As you know I have been concentrating on the website scraping stuffs for few months now, I wanted to share some of my experiences in this journey. What I must say before anything is – its been really an enjoyable field of continuing web development life.
It was late 2005 I had started web scraping & parsing stuffs. I had initially developed some contact grabbers to grab contacts from email clients like Gmail, Hotmail and AOL. Later I had some opportunities to develop scraping tools for some (3 or 4) real estate companies – they used to scrape other competitors’ properties by my automated scraping tool to compare prices, etc. In late 2006, I started working for Beendo Corporation to scrape popular email clients and integrate all emails into one place. It was a big project that wasn’t just scraping emails. We had to scrape emails, attachments, contacts as well as develop processes for sending/replying/forwarding emails using respective clients. Also, we added facilities to grab emails & contacts from popular social networking sites like facebook, myspace, friendster, ringo, hi5, etc. and finally we integrated emails from POP3/IMAP servers. After this development, we developed a facebook version for this whole project and released in May 2008 (see details).
In 2009, I have done quite a few web scraping / data mining projects beside my mainstream development – real estate scraping, media scraping, ecommerce scraping for price comparision, fashion products scraping like t-shirt, shoes data, etc. – these all brought a significant expertise to my development. Then I stopped working on scraping projects and concentrated on other more important fields to receive skills. But scraping projects were enjoyable for me always and I was receiving offers from valuable clients. Thus it has been a part of my regular development.
I have developed huge scraping tools to scrape product data from popular stores (clients use those data for price comparison) like google products, buy.com, amazon.com, adorama, newegg, and many more. Few months back, I have developed a job listing site http://joblance.info which lists jobs from popular online job sources – back in the site some scrapers always working to keep it updated.
These all are my past scraping / data mining experiences. Now I’m again concentrating on web scraping / data mining beside other development areas.
Getting good number of scraping offers from past few weeks.
Beside being the professional scraper myself, I am trying to build a team on web scraping to handle more projects. Already started with someone who might need sometime to be expert but going good. Like the E-commerce team, our scraping team will work under its own banner at http://www.proscraper.com/ and will be known as “Professional Scraper“. I am hoping a very nice journey – so far so good.
Please feel free to communicate and discuss about your scraping & data mining projects. Contact us via email: dev <at> proscraper [dot] com