[CaaS] API Magic: Mashing Up Content To Create The Marriage Equality Pinboard

We’ve partnered with the folks at RealTidbits to conduct a series of web laboratory experiments. Our first adventure finds us exploring the disciplines of social sharinginformation visualization, and information organization. We call this experiment the Marriage Equality Pinboard.

Think of a “pinboard” as your own private scrapboard. Only instead of it being private, it’s public. And instead of it being lame, it’s awesome. The pinboards we’re experimenting with aren’t put together with tape and glue, magazine clippings and polaroids, they’re put together with links, images, videos and songs from around the web. They’re filled with the same real-time interactive goodness digitally-savvy consumers like you have come to expect.

Pinboards can also be thought of as a marriage between Twitter and Pinterest. We pull in tweets and social media posts and present them in a Pinterest-esque layout. We add to the mix community features, the ability for users to interact with the posts directly in the interface, without having to return back to Twitter or Pinterest to leave feedback, like a post, or share it with others.

If you’re interested in the way they work (behind-the-scenes) check out the developer documentation and user guide.

Why Marriage Equality Pinboard?

In order to test the value of pinboards in the digital laboratory that is the web, we first have to find a way to attract a large, relevant audience. Attracting an audience is easiest when you have a specific topic with lots of interest. So, we chose a highly-charged, emotional, political topic: marriage equality, the fight for recognition of same-sex marriages.

Marriage Equality Pinboard is a social media “pinboard” dedicated to the topic of marriage equality as it relates to same-sex marriage. It’s a collection of news and information from the most  social people, groups, and places on the web who are interested in and sharing information about the fight for marriage equality.

Pinboards allow you to create topic-based communities easily by pulling content from Twitter and other social and content services.

How would you use a Pinboard?

Put on your thinking cap. Ponder how you might use this approach to provide content to those you serve. Maybe you could use this method internally, to keep track of what’s being said about your brand. Maybe you could create an external, customer-facing destination on the web, a one-stop shop for all things about a topic, a discipline, a place or idea. The possibilities are unlimited. And, as more and more social sites and content providers begin to realize the importance of providing content as a service (CaaS) — and open their content up to us through APIs — the pinboard approach to mashing up data from disparate sources could really take hold.

If you have questions about how pinboards could be put to use in your organization, let us know.

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