Site Integration - Maps, Music, Chat and Sound
I have been playing with techniques for site integration for a little while and have some interesting samples that are worth cataloging.
We all know that Web Services and B2B are the primary architectural vehicles for integrating computer systems but its not what is visible in the real world. Certainly we are building web services and certainly they serve to integrate systems but to the internet culture as a whole they are an irrelevance.
Let me say it this way. Corporations use B2B techniques to seamlessly integrate symbiotic features. Web Site builders use other techniques to integrate user experiences.
Perhaps we could look at the two as layers of the same cake. An internet user experiences features presented to them. Some of those features might require Web Services to achieve their goal but the user integration of experiences is a "higher" level integration.
Ok, so I can't explain it. Lets go with some examples. These are all on my home page.
Frappr allows us to share graphical locations and present them as a map. A piece of this map can be integrated onto your web site. The XP Cincinnati site integrated this information into a blog entry.
Odeo has developed a technology that allows us to record sound and publish that sound. Most use it for blogging but I have heard that some are using it to record and publish their music as well.
I have an Odeo blog and this allows me to record snippets of sound and then integrate that sound into my web site.
In this case the integration is achieved with an object tag that runs a some flash. The parameters point to the recorded mp3 that is stored on the Odeo site.
last.fm Music Listening
last.fm is a music tracking site. It supplies you with plugins for winamp, Media Player and others that will send the name of the music you are playing to their site. This can then be retrieved in a variety of formats to your website so that your customers can see what music you are playing at that moment.
Instant Messaging or Instant Talk
There are lots of features that allow you to publish your Instant Message online status to your web site but I was focusing on Skype since it includes the voice and video features that will ultimately become part of the communication applications of the future.
If you are developing any kind of user interface tool today. Make very sure that you are including your javscript hooks. It will allow your tool to become integrated in ways that you can not imagine.