Gdgt: The data siloed web

GDGT sticker

So I've been checking out Gdgt.com which is written and created by Peter Rojas and Ryan Block previously of Engadget fame. Its a small social network around a database of user inputted data. Its not bad but 2 things urks me a little.

The inputting of data is painful, one because its too american centric so for example you need to put the release dates in the US. I tried to add the pacemaker to the list but it was rejected because it was already submitted to the database by another user, however when search for the pacemaker I still get nothing except the option to add it the database again.

The second thing for me is the data portability of the data. There's no API and although theres rss feeds I was expecting RSS feeds across the whole site no matter what type of view or cut I choose. I also kind of expected very rich rss feeds more like RDF linking data.

For the GDGT guys this is all good stuff, with their reputation and expert knowledge they could pull off the biggest database of gadgets online. It would be so much more easier if you could pull in gadgets from else where such as Amazon.com. It would also make population of the database so much quicker and with added information not elsewhere. I would have liked them to do something a little more radical like the use of DBpedia or even Freebase. Right now, I feel there in a lesser place that even Techcrunch's Crunchbase. At least Crunchbase has a API and licences all its data under creative commons attribution. Once GDGT allow much deep access into the data for purposes beyond listing what gadgets I have, want to own or have owned. Good luck guys, i'm sure you'll pull it off soon.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.