Cooperative web services

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 10, 2003

I have seen the future of the web and it is the Gothamist events page. Here's how it works. Gothamist's editors use free tools and information (in the form of events already listed in the system) from upcoming.org to compile events that are happening in NYC and then publish those events to the site using Movable Type to pull in upcoming.org's RSS feeds. Gothamist's readers can add their own events to upcoming.org, which, if they wish, the editors can then add to the events page.

The Gothamist/upcoming.org relationship is an excellent example of a cooperative web service, in which information is not simply pushed from a provider to a user but flows both ways...and even flows to people not directly involved (i.e. everybody wins). Gothamist's editors don't have to build their own tools to easily offer event listings to their readers. Gothamist's readers are down with what's going on in NYC. upcoming.org's NYC events section gets "gardened" by Gothamist's editors and readers (i.e. events are added and annotated to upcoming's database). Users of upcoming.org benefit from the content added by Gothamist's editors and readers and they start using the site more often, adding more events and information to the system.

(Oh, if you want to add your own events listing to your site, check out Matt's instructions on how to make it work with Movable Type.)