I know i've made this suggestion a couple times via email, but I thought perhaps putting it on the forum might increase the chances of a response and/or initiate some discussion on the idea.
Basically, I love the idea of a socially driven online comic index with collection tracking, but I equally love having my data available offline and searchable using a separate comic database program (in my case, ROW
The author of ROW is aware of comicbookdb.com, and already has the ability to scrape
data from other online databases (namely, the GCD
); so scraping data from comicbookdb.com wouldn't be a huge stretch for the program already. However, given the growth in open online APIs in the last few years, I thought it would really open up a powerful option if this site were to offer an API whereby desktop programs could, at the very least, access issue data and collection management functions.
What I envision is the ability to enter my comicbookdb.com credentials into ROW, and use ROW to synchronize my online collection with the offline database on my desktop machine.
Providing an API would make this super-easy, and would also open up the data channel to other programs and online sites. We could create WordPress, TypePad, Konfabulator, Apple Desktop, Google Desktop or other widgets to display our collection data (subsets or stats) where ever we wanted, providing further exposure to comicbookdb, and links back into the system.
Eventually, as the API expands, the possibility might be opened for issue information in the online index to be added or updated by offline users during synchronization. Trusted users with established history of adding valid, accurate data could be given this option, while leaving un-trusted/new users only with the ability to read the data into their personal databases, and add issues (by reference) to their online collections.
I think the first step would be allowing data access via API, with collection management functions following that.
I'd love to hear Chris' response to this idea, as well as what the greater community thinks.
thanks for listening, and thanks for the great resource!