In Web development, a Mashup is a Web page or application that uses and combines data from two or more sources to create new services. At Neev, Mashups have had an active role in the evolution of social software and Web 2.0. Mashup composition tools are usually simple enough to be used by end-users themselves and generally do not require programming skills. Thereby leading to a completely revolutionised version of the web where users themselves contribute to web development.
Developing a mashup can be a lot of fun and it’s usually low cost, because you’re using (semi) open tools and data. Forget fun though for a minute - is there a business in mashups? There are obvious benefits for the data providers, for example both Google and craigslist benefit from increased traffic to their sites. In most cases that leads to increased revenue as well. But what’s in it for the mashup developer, apart from publicity and prestige? Here is one example of Mashup in Advertising:
Simplyhired.com is a ‘vertical search for jobs’ mashup, getting data from job boards, company pages, online classifieds, and other data sources. It also mashes in Google Maps, LinkedIn and PayScale.com. When a user searches for a job - say, a chef position in Seattle - they not only get a list of available chef jobs in Seattle, but on the right of the results are “sponsored listings”
SimplyHired has agreements with the data owners, in which they licence access to the data for commercial means (if anyone can confirm that, please do in the comments). In any case SimplyHired is earning a tidy sum with onsite advertising, because the results are highly contextual and job-seekers would probably be tempted by “send your resume now” ads.
Other business models
Other possible business models for mashups include:
• premium services
• charging businesses but not individuals
None of these business models outlined here has yet been fully proven. But then it can fairly be said that business models for mashups in general are still being explored and there are no easy monetization answers yet.