Mash ups and web services

A stack of interesting facts and points came up at Beers & Innovation 3: Web Services & Mash Ups… a few of which i’ve compiled in this special list for y’all.

(1) Yahoo has a data copy of the entire world wide web!

(2) Flickr is making money out of APIs via the ability to order photos and professionally-bound books of the photos (albeit delivered by external companies). And eventually Moo cards I guess.

(3) A start up called (a photo-sharing service) has cloned the Flickr API in its entirety.

(4) James Cooper noted that with MySpace you can plug into it by just using a little widget that has the same effect as an API – so what’s the difference?

(5) The BBC Programme Catalogue resource came about partly through a chance encounter with a librarian (go librarians!).

(6) Tom Loosemore considers the BBC Backstage intiative (as it stood in April 2006 – long before Ian joined) as a “vicar in trainers project” but….

“We’ve done some amazing stuff with it, for example, the ‘Was This (weather) Forecast Right or Not?’ mash-up.”

(7) A mash-up of Google Maps and a Flickr clone (Zoomin) holds out great hope for businesses in New Zealand (and now Australia), apparently.

8.  Ning – a site that makes it easier for you to create (or clone) APIs – was cited on more than one occassion.

(9) For Tom Loosemore, SXIP Identity were the most interesting company in this space, as they are focused on federated identity.

“Just as Google owns the search query level of the internet, whoever can own those other layers of the web apart from front-end websites will make a lot of money,” said Tom.

(10) Simon Willison reckoned that the most useful mash up was the Craigslist & Google Maps apartment mash up Andy Budd of Clearleft noted that does the same thing with estate agents in the UK.

(11) How do you innovate, someone asked, and what do you need to enable this to happen? Standards was a suggestion from a delegate but Tom Coates disagreed – what we need is openness, he said.

(12) The UK is the biggest user (per head of the population) of BitTorrent.

(13) Tom Coates said that the appearance of API’s is the first sign of the movement forward towards structured data.

Agree, disagree, corrections?

Certainly plenty to digest. And granted, it happened in April and I only published the report in September and I forgot to blog it until now, but dammit I have standards to maintain! 😉

Luxuriate in the full details here.

[UPDATE 7th October: I accidentally linked to the User-Generated Content B&I webpage in the first link in the intro – I’ve corrected it now]


3 responses to “Mash ups and web services

  1. Yahoo has a data copy of the entire world wide web!

    Do you know how big the hardware facility that holds it is? I’ve wondered for a while if anyone (read Yahoo! or Google being the only likely contenders) had a copy of the web and if so how much physical space they needed to store it in.

  2. Hi Seamus,

    I don’t know how big the hardware is, but i recall Tom Coates put up a diagram (either on his blog or Flickrstream) of the structure of Yahoo and how all the departments and services related to each other and it was mind-bogglingly gargantuan. You had to look at the the hig-rez version (which was huge) to see the actual details. So if the structure is that big, I’d imagine the servers are rather large too 🙂

  3. Talking of which, I’ve just found this ginormous map of Microsoft’s organisational structure (via Alex). It takes a while to download on a slower connection (like the one here at Westminster University!)

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