Mmmmm… mashups sound interesting….but don’t we have to WANT to share information?

I attended a seminar yesterday with some other Shiners on Web 2.0 and mashups, got quite excited at the thought of an open and free world where we create ‘utilities’ for users to get the info they need in one online place. No more silos of data. A connected space with a rich user experience. More collaboration. Different content sources. Just plug it in and off you go…..

But how do you balance this with wanting control, power and privacy? You might not want everyone in an organisation seeing all information, you might not want them contributing without moderating what they say, and you might become useless if they can see your info, and don’t need you to get it for them anymore!

It will take a cultural change to surrender our potatoes for the mash.


  1. I feel like the concept of mashups is really overdone. OK, so it can be exciting in a ‘hello world’ kind of way, but the actual practical uses are relatively limited in my opinion. Everyone wants to add Google Maps to their sites, and why wouldn’t they – they look great and add value. But what else do I want to mashup? I think the value add drops off very quickly.

  2. The reality is that as soon as a mashup is too successfully, the upstream data providers notice and shut then down. Prime example being Amazon suing Alexaholic for Using Alexa API.

  3. I think it depends on what you mean by ‘mashup’. The prevalent – and most obvious – examples are the Google Maps model. Whilst these vary from interesting to fun to “what the … ?” I agree with Mark that they are fairly limited, especially in a commercial sense.

    However if you consider mashups to be more generally the combination of information streams using ‘web’ technologies there are more options. To some degree, they could be a new ‘enterprise integration’ solution – taking services exposed by internal systems as well as those published by external partners and ‘mashing’ them up using more flexible ‘web’ technology. These mashups would be on a more commercial basis and would need to consider service agreements with external / upstream data providers as part of the approach.

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