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Picnic 2007 building a data aggregator for live coverage

PICNIC 2007 aggregator - the picnicker

This month the Picnic Conference/Festival is in Amsterdam. The VPRO decided to start a wiki and build an aggregator to collect all the data created during the even.

Building an aggregator isn’t that hard, you just scan for updates on feeds and tags and combine the messages. The big problem is the interface, how do you design an interface that is capable of showing different types of information without creating a long list without context?

There is a certain urge to design an uniform template for all different types of data. I’m playing with this for a while and have build aggregators in the past. I haven’t figured out what is the best way to do it. Nonetheless I have given it a try again and build a Picnic aggregator.

How it works
The idea is simple. I have build a bar similar to the twitterticker. The top layer reads an RSS file from twitter and scans for a certain word. Right now it is the word ‘:’ for testing purposes. I think it will change to PICNIC or something similar. So you can just use the word ‘PICNIC’ in your twitter messages.

The second layer is a row with buttons linking to searches or webpages that will have PICNIC coverage during the days of the event.

Nothing fancy, but I think this will do the trick for organizing all the information during Picnic. See the ticker in live action: www.wilbertbaan.nl/picnicker/

Picnic has a wiki about the live coverage and data aggregation during the festival. Join it to share your ideas. If you would like to improve my tickerbar, please do. You can find all the source files you need on my server: download the source files

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