SwoopThat is a leading provider of course search technology and textbook price comparison. At SwoopThat, parents and students enter their courses, and the website returns every book they need to buy as well as every online merchant that sells those books. SwoopThat helps students save up to 75% on their textbooks in about 10 minutes.
In addition to textbook purchases, SwoopThat helps students and parents sell their books by searching online vendors for the highest buyback price. SwoopThat's general product search engine also provides price comparison for over 15 million products from thousands of retailers nation-wide.
Although mashups started out in the consumer space, their success makes a migration into corporate IT environments inevitable. Firms exploring this new software development model may struggle at first to understand the importance of mashups from a corporate perspective. In the upcoming book, Mashup Patterns, author Michael Ogrinz provides a collection of use-case driven patterns intended to explain the value of enterprise mashups to both technical and non-technical readers. We recently interviewed Michael about the patterns and what he hoped to achieve with his book.
Before 1500, monks spent their lives copying the Bible by hand. That method was replaced by printing presses for the next 500 years. Today, ebooks are set to end the practice of pulping trees and smearing them with ink. In all this change the direction of information access has been constant for half a millennium: faster and faster, easier and easier. The next revolution for publishers is APIs for books.
iKnow, a social learning site launched last month by Japanese company Carego, have launched an API (our iKnow profile) to allow third parties to "add a little Learning and Linguistic magic to [their] applications, widgets and other mashups." iKnow allows users to take virtual English and Japanese language lessons (other languages are promised for the future) and guides and tracks their progress. Through the social component users can share their progress with friends, leave comments, keep journals, and compete for rankings.