I’ve been playing about with Yahoo! Pipes a fair bit this week and preparing some stuff for the mashup workshop. In doing so, an idea I’ve floated before (see slide 33 “provide alternative routes” on the presentation below) came up to the surface again with a very, very simple suggestion:
All museums (everyone, actually) should provide their search results as RSS
Now I can hear some people at the back shuffling around uncomfortably and muttering things like “shoehorning technology”, “RDF”, “Z39-50″…I have my anti-makelifemoredifficult earplugs in, though, and I can’t really think of any practical reasons why this isn’t a hugely good idea.
Searching the web for things like “museum search RSS” doesn’t get me anything useful. From a previous bookmark I had a link to the AADL catalogue – they do it and here’s a search for “Montreal” delivered via RSS.
I’m immediately able to mash this up using Pipes, hack about with the URL, style it using my own XSLT.
Assuming this isn’t an original idea (and Owen Stephens seemed to think it was a good one and had been done within some library systems) – why aren’t more institutions doing it?