These types of services are becoming both commonplace and increasingly easy to use. I spent five minutes and built a tiny app. for my medical spa MD blog. This pages takes the medicalspaMD titles and comments and displays them.
Those who are more technical adept than I can undoubtedly do more but if it's easy enough for me to use, it's approaching mainstream.
I can see that these types of services could pose a potential problem for businesses like screen-scraper.com. I'd be interested to hear from Todd on where he thinks these types of services will end up. Perhaps he'll come to Fight Club this month.
From the Dapper FAQ: Dapper is a service that allows you to extract and use information from any website on the Internet. For those familiar with web services, you can think of Dapper as an API maker. For the rest of you, Dapper allows you to build web applications and mashups using data from any website without any programming.
From the Dapper Blog: Dapper’s mission is to allow you to use any web based content in any way you can imagine. And by use, we mean going beyond just reading or viewing a webpage. You may want to create an RSS feed or a Google Gadget for a site, take a site’s content and put it on a map, receive an email alert when your site’s Alexa’s ranking goes below 5000, or create a mashup of your favorite band’s tour dates and a camping locations reservation website to organize your musical camping vacation. Whatever you want to do, however you want to mold the web, Dapper can help you do it.
Perhaps Pete could use this to keep the Times and WSJ linking to his blog. That little timeline he built was a coup.