“Back To School” = More Shopping Mashups

RC (Recombinant Communications) means that it is easier than ever to piece together solutions that solve daily, real-world problems. This message was driven home by a quick scan of Programmable Web’s roster of recent mashups which showed a number of solutions built around the API of comparison shopping site SwoopThat. According to Programmable Web’s profile of SwoopThat on, the comany’s offerings are just part of a collection of services that include (as of this morning) 32 “comparison mashups” and 623 “shopping mashups”.

The site is very dynamic. As Programmable Web noted in its feed called “41 API’s in 7 Days”, Swoop that had been hyper-active in its mashup efforts – adding Amazon eCommerce, Best Buy Remix, as well as AdSense, AdWords, Analytics and Maps from Google.

What impressed me upon visiting the SwoopThat site was a featured mash-up for students called “Course Search”. Students at the University of Minnesota, the Claremon Colleges (near Pamona, CA) or Bryant University (in Smithfield, RI) can enter their course lists (by department, course and section) and the site will compile the lists of textbooks required and provide price comparisons.

This is a use case for life-event driven VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) that has the potential to condition customers (in this case college students) to enter enough personal info (ID, schedule, etc) to realize some true economic benefit (savings on increasingly expensive study materials).

Not being enrolled in these august institutions, I was unable to test the service, so I can’t vouch for the quality of the experience from search to find to select and then purchase. But the design is quite simple and attractive and the purpose and intent are right on.

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