If there is anything new in Web 2.0, it is about content. Many agree that a good way to success on the web these days is to provide lots of content for free to attract user attention (see Google Maps, Wikipedia) . Another way is to let users create and change content (see Flickr, YouTube etc.). An interesting new concept is that users merge content from different sources (a concept that somehow settles between those two ideas) and offer the result as a new application to other users. Those phenomena are called mashups.
A mashup is an application that takes data from one source and combines it with data from another source. Often, the result is a new use for the data or targets a new user group. A good example is Frappr, which lets users combine Yahoo map data with their own locations.The means by which a mashup accesses the data can be authorized by the vendor, as seen in the Google Maps API. But technically, it doesn't have to. What is visible, can be "mashed up".
Jamais Cascio and Howard Greenstein present some examples of mashups and introduce some interesting questions: Who of the big data providers like Google, Amazon or others actively plays the game by providing APIs and who doesn't? Why? What are the legal issues? What role do the creators of mashups play? Are they stealing data or boosting innovation in Web 2.0?
Jamais Cascio is a San Francisco-based freelance world-builder. As a writer and consultant, Mr. Cascio specializes in the design and creation of plausible scenarios of the future, combining developments in science, technology, social trends, and political systems. He has consulted for a wide variety of clients including government agencies, major computer firms, non-profit organizations, European postal services, game companies, and television producers. He co-founded WorldChanging, a website providing news and commentary on tools, models, resources and ideas for building a better world (he now maintains his own website at openthefuture.com). Mr. Cascio has written about the collision of technology and society for Salon, Wired, The Washington Post, Seattle Weekly, Johannesburg Mail & Guardian, and Time magazine.Mr. Cascio has degrees in Anthropology, History and Political Science.
Howard Greenstein has been managing and consulting web-technology-based enterprises since as early as 1993. He is or has been on the board of the following organisations: New York Software Industry Association, New York New Media Association and the World Wide Web Artist's Consortium. He was a technical evangelist for Microsoft and directed the Twin Towers Fund to help the families of uniformed services heroes killed in New York on September 11th, 2001. He was awarded his degree at the Masters of Interactive Telecommunication Program (ITP) at New York University in 1996 where he now leads the Center for Management at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. He graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelors in Industrial and Labor Relations.
This free podcast is from our MeshForum series.