Behavior, Content, Money – 3 Things you should never give away for free!!!

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Sports Stats API feeds evaluated: ChalkGaming wins

Posted by bryan on December 7, 2011 in E-Business, Web Services, XML with 4 Comments


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Well, I’ve decided to give this one away in the title, since the good folks over at ChalkGaming helped me out quite a bit while consulting with a big client who wanted to integrate Sports Stats into their Online Newspaper properties.

Requirement

Create a sports widget to display quality sports data (including: schedules, box scores, standings, betting odds, league news, trade and injury reports) for the top 6 big leagues (NHL, NBA, NFL, CFL, MLB, MLS) and ensure it is scalable to display as many other sports as possible. When thinking of how to solve this problem, I quickly checked out each of the major leagues’ sites for their terms of use to see if a quick scraping solution was practical (or even legal).

One possible solution would be to scrape the required data directly from each of the Big Leagues’ own website:

 

Problem

The problem with this of course, is that each site has a very different format (many custom parsers required to get and present the data) and vastly differing licensing terms (some allow data reuse and even encourage caching rather than straining their site, such as MLB). However, most don’t allow reproduction of their site in any form; meaning most would probably not allow scraping or caching sports stats and other data from their server onto your own server, so you could at best display the content in an iframe and be extremely limited in terms of display options for the end-user.

Solution

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BC$ = Behavior, Content, Money

The goal of the BC$ project is to raise awareness and make changes with respect to the three pillars of information freedom - Behavior (pursuit of interests and passions), Content (sharing/exchanging ideas in various formats), Money (fairness and accessibility) - bringing to light the fact that:

1. We regularly hand over our browser histories, search histories and daily online activities to companies that want our money, or, to benefit from our use of their services with lucrative ad deals or sales of personal information.

2. We create and/or consume interesting content on their services, but we aren't adequately rewarded for our creative efforts or loyalty.

3. We pay money to be connected online (and possibly also over mobile), yet we lose both time and money by allowing companies to market to us with unsolicited advertisements, irrelevant product offers and unfairly structured service pricing plans.

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