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Mashups

April 8, 2011

According to Wikipedia, a mashup is a “web page or application that uses or combines data or functionality from two or many more external sources to create a new service.”  There are many different genres of mashups and some common ones include mapping mashups, video and photo mashups, search and shopping mashups, and news mashups.  Some popular mapping mashups include Google Maps API and Yahoo Maps.   Video and photo mashups work with sites such as Flickr “because these content providers have metadata associated with the images they host (such as who took the picture, what it is a picture of, where and when it was taken, and more), mashup designers can mash photos with other information that can be associated with the metadata” (Merrill, 2009, para. 6).

Shopping and search mashups have “existed long before the term mashup was coined” (para.7).  Some of these mashups include MySimon and Google’s Froogle.  Also, consumer marketplace websites such as Ebay and Amazon have API’s (Application Program Interface).  The last genre is a news mashup which uses news sources such as The New York Times or Reuters.  These sources use syndication technologies such as Atom or RSS.  Merrill (2009) points out that “syndication feed mashups can aggregate a user’s feeds and present them over the Web, creating a personalized newspaper that caters to the reader’s particular interests” (para. 8).  The rest of the Duane Merrill’s article called Mashups: The new breed of Web app,  discusses related technologies, technical challenges, and social challenges.  For example, one of the major social challenges regarding mashups is over the protection of intellectual property rights and consumer privacy versus fair-use issues.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2011 12:19 am

    I am curious as to how similar these mashups are to the RSS readers that we already use? Would it be similar to the Google Reader’s staff picks? It would be useful to have a resource that would help you find new sources of information, instead of having to stumble upon them or find them through word of mouth.

    • April 9, 2011 1:23 am

      They are definitely similar but a RSS reader aggregates information and a mashup creates something new out of that information.

  2. April 9, 2011 2:15 am

    I had not thought of Google Froogle as being a mashup! I find it interesting that thinking about web content in the context of what makes a mashup and what doesn’t changes the perception of the structure and possibilities of different sites.

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