I saw an link to an interesting site in Robert Scoble's post Paul remixes Google Maps and Craig's List in interesting new way  where he writes

What happens when you mix Google Maps with Craig's List? Paul Rademacher shows us.

This is a cautionary tale for Microsoft: them who has the best API's will get used in the most interesting new ways.

Like Ballmer says: developers, developers, developers, developers, developers...

Actually this has little to do with APIs given that there is neither an official Craig's List API nor is there a Google Maps API. This looks more like a combination of HTML screen scraping for getting the Craig's List data and good old fashioned reverse engineering. I suspect Paul didn't have to do much reverse engineering in the Google Maps case because Engadget already published an article called HOW-TO: Make your own annotated multimedia Google map which shows exactly how to build your own applications on top of Google Maps.

Despite that this is definitely a cool hack.

This shows one of the interesting side effects of building an AJAX site. You basically have to create an API for all the Javascript callbacks from the web browser back to the server. Once you do that, anyone else can call this API as well. I doubt that the Google folks anticipated that there would be this much interest in the API the browser uses the talk to the Google Maps server.

PS: Is anyone other reader of Scoble's blog irritated by the fact that he can't point to anything on the Web without throwing some Microsoft spin on it?


Saturday, 09 April 2005 14:45:16 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Robert is the "Microsoft Geek Blogger"- what do you expect? I think Robert is a rare breed in that his contributions to MS are being judged based on the content of his blog in addition to his work in the company. I have no information to support that- just a hunch. I think that this is not unreasonable given that he's part of the evangelism community, but again it is just speculation.
Saturday, 09 April 2005 15:53:50 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Hmm, Scoble used to do that less, didn't he? Seems like he's skipping from fad to fad a lot more too.

Nice new MSN Spaces templates, btw.
Saturday, 09 April 2005 16:15:29 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
**PS: Is anyone other reader of Scoble's blog irritated by the fact that he can't point to anything on the Web without throwing some Microsoft spin on it?**

I'm irritated. Then again, I temper that with the fact that he's paid to evangelize Microsoft. Most of the time, he does it in clever ways that make me think, but other times you can tell when he's tired or stressed because not as much thought goes into the post.

It's rough for Robert because his job is transparent to the world. We get to see him at his best and his worst and in some cases, people assign a value to him as a person based on that. What do I like about Scoble? He's human and real. Like the sitcom theme song: "You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have...The Scobleizer, the human."
Saturday, 09 April 2005 16:43:11 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I think he might do it subconciously, just a hunch. You have to always give a plug for the home team, right?

It is kind of like "My dad can beat up your dad, but my dad makes more money" kind of thing maybe? In the end though, at least you get to see how Microsoft compares to other products, in a good or bad light, which is cool, I think.
Saturday, 09 April 2005 20:47:40 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
re: craigslist:

There actually is an api of sorts, though not official. All searches can be consumed via rss, using a simple GET query.
Sunday, 10 April 2005 00:04:40 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Yes, they do have RSS feeds for their listings. But, has the time come for developers to think of RSS - which is essentially data - as a programming API? Or is it that RSS consumption should be treated as a deluxe version of HTML screen scraping?

Monday, 11 April 2005 13:49:13 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I think expected is a better word than annoyed. People blog there self-interest. As Scoble's stock has deservedly risen both inside and outside of MSFT, it makes sense for him to blog the party line more often. I blogged about it recently.

Dare - What are your feelings on the Mini Microsoft blogger?
Monday, 11 April 2005 16:25:03 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Re: Scoble, it only really grates when he's blindly reaching for a way to make Microsoft relevant to a context you're just not a great fit for (yet, whatever, etc.). The world understands what Scoble's motives are, he's incented to make his conversations relevant to Microsoft (on balance, in the aggregate).

The Terraserver post was a perfect example of full-on flack mode--that's where it really feels like you're just reading the same old corporate spin without the good soundtrack and tagline.

Which is all to say, it's not all the time, but the posts where he fails to attach his understood MSFT context in a way that's at least halfway intellectually honest are the ones that make me periodically unsub him.
Wednesday, 13 April 2005 21:59:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
You are asking Scoble not to comment on his own blog? Have you heard about free speech, especially on blogs?
Comments are closed.