Heave ho, scallywags, there’s events listings o’er thar to liberate

(Avast, me hearties, this is the last of the pirate postings. Just be glad they weren’t podcasts 😉

So the other ‘mashups’ itch I’ve been wanting to scratch recently revolves around events listings, specifically a list of ed tech conferences that’s been around for a few years. Now before ye raise the topsails and give chase, hear me out – the landlubber who created and maintains this list every year is to be much praised, as I have done so in the past, as are the folks at CIDER for posting it as HTML.

But in this age of participatory media and user generated content, does it make any sense for lists like these to get created and maintained by one person, in a Word document?

Aye, you say, but it was probably the easiest tool at hand for what was a selfless act of giving back to the community. Right you are; but howseabout I shows ya how to take this page, database-enable it and allow others to add to new events to it in about 5 minutes with free, easy-to-use web-based tools. Come aboard all ye who’s coming aboard…

Scrape, Clean and then…

So, much the same as the first exercise, we’ll use Dapper to scrape the HTML page, and Pipes to clean up unwanted stuff. Already we have an RSS feed of ed tech conference events; problem is, it’s a list that may never get updated, so having it as RSS hasn’t helped much, except…

Dabble Away!

…except there’s this neat service called Dabble DB that allows you to create online databases very easily. They have set it up so that to create one from scratch you don’t fill in information about tables and fields, like you would normally with RDBMS software, but instead create a “category” which contains “entries,” and “views,” and through adding attributes while describing an actual “entry” you build the DB in context. Quite nifty.

Even better though – you can point Dabble DB at an RSS feed or webpage with a table in it, and it will create a database based on those. Which is what I did, pointed to the cleaned up feed of ed tech events, from which Dabble DB created this default view along with a Calendar view of the same data.

So what?

Which is all well and good except…how is this any better than what we had? Well, first off, you can easily create some other views of the data. Here’s a map of the distribution of these conferences around the world (note: that feature still a work in progress; it only gives you totals, doesn’t let you drill all the way down. But then it was only recently released.)

Even better, you can embed the views of this database on any webpage by copying and pasting a simple line of code, so here’s a page on edtechpost with the calendar view, links to the chronological view and the geographic distribution views. Big whoop, I know, except look down at the bottom of that first page, you’ll see a form to add new events to the database. That form was also copy and pasted from the Dabble DB site.

So, from static HTML page to database with multiple views, and the ability for other users to add new entries, in less time than it actually took me to type this post. Even better though might have been if the originator of the list had chosen DabbleDB (or one of the other web-based databases or online calendars on this list, itself done in DabbleDB – oy, my head hurts!) to begin with and opened it up to the community to populate and maintain. Right?

So same lessons as the last time – the goal here isn’t to produce a new production version of this, but to show you another example of how these new tools can empower you, and to encourage information providers to ‘do it right the first time.’ And with that, I remain yours truly, Cabin Boy Nessman of the good ship Syndication.

Advertisements
Heave ho, scallywags, there’s events listings o’er thar to liberate

5 thoughts on “Heave ho, scallywags, there’s events listings o’er thar to liberate

  1. […] I’ve been meaning to post a follow-up on the Dabble Commons, maybe writing up an example. Looks like I was too slow: in the meantime Scott Leslie at Edtechpost beat me to it, detailing an ed tech conference list he put together: So, from static HTML page to database with multiple views, and the ability for other users to add new entries, in less time than it actually took me to type this post. Even better though might have been if the originator of the list had chosen DabbleDB (or one of the other web-based databases or online calendars on this list, itself done in DabbleDB – oy, my head hurts!) to begin with and opened it up to the community to populate and maintain. Right? […]

    Like

  2. […] 看起来很明显,确实也需要被提到,因为教育社区里的累积智慧在这点上很无助,似乎也无法将这个事儿说清楚。象活动和工作清单这类事情(Scott Leslie在前一个帖子中提及)可以很容易被聚合。只需要做一些工作,将这些资源收集起来,制作一个用户可以订阅的RSS源即可。这非常象我制作Edu_RSS(我真的必须重新把它做起来)的方式。确实是这样,如果教育机构切实提供帮助,比如制作”工作RSS源”和”活动RSS源”,事情将会容易很多 。但正如我所说,只是在那儿坐坐很容易,但却于事无补。我会很快在这方面做更多工作的。 Scott Leslie, EdTechPost March 14, 2007 [原文链接] [参与评论] […]

    Like

  3. […] Efforts like this that keep the community appraised are immensely valueable. And I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but much like the case with the Ed Tech conference listings I documented a while back, in this day and age we need to be looking at web-based formats and tools by default, ones that produce RSS and allow collaborative editing. There is simply too much too kepp track of to do otherwise, and it is only in spreading the load that we can hope to keep up. – SWL Tags: collaboration, patents syndication Filed under The Rest.  | Tags: collaboration, patents, syndication. var blogTool = “WordPress”; var blogURL = “http://www.edtechpost.ca/wordpress”; var blogTitle = “EdTechPost”; var postURL = “http://www.edtechpost.ca/wordpress/2007/05/28/current-list-of-us-elearning-patents-and-patent-applications/”; var postTitle = “Current list of U.S. eLearning Patents and Patent Applications”; var commentAuthorFieldName = “author”; var commentAuthorLoggedIn = false; var commentFormID = “commentform”; var commentTextFieldName = “comment”; var commentButtonName = “submit”; […]

    Like

  4. […] popular public links >> blogtool css Saved by Geder on Wed 19-11-2008 Blogging Tools Review – Rotatee.com Saved by Lisa2101 on Tue 18-11-2008 Comment on Heave ho, scallywags, there’s events listings o’er… Saved by mariomario on Fri 14-11-2008 All in One SEO Pack Plugins Saved by YourGaySubscriber on Thu 13-11-2008 setting up my blog Saved by misterg70 on Mon 03-11-2008 The EntreBar for EntreCard Saved by gdsouljah74 on Sun 02-11-2008 クリック募金 Saved by Wren73 on Sat 01-11-2008 WordPress Category Generator Saved by zhangshuohua on Fri 31-10-2008 Categoria: Blogueiras bonitas – Enloucrescendo Saved by Fredsan on Wed 29-10-2008 BlogPeoplePEOPLEのBlogTool Saved by ngumngim on Tue 28-10-2008 毎日、自動更新でリンク切れなし!あなたのアフィリエイト無料ツール Saved by mojaveman on Tue 28-10-2008 Which web-service to choose? Saved by kateoneill on Sat 25-10-2008 MOTTAINAIブログパーツ Saved by leoguime on Fri 17-10-2008 Almost there, just a few more seconds. . . . . Saved by betageek on Wed 01-10-2008 あなたのアフィリリンク付き『インフォランキング』を無料でプレゼント … Saved by Shadowoffire123 on Thu 25-9-2008 Collect manage and cite sources Blogtool Saved by friendlykun on Wed 24-9-2008 Google Blogger Saved by snowwiedragon on Tue 23-9-2008 New Backporch Beer Saved by Dragisa26 on Wed 17-9-2008 AffSphere.com Money Maker Saved by SlayerMach5 on Sun 07-9-2008 The Guilded Lilies – I Am Not (Ales Rarus) Saved by southsidekat77 on Sun 24-8-2008 5 défis passés et à venir Saved by imveryhungry2 on Wed 20-8-2008 […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s