Mashups, editing, whatever

One panel at last week’s Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco focused on mashups — combining or remixing information from multiple web services to create a new data service. The panel was moderated by Dave McClure of, a mashup of job hunting info from multiple sources. The mashup is a great idea that almost anyone can use.

McClure wrote a brief blog entry about his talk and also posted his slides. Download them and what you’ll see will be a list of examples of mashups to illustrate the concept. Take, a fusion of Craigslist and Google maps. Or, a real estate search site that “helps you search homes for sale and other residential real estate property information directly from hundreds of thousands of real estate Web sites.”

Once you realize what a simple and brilliant concept this is, the question is how to pull it off. McClure’s slides offer a page that lists some of the technologies — such as Ajax — or systems — like ad sales and payment options — needed to pull together a business from a mashup. That is more difficult.

But what a wonderful notion for people in the information business — mixing and matching data sources to make a refined data source with value. In the old days of the print news business we called that editing. These are new times and people can now mash up more than news. But it’s refreshing to think that old skills may still be relevant — especially if they get hip new names.

Tom Abate
‘Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media