Friday, October 20, 2006

Web2.0 Old News

Watch Dapper Video FullScreen

Dapper is officially my favorite web application I’ve reviewed! And I only started playing with it early this morning. Dapper will change the way I use the internet!

They’ve executed on something I’ve been wishing for for quite some time. I’m SO glad I don’t have to build it now.

Dapper allows you extract data and create a web service out of ANY webpage. No need to understand grep, curl or complex scripting. They provide a visual interface for selecting the content elements that you want to capture from a page.

They’ve done a decent job with the interface for defining which content you want to scrape from a page though I think they can and will do more to make the parsing easier.

Once you’ve configured a Dapper, you can output the resulting data in an array of formats:

XML - A raw XML feed
HTML - A simple HTML display of the scraped data
RSS - A RSS Feed
Alert - Sends an email alert whenever the data on the page changes.
Email - Emails the data to any email address
Google Map - Creates a Google map with any address data from the data source.
Google Gadget - Creates a gadget to place on your Google homepage
Image Loop - Creates a scrolling display of all the images in the data feed
JSON - A JSON datafeed that you can utilize directly in your javascript apps
Link to Another Dapper - Allows you to use data from one Dapper in another Dapper

To top it all off, they’ve created API’s for PHP4, PHP5 and Java5 allowing you to easily access the data generated from your dapper.

The BILLIONS of pages out there that don’t have an API or RSS feed can now be parsed without a lot of effort. I firmly believe Dapper will be a game changing and disruptive internet service. Dapper will empower a new generation of web applications and mashups.

They are currently in beta with an expected August release. I’m completely excited to see what the Interent community does with this.

Mashupers start your engines!

About Dapper on

From Dapper -

Welcome to Dapper, a new service which makes it easy to extract content from any website. Read more or see our blog post. Dapper allows you to create a "black box" (a Dapp) for any data source on the Internet. The Dapp produces XML which you can use programatically in whatever way you like. Additionally, Dapper provides you with the ability to transform this XML into other formats (e.g.: HTML, Google Maps, RSS, more). For a sample of what you can build using Dapper, see Magg and Blotter.

Try it out!


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