From the post:
“Here’s how it works. Users identify a web site they are interested in extracting data from and view it through the Dapper virtual browser. Aizen showed my how to do it using Digg as an example. I clicked on a story headline, on the number of diggs and the via URL field. I went to another page on the same site and did the same thing so that Dapper could clearly identify the fields I was interested in. I then went through the various tools available on the site to set certain conditions and threshholds and ended up with XML feeds I could do all kinds of things with. Like send me an email whenever there’s a TechCrunch story on the front page of digg, or when a search results page shows a TechCrunch story with more than 10 diggs.”
“The alerts are of most interest to me, but data from other sites can be mapped on Google Maps, turned into an RSS feed for sites that don’t publish feeds, turned into a slideshow if the data is in the form of images. Aizen says he’s created a tool for himself that runs feeds through Babblefish automatically and produces a translated feed. The possibilities are huge.”
This allows for DIY mashups the way Ning allows for DIY creation of applications.
Maybe non-techies can think up and create mashups like Adam Green’s (scroll to “more”) collecting feeds from tech.meme and feeding them into grazr (updating hourly), or a similar idea for Technorati search from Raj Kumar Dash…also see Adam Green’s annotated grazr mashup…more.