Sampling the Web's Best Mash-Ups
Here's a guided tour of the some of the most innovative sites that combine data and features of other sites to make something new
A raft of new Internet sites and services is borrowing from hip-hop culture's mash-ups, which combine two tunes to produce an entirely new song. Likewise, hackers are combining the data and features of two or more Web sites, creating entirely new, independent Web mash-ups that in the best cases transcend either of their forebears. Heralding a new Web in which users call the shots, most mash-ups are free, noncommercial experiments by hackers who want to customize their own Web experience.
"There's a lot of excitement around this idea of being able to remix Web sites," says Rael Dornfest, chief technology officer at tech book publisher O'Reilly Media. "It's such an experimental playground at this point." And much of that tinkering is now available for use by the rest of the Web world. Here's a sampling of the best.