’s some potential benefits that come to my mind. (and this is before coffee)

  • Quickly find all user reviews about a product across the internet. (Imagine how powerful that becomes if you can do this from a mobile device before buying a product)
  • Quickly update all your contact information as it appears across the entire internet
  • Quickly tell the whole world about an event and have it updated on every calendar
  • Search engines can do a better job of indexing and serving more accurate information
  • Quickly put up a product to sell that would publish on many websites (ebay, Craigslist, etc)
  • Quickly tell the world when this price has changed or if the product is off the market (sold)
  • Build a universal library of all food recipes and share you own, transmit this code to your local supermarket to assemble ingredients before you arrive, or ship
  • Tie your disparate intranet system using RSS and Microformats as the new protocol
  • Quickly create a press release and send to social media tools
  • Quickly create an image/video and publish to be shared in other social media tools
  • Create your own Microformat (like HCard, or HCalendar) for your own use (see wiki)

Q: What are the Challenges?

  • Adoption
  • Blog publishing tools or widgets will need to be added
  • All websites that want to stay relevant will need to ‘open up’ to opensource and opendata model
  • Folks inputting faulty data into Microformat structure

Q: Are Microformats related to RSS?
Yes, I believe that the Microformat content can be distributed via RSS just like other content.

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I’ll share the findings with the Microformats team later…

Facebook opens APIs for Mashups –Why build another social site if you can harness an existing one?


Facebook opens up APIs for Developers
If I were to start a company that was focused on building a social site around a particular segment (such as cars, food, drinks, or anything else that interests me), I’d consider tapping into existing social networks. Facebook could be just that, as developers could create new applications that could mash with their data (profiles, images, friends and events). Heh, I love how Marc Canter gets so excited about open systems, “I told you so” he says. Learn more at this launched Facebook Developers.

Currency now available
It appears that they’ve also launched a new product called Facebank, which adds in currency to this model –there could be money to be made here. Although there’s already typical marketing being deployed such as Chase’s credit card campaign, (more info here) this will create some unique business models that tap into user to user transactions.

Could this impact Intranet/Extranet Developers?
Let’s think about intranets too, we know that Facebook has released it’s product for businesses to use, not just colleges, if done correctly, these APIs could replace many stale corporate intranets (esp if folks have to rely on a centralized group to update content) and it could tie to other tools such as linkedin, events, calendars, contacts, etc. Think about the rich profile information an employee could put on their Facebook account that could show the skills, projects, they’ve completed.

Web Strategy Question: Build new vs Harness existing
I begin to question why build and brand a new social site when you could harness an existing one? Love to hear your thoughts.