Microsoft Popfly – exciting new mashup builder

Microsoft Popfly

Okay, I didn’t mean for this blog to seem so Microsoft-centric, but it’s kind of hard not to talk about the exciting things that are coming out of Redmond lately.

Microsoft Popfly is the latest mashup creator from Microsoft. They seem to be directly targeting Yahoo! Pipes with this new too, as well.

Microsoft Popfly feature overview

Microsoft Popfly is an easy new way to create websites, gadgets, and mashups, and best of all it is free!

Currently still in Alpha, this new tool promises to deliver an anyone-can-use type of interface, essentially dragging and dropping tools and sets of information (“flckr photo accounts” etc) to a workarea.

For advanced users, there is always an HTML editing mode so you can have more direct control over the code. Microsoft is also allowing users to share their mashups and alter them.

You can even turn your web gadget into a Widows Sidebar gadget.

Definition of a mashup

For those of you still wondering what a mashup is, a mashup is basically a web application (or with the release of Google Gears and Adobe Air, a desktop application that uses the internet for its data) that draws information from multiple sources.

An example of this, straight from one of the Popfly tutorials, is taking the traffic information from Yahoo! Traffic, and combining that with a map from Virtual Earth to create a nice traffic map.

Social networking

One of the neat things about Popfly is that social networking is built into it. You can “connect with creators” of gadgets and sites you like, keep track of them, etc. Seems to me to be a little like existing social networking concepts but overall I think it’s a plus to have it included.

Now Microsoft just needs to develop a mash network like the one found in the OLPC program! (More on that later)

Questions? Comments? Feel free to contact me, James Martin.
Email me, or leave a comment!

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