Explaining Mashups 

For some time now I’ve been trying to find a simple graphic way of illustrating the concept of mashing content on the web. It’s basically content aggregation – pulling in data from different sources. The standard way of doing so is to look at google maps and show the ways in which content from multi map (the map) can be spliced together with data from, say, ‘up my street’ (house prices from. This is done with a mashup application running on the web. A couple of examples:
running map
London for Free

In many ways these look a lot like content portals – sites which act as a kind of specific interest gateway – pulling in stuff from different content providors.

A much better way of illustrating the raw concept though is through a programme called spell for flickr which pulls images of letters from the photo sharing site ‘flickr’ and assembles them into graphic words which you can then embed on your own site or blog. Here’s an example:
P1020028 O_McElman_070709_0156 See? I A L

c H A N_McElman_070716_2505 G E

I think that gets the idea over more simply and much more effectively (and you can see the programme that produces the mashup)

C - on - tainer H A N G E