While we’re completely aware that many of you have collected and curated a lot of useful content on Lanyrd, we’re most likely not going to offer any data import. This post describes why.
Initially providing this feature with the upmost priority to our users was one of our prioritised features. However, after giving it more thought and some time, we are now pretty sure that this won’t work as well as we hoped.
Readonly mode and data retrieval
First of all, while there’s a data export feature for Lanyrd if you’re logged in, the biggest issue over the past month remains that Lanyrd is in read-only mode and this feature can’t be accessed. Being able to use that data would be most useful, but as only a handful of people will have access to the data, the effort of building a feature around it doesn’t make much sense.
Then there’s content scraping to the rescue: While there are possibilities to scrape web content and to use some of Lanyrds APIs to get to the data, this is of high risk to us and still of little use regarding the data itself. The high risk is that it’s not entirely clear if content scraping is allowed and if that kind of content would be protected by any copyright laws.
Data relation conversion
But in the end it’s the data which causes us headache: While there’s basic data such as an event name and some related information, we won’t be able to match this data to our own records. How would we know that the “Nightlybuild” event that the scraper found is the same event that is listed on our site? How do we know that a speaker is the same on an external platform as on ours, especially when we can’t be sure that on either side they use the same, let alone their real name?
A different approach leads to different data
Facing these challenges made us realize that if we want to build such feature, we’d need to invest serious resources and a lot of time to build the technical data matching. Having limited resources as a team of three, it made us realise that the cost for this feature isn’t something we consider being worth it. Given the data that Lanyrd has and Colloq could have, it would only fill in gaps of mainly past events, but still result in incomplete event data.
As a result, we decided to avoid the trouble and rather focus on making it easier and more valuable for you to add, contribute and find content on our platform.