01 Feb 2010 10:30 am

Clarification on schedule: We will be scheduling presentations and the Open House for May 3 and 5th respectively — during RRR week.


  • Let’s show each other the work we’ve done with Flickr, the Wikipedia, and GMap+Twitter
  • Start to brainstorm project ideas
  • See how to use URLs, the act of naming (tagging), and data feeds to learn about the world and government

Background reading

Important points about today’s discussion:

Two major strands of discussion today:

  • feeds
  • mashup projects to be built from APIs

By walking through Chapter 4, I wanted everyone to think about both high level concepts but also see the need to work through the details in the privacy of their own homes and thought. Important points about feeds (Chapter 4):

  • there are many formats (RSS 2.0, 1.0, Atom) but same concept (XML formats + JSON)
  • ubiquity of feeds — lots of websites have them:  news sites, blogs, web publishing frameworks
  • a massive ecosystem around feeds — very worthwhile studying as a model for other computational ecosystems.
  • Yahoo! Pipes as a tool to mashup feeds — very useful to understand basic concepts around feeds.

We walked through examples of RSS 2.0, RSS 1.0, and Atom 1.0.   I demonstrated how to use feedvalidator.org (e.g., to validate a RSS 2.0 file).

I spent a fair amount of time showing how to use Yahoo! Pipes.  First is a basic one that geocodes the NY Times World section RSS feed and get as KML that can in turn be sent to a Google Map.  I then walked through the examples at the end of Chapter 4. (e.g., Yahoo! Pipes output on Hurricane Katrina articles from Yahoo! News) and Pipes: Google News, Yahoo! News, Wikinews, NY Times National News by search term


I assigned Mixing and Remixing Information » Project Proposal Format, due Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 11pm PST.

Let’s start brainstorming seriously about project ideas today, a process that we’ll be engaged heavily in the next several weeks.

Exercises:  email me your answers by Tuesday Feb 2 at 5pm Sunday Feb 7 at 11pm.

  1. Use Yahoo! pipes to fuse together the following: Twitter tweets (with hashtag #mri10, Flickr photos, and delicious posts tagged with mri10 and post to delicious the URL of that pipe, tagging that post with mri10. Email me the URL of your pipe.
  2. Write me a couple of paragraphs on a project idea that you are considering (which you’ll be prepared to talk about in class on Wednesday).  Tell us about some relevant data sources and  how feeds might be able to help you accomplish one of your project ideas.   (That is, find relevant feeds and if you can’t find feeds, tell us where you looked and how you might convert the data into feeds.)
  3. Bonus:  Create a prototype of project idea with Yahoo! Pipes
  4. Make a NPR feed that you can load up in iTunes, on a topic of your choice.
  5. Please sign up for an account on this blog and let me know your username. We will start group blogging soon.

Next Day Reading

Please read for Day 5: Chapter 9 Moving from APIs and Remixable Elements to Mashups and the first part of Chapter 6. Learning Web Services APIs Through Flickr through to the end of Using the Flickr API Explorer and Documentation (Chap 6 is a long and complicated chapter, so I will need to be specific about which section we are actually going to tackle at this point.)

One Response to “s10-Day 04 Tagging and Data Feed”

  1. on 01 Feb 2010 at 2:07 pm emily

    This is the article I was thinking about before class: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/weekinreview/10stone.html?ref=technology

    It takes a technological deterministic point of view about the increase of instantaneous communication devices and its effects on the attention span and multi-tasking abilities of people born in the 90s (vs. the 80s or earlier).

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