Eclectro is a website about music. Having a calendar is a great service for such a website. It is often a popular service, but unfortunately also a very labour intensive one. When searching the web to find an easy way to solve this problem I noticed the solution could be found connecting different webservices.
For promoters and venues Last.fm is the place to reach the right audience. It’s a music marketing sweetspot. Most websavvy promoters know they have to add their schedule to Last.fm, because here is where the fans are.
Unfortunately it would take a lot of time to collect all the data and copy it into an Eclectro agenda. Last.fm uses Audio Scrobbler to control all feeds in and out Last.fm. A lot of Last.fm data is public available.
to Yahoo Pipes
Yahoo Pipes is an online data-aggragator that enables drag and drop programming. You can add feeds from other services, group and remodel the data from the feeds into a new feed. It is a web-based visual programming interface.
Everything you make on Yahoo Pipes is open source. This means everyone can clone your code en learn from it or build upon it. I found some Last.fm examples and adapted it for 15 Dutch venues. The Yahoo Pipe I build scans those venues on Last.fm for events and combines the data into one large iCal (calendar format) feed.
Now we have a feed with a lot of information, interesting but it has a lot of events in it that are irrelevant to the Eclectro audience. They want to know about electronic music.
Next stop; Google. Google has a calendar function that let’s you share calendars in public or assign multiple owners to the same calendar. The Yahoo Pipes feed with Last.fm information is loaded into Google Calendar. There I’ve created a second calendar called Eclectro.
And here is where the ‘human’ selection and thus the added value comes in. An Eclectro editor filters Eclectro related events and we end up with a simple calendar with very good information. We will add other events to the calendar as well, but the information from Last.fm is a perfect base.
Wwwww, dddddjjjjjjj duh?
I hope you’re still with me, it is a kind of geeky description for a simple solution. What it actually does is transferring information from one system to another. Making use of several open web applications. It shows what can happen when we use open standards and systems that can easily export and import data. You don’t need to have access to a web server or be a programmer to build something like this. This is the future of information. Free to move and easy to alter.