Author Archive

Big Update to Dapp Factory

November 26, 2008

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve released a major update to the Dapp Factory.  In the new version, you can now see how the content selection works across multiple pages and fix it if it isn’t perfect.

For some background: Dapper works by providing it sample pages that have the same structure, but different content.  For example, if you want to create a Dapp that allows you to extract search results from your favorite search engine, you would provide several different examples of searches (e.g., “cat,” “dog,” and “meow meow”).  Dapper will use the different sample pages to understand the structure of the page, so that later you can use it to conduct any search you want, even one you didn’t train it on (e.g., “woof woof”).  In the past, our interface allowed you provide multiple sample pages, but when it came to selecting content, you could only see how it worked on the first sample page.  If it didn’t work well on other pages, you would only know that after you saved your Dapp, and editing the Dapp so that it worked better on other pages was a chore.  With the new version, you can now see when you are creating your Dapp how it works on all the sample pages provided.

To help illustrate how the feature works, here’s a screencast demonstrating it:

We hope you find this new feature useful and that it helps you create better, more robust Dapps that work across many pages. Should you have any questions or want to discuss it with us, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Something to note: the new version does not extract content from all the pages at once – Dapper remains true to the concept that it extracts content from one page at a time.  Combining content from multiple pages is something that is left to techniques outside the Dapp itself (e.g., MS Popfly with their awesome Dapper integration, Yahoo! Pipes, or good old fashioned programming).

Dapper Speaking Events

October 7, 2008

Hello everyone!

I just returned from the Internet Marketing Conference in Barcelona where I presented Dapper’s MashupAds platform to a great group of marketing experts.  The crowd was engaging and provided a unique European perspective on our advertising offering.  A big thanks to Lennart and Jordi for inviting us to present.  The other presenters were particularly interesting.  I especially enjoyed a presentation about Avail Intelligence‘s offering, which is effectively giving e-commerce sites the ability to provide collaborative filtering services to their users and boost sales dramatically.  The IMC is held in various places around Europe and North America and always has quality presenters – I’d highly recommend attending when it’s in your neighborhood (upcoming events are in Stockholm, Helsinki, and Vancouver).

Up next, I’ll be participating in two panels at the Web 3.0 Conference and Expo in Santa Clara on October 16.  The first panel is called “A Little “mash-up” goes a long and smart(er) way” and the second is called “Monetization Implications of Web 3.0 (Semantic Advertising, etc.)“.  Both of these topics are highly relevant to what we’ve been working on at Dapper.  In the first session, we’ll be discussing how the technologies of the Semantic Web are continuing to evolve and are being applied to mashups.  In the second session, we’ll address business models of the Semantic Web (the other folks on the panel are all from interesting companies and will have great things to share).  I hope to provide a demo of dynamic ad creation using Dapper’s MashupAds.  For those of you interested in the emergence of the Semantic Web and the discussion around all of its various elements from a practical perspective, I’d highly recommend attending the conference.

Video of Talk at Cognizant in Bangalore

July 30, 2008

The kind folks at Cognizant have made available a video of the talk I gave there in May.  I’m a bit long-winded (the talk is almost two hours), but there are some good moments and the crowd asked excellent questions.  Enjoy!

Mashups Made Easy with Dapper

July 18, 2008

Tony Loton has just released a new book called Mashups Made Easy with Dapper.  It is available in PDF format as well as paperback.  As an exclusive offer to our users, Tony has made available the first two chapters free of charge.  The book is loaded with examples, tutorials, and step-by-step guides that are relevant to beginners and advanced users alike.

Thanks to Tony for his work in compiling this work.

Easy web application and widget creation with zembly

June 6, 2008

Our good friends at zembly have launched the beta of their service today and we’re proud to announce that Dapper and zembly are partners.  According to their website:

“With zembly, you easily create and host social applications of all shapes and sizes, targeting the most popular social platforms on the web. Using just your browser and your creativity, and working collaboratively with others, you create and publish Facebook apps, OpenSocial apps, meebo apps, iPhone apps, Google Gadgets, embeddable widgets, and other social applications.”

From that description alone, it’s fairly obvious how you could use Dapper and zembly together to create great web applications and widgets.  The zembly folks have built in support for using Dapps right within their app and it’s very cool what you can do.  So you can use Dapper to create feeds for any website, and then you can go use those feeds within your code inside zembly.  Very cool.

zembly is truly disruptive. It has the potential to fundamentally change the way developers create portable web applications and widgets. Its collaborative approach, emphasis on reuse of common code, and web-based interface dramatically reduce the barrier for developers to implement and realize their creative ideas. We’re excited that you, the users of Dapper, can now take the Dapps you create and immediately put them to use in new ways with minimal effort using zembly

Go to zembly’s website to apply for an invite into the beta.  If you create things using the service and are making use of Dapps, post it here or let us know by email.

Dapper in Bangalore

May 26, 2008

Last week, Dapper made its first visit to India. Having received a kind invitation from the folks at the Great Indian Developer’s Summit, I made my way to Bangalore to talk about the Semantic Web and Dapper’s new server-side mashup framework. Having been to India before, I knew what to expect – a vibrant country teeming with life and excitement, amazing street life, and a world entirely different than any other country.

A busy street in Bangalore\'s Magestic neighborhood

Yet, I had never visited Bangalore and was impressed to see the quality of the high-tech community. Everyone I met was working on great things and was eager to learn about the next great developments.

My first speaking engagement was at Cognizant. A large company with more than 55,000 employees, “Cognizant is a leading provider of information technology, consulting and business process outsourcing services.” I was given the opportunity to speak with a group of Cognizant’s brightest people about the “practical Semantic Web” (what we call “Web Plumbing 101”). Some of you have probably seen us present this talk in the past, but for those of you who haven’t, it focuses on how, using techniques like harnessing the user community and simplicity (REST instead of SOAP, Microformats instead of RDF, etc.), a bunch of companies are helping deliver on the promise of the Semantic Web. The Cognizant audience had great questions about the topics, which for me is always the best indication of interest and understanding. If video of the talk at Cognizant becomes available, I’ll be sure to post it online. For now, here is a photo from the session. Thanks to Dr. Kumar B.V. for inviting me and everyone at Cognizant who attended.

Jon at Cognizant

Following the session at Cognizant, I made my way to the Great Indian Developer Summit. This was the first GIDS and its success is sure to lead to many more. Run by the great folks at Saltmarch Media, Indu Britto and Dilip Thomas, the GIDS was really three conferences in one: two days dedicated to .NET, one day dedicated to the rich web, and another two days dedicated to Java. Hosted at the beautiful Indian Institute of Science campus, over 3,000 people attended throughout the week. I spoke twice on the rich web day, once about the Semantic Web and once about Dapper’s new server-side mashup engine (for those of you interested in the latter, just drop us a note and we’ll be happy to get you access before the official release). Speaking to a crowd of so many bright developers was fantastic. The people who attended the Dapper sessions asked some of the best questions we’ve heard. For those of you who were there, a great many thanks for making the sessions so truly interactive, and thanks as well to Indu and Dilip for the invitation to speak. When photos or video become available of the sessions, I will be sure to post them. In the mean time, here is a shot of some attendees from the main hall:

Attendees at GIDS

I look forward to my next visit to Bangalore.  For those of you who haven’t been, I encourage you to visit.  And for anyone in India or the region, I highly recommend attending next year’s Great Indian Developer Summit.

ISP Troubles

April 2, 2008

Dear Dapper users,

Due to some serious problems with our ISP, the Dapper website and service are currently experiencing an outage. We are working quickly to resolve the issue with them. More information as it comes, and our apologies for in the inconvenience.

Update: we are back online.  We are truly sorry for the unannounced disruption of service.  If anyone knows of a reliable, high-performance ISP, we’d love to hear your recommendations as we’re losing patience with our provider.

DapperCamp Wrap-Up

February 7, 2008

Dear Campers and Dapper fans,

DapperCamp was a huge success. People flew in from Boston, Portland, San Diego, Mississippi, and New York to participate in our two day event in San Francisco. The excitement in the air was fantastic and we really appreciate everyone’s help in making the event so great. Here are some photos to give you a taste of DapperCamp.

Gone Camping!

February 4, 2008

DapperCamp is upon us.  Monday morning, Eran, Paul, Ohad, Itai, and I will meet all of you who will be joining us at the Swedish American Hall.  We’re incredibly excited and can’t wait to spend a couple fun-filled days talking about Dapper with you. A lot of people have signed up, so it should be a good crowd. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you need anything and we’re looking forward to meeting you!


January 29, 2008

Due to some unfortunately timed hardware failures, Dapper is currently experiencing intermittent hardware failures. We’re doing everything we can to minimize the downtime and expect things to stabilize soon. Thank you for your patience and apologize for the inconvenience.

Update (1/30/08): after a little bit of calm, we suffered a power outage at our data center.  The machines should be up momentarily and we’re working hard to clear the dust.  We greatly appreciate your patience and are sorry for the inconvenience.

Deki Wiki Incorporates Support for Dapper

January 7, 2008

Deki Wiki, pretty much the coolest wiki out there just released version 1.8.3 which incorporates support for Dapper. Effectively, this now means you can bring any content from the web into your wiki! The best way to understand its power is probably to check out Aaron’s screencast demonstrating the new Dapper extension.

The new release is getting lots of great attention all over the web: RWW, Social Glass, Computer World, Mashable, and more.

Thanks to Aaron, Steve, and the Deki Wiki team for bringing such excellent functionality to the open source wiki world.

If you build something cool using Deki Wiki and Dapper, please let us know (and if you’re in the Bay Area, come present it at DapperCamp).

Come to DapperCamp: Win a MacBook, an iPhone, and more

December 20, 2007

DapperCamp is about six weeks away and we’re really gearing up. If you haven’t signed up yet, do so quickly as spots are limited. We’re looking forward to meeting all of you and for the opportunity to teach you a bit about Dapper and learn from your experiences.

As if two days of geeking out on Dapper wasn’t enticing enough, today we’re announcing a whole slew of prizes that we’ll be giving away. We’ve got a MacBook, a whole bunch of iPhones, iPod Touches, hard drives, and gift certificates with your name on them. Winning the prizes is easy: just complete one of the bounties we’ve described on the DapperCamp wiki. We’ll be happy to help you in your efforts to complete the bounties. So get started – we hope you’ll have fun working on the projects we’ve described and look forward to giving you some great prizes. Check the wiki for full rules and let us know if you have any questions.

See you at DapperCamp!

Edit: Mashable has kindly posted an article about the contests at DapperCamp.


November 26, 2007

You’re invited!  DapperCamp is a free two day conference for developers, partners, Dapper users, and anyone else interested in Dapper.  The conference will take place on February 4 and 5 in downtown San Francisco.  It will include technical tutorials, hack sessions, competitions, prizes, feedback sessions with the Dapper team, and more.  Mitch Kapor will be delivering the keynote address and our partners will be presenting the ways in which they use Dapper (if you’re interested in presenting, please let us know and we’ll get you a slot to present).

Visit the DapperCamp website at The website is still under development – you can expect a collaborative workspace to be put up in the coming weeks where you can share Dapper ideas with the team and with fellow attendees.

Attendance is free, but spots are limited so we ask that you register for the event (registration is available at the DapperCamp website).

We’re still fine tuning the schedule, so it may change in the coming weeks.  In the mean time, your input is highly valued so if there is something you’d like to see covered, don’t hesitate to let us know.

Interview about Dapper on BungeeLabs

November 17, 2007

A few weeks ago Ted Haeger and Alex Barnett at BungeeLabs interviewed me about Dapper, our technology, the Semantic Web, content ownership, and business models. The interview was posted today to their blog and if you’re interested in hearing more about what we do, check it out. Check out the interview here. Thanks to Ted and Alex for a fun conversation. Don’t forget to check out their other episodes – they speak with great people in the web-services area (Jeff Barr from Amazon, Jeremy Zawodny from Yahoo, and more).

Get Your Own Branded Dapp Factory

October 29, 2007

For those of you interested in offering Dapper as a service to your users, we just made it possible! Imagine, for example, that you have a site that allows your users to import RSS feeds for one purpose or another. What happens if there is no RSS feed for the content a user wants to import? Using the white labeled Dapp Factory, you can offer your users the ability to create a feed for any site and then import it into your site, without feeling like they’ve left your website. The white labeled Dapp Factory can be customized to include your logo, styling (via CSS), and wording. For more information, check out the white labeled Dapp Factory page or contact us to apply.

Defrag Conference Next Week

October 28, 2007

Eran and I will be presenting a talk next week at the Defrag conference in Denver.  The talk will be about the practical Semantic Web (what we call “Web Plumbing 101”) and how its being built up by companies (including Dapper) and the web community.  For those of you interested in attending, let us know in the comments and we can arrange a discount for you.  See you there!

Small DapperFox Update

October 19, 2007

DapperFox users, we’ve just released a minor update (version 0.1.4).  This version fixes a long standing issue where the Dapper logo would continue spinning indefinitely in the address bar.  You can download the update here, or update via Firefox’s addon manager (the new version will be updated to Mozilla’s site soon).

Popfly’s Dapper Block

October 18, 2007

For those of you looking for a cool visual mashup editor, Microsoft has a great new tool called Popfly.  Complete with stunning visual effects, Popfly allows you to mix and mash content from the web into a cool little webapp.  A couple weeks ago, the Popfly team added a “Dapper block” which allows you to very easily embed content from any Dapp into your mashup.  Check out their video about the Dapper block and read what Webware has to say about the service.

If you build something cool using Dapper and Popfly, let us know in the comments.

Server Errors

October 8, 2007

Hey folks,

We’re aware that there are some server errors being displayed on our site right now – bear with us, it should be fixed shortly.

Thanks for your patience.

Scheduled Maintainance

August 14, 2007

Just a note to let everyone know that at 3am on August 15 (tonight) we will be moving our servers and updating our IP addresses.  This will result in a couple hours of down time during which time the Dapper service will be unreachable.  We’re sorry for the inconvenience, but the result will be significantly improved performance.  Please let us know if you experience any problems and thanks for your understanding.