Thursday, April 2, 2009

25. Mashups

A mashup is a web application that combines data from various sources into a single integrated tool. For example, the use of cartographic data from Google Maps can be used with real estate data providing more valuable information to the user looking at buying or renting in a particular suburb.

Some great examples of mashups include

  • Diaroogle - helping New Yorkers find clean public toilets
  • RottenNeighbor - helping people share information about rotten neighbours. Zoom out at Glenferrie, there’s a few around there!
  • Frekfly - Information for travellers regarding temperature, currency, local hotels etc.
  • LazyLibrary - finding books on a topic that are less than 200 pages long
  • Perspctv - follow the US election via twitter, blogs, news on the one webpage.

There are various mashups that allow you to post your status to the various social software sites out there such as myspace, Facebook and Twitter all at once. An example is Hellotxt.


  1. Go to and explore the various mashups.
  2. Can you think of a new mashup that could use services from two or more web applications that would make life a lot easier?
  3. Talk about your mashup ideas in a blog post.




Monday, February 2, 2009

24. Twitter

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? Similar to the “status” on Facebook.


Family members, friends, or colleagues are interested in even basic updates about what you are doing. Research shows that mums want to know you are eating soup, co-workers are interested that you are running late to a meeting and friends what to join you if you are partying!

Twitter the newsbreaker…

During a minor earthquake in February 2008, Twitterers (Twitter users) reported the UK earthquake before any major news outlets. Check out the readwriteweb blog post for more information.

There’s also the story of a graduate student, James Karl Buck, who was arrested in Egypt while documenting local riots. Just before he was arrested, Buck managed to send an update to twitter, via his mobile phone, with the word “arrested”. Buck’s twitter network got the word out to the government and media agencies which created enough pressure for Egypt to release Buck from prison.

There's also the detailed information given out via Twitter during the Mumbai terrorist attacks.


  • Sign up to twitter by clicking the Getting-Started-Join button on the Twitter homepage.
  • Post a tweet.
  • Find some people to follow (ie deakinlibrary, springshare - creator of libguides, lancearmstrong, abcnews, 774melbourne, katclancy)
  • Go to the Everyone tab and check out the latest tweets from around the world
  • Go to and search for something specific about what people are tweeting (ie a football team, suburb, company, deakin)
  • Create a post in your blog page about this exercise. Don’t know what to write about? Think about how the library can use twitter as a communication tool.

Videos and other information