Archive for August, 2006

Fidget: Blog Widget for Music Videos

August 28, 2006

After just a few hours of work, we’re happy to present Fidget, our newest Dapper-based service. You tell Fidget the names of some of your favorite artists, and it uses Dapper to search YouTube for videos containing music by the bands you like. It pulls back a random video and displays it for you in a widget which you can place on your blog, your MySpace profile, or anywhere else you like. It’s yet another example of something that was really easy to build with Dapper, but would be much harder without.

We hope you like it. As always, your feedback would be very welcome and for those of you who would like more details on how we set it up, don’t hesitate to ask.

One note: it does not work on Internet Explorer (though it works fine in Firefox, Opera, and Safari). If anyone out there has a background in Flash and is interested in helping us troubleshoot, please contact us.

Dapper: Empowering Content Providers

August 26, 2006

It’s been an exciting week for Dapper. We got great publicity, lots of positive feedback, many users, and much interest by individuals and businesses alike. It seems that people truly understand what our service offers, and how it empowers them in creating new mash-ups, web services, web widgets, and more.

Moving forward, our vision is to empower content providers to distribute (or not distribute) their content according to their wishes through Dapper. We regard content providers as our most important partners because it is their content that makes Dapper such a valuable service. We believe they stand to benefit greatly from Dapper and its future offerings.

In the near future, we will provide far greater control to content providers over their content. Not only is it cool, it’s also the right thing to do, and it will benefit everyone in the end. The first step is this form, through which content owners can choose to opt-out of Dapper. However, what we have planned is much more than the on / off switch represented by this system. We aim to empower content providers by enabling them to sell their content through Dapper with little or no effort. We’d like content users to be able to use any content they want in a legal and legitimate manner, and to, in turn, be able to compensate the content providers for their hard work, again with little or no effort.

Content providers and content users will finally be able to work together, with minimal effort on both sides, while respecting the rights of the creators and providing a means to compensate them. Please stick with us as we build out this new system and do not hesitate to provide your thoughts and insights- they are extremely valuable and appreciated.

New Demo

August 23, 2006

It’s been a busy week in Dapperland.  In addition to lots of feedback, numerous bug fixes (thanks to everyone for reporting them), and various improvements, we’ve also put up a new demo.  Hopefully this will make it easier for people to understand the process of creating and using a Dapp.  Check it out and let us know what you think.

As always, your feedback is extremely appreciated.

New Features

August 18, 2006

We’re pleased to release a couple of minor, but useful, features today:

1) Improvements to the “Create a Dapp” process: Now when you save your Dapp, you will immediately see what the output looks like and be able decide whether or not you’re satisfied.

2) YAML transformer (sample): YAML is a data exchanged format much like JSON. Programmers can use this format in their programs and can forget about dealing with XML. Packages for working with YAML are available for a variety of programming languages. Thank you to one of our users, David André, for requesting this feature.

3) Miscellaneous bug fixes and improvements. You should now see less cryptic error messages when you forget to supply required information for transformers. The “My Dapps” page has also been improved to show you Dapps that are in your sandbox first.

Thanks for everyone who has been providing feedback over the last couple days. It’s greatly appreciated. Please do keep it coming.

Dapper is open

August 15, 2006

Good News!

Dapper is now open to the public. We had a great closed beta period, with lots of wonderful feedback, and we’re hoping to get much more now that the service is open. In the coming months, expect to frequently see new features and improvements to Dapper’s functionality. Be sure to check this blog every now and then.

We’d like to thank all of the closed beta participants, and especially those of you who provided us with feedback or wrote about us. Here are a few of the views people had about Dapper:

Web 2.0 Central
Delusional Media

Bloggers: How Popular is Your Blog?

August 10, 2006

Today we’re releasing another new service: Blotter. Blotter uses Dapper to track statistics about blogs from Technorati and create graphs. You can embed this graph on your blog as a widget or put it on any other web page you like. Here is an example for TechCrunch:

Blotter is a great example of how people can use Dapper to create new services that use content from other places on the web. Visit the Blotter page to discover how we created this new service.

As always, your feedback is greatly welcomed.

Magg – Dapper’s New Movie Aggregator

August 8, 2006

We’re pleased to announce Magg, a movie aggregator we built in just one day using Dapper. Magg uses Dapper to get the latest videos from a wide range of Internet video clip sites (Google Videos, Yahoo Videos, YouTube, MetaCafe, Veoh, Vimeo, and more), as well as to obtain search results for specific queries from these sites The vast majority of these sites do not provide an API or RSS, so the example is particularly relevant – without Dapper, this would have been a much harder task.

To create the service, we just Dapped each website (the newest videos pages and for the search results pages) and then wrote a bit of Javascript and DHTML to compose all the results together in a nice looking page.

Beyond being a cool proof of concept, we hope that you’ll Magg useful and fun. Please do feel free to learn from it – you can take the source code and reuse it to make whatever you want.

As always, your feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks!