Mashup is a term that can be a little difficult to understand. The reason is that a mashup can involve just about anything. Its genesis as a term is in the world of music where one song would be added to another song: mashed together, so to speak. It could be a sort of medley, simply putting one track on top of another track or even a complete remix. One famous example of this was the Grey Album, created by DJ Dangermouse, as a mashup of Jay-Z’s the Black Album with the Beatles’ White Album.

So how does a mashup apply to the Internet? Nowadays just about anything can be mashed up. Online videos are now becoming the target of mashups, and a mashup could just as easily apply to a video as it does to a song. These video remixes are another development in the mashup world.

More specifically relevant to the world of the Internet, however, is the combination of different web sites onto a single web site. Content from multiple sites is put together to create a single compilation. This proves useful as it allows users to find information from multiple sources through a single portal.

One example of web site that follows the mashup model is This is an online encyclopedia of sorts, however it is not in the business of creating encyclopedia itself, or even allowing its users to create and edit entries. Rather takes information from other encyclopedias and put it all into a single place. For example, if you look up information on Zimbabwe, will give a dictionary definition as well as entries from Encyclopedia Britannica, Columbia Encyclopedia, etc.

While a web site such as is useful, it is just one piece of the online mashup world. One of the more popular tools for the creation of user driven mashups are web feeds, such as RSS and Atom. These tools allow the user to define specifically what online content they want to have delivered to a third party page. They can then read through this content at their own leisure all on a single web site without having to visit each site individually.

These tools are not the only available to create online mashups. All that you need to do is understand the API (Application Program Interface) through which the web site operates, this will allow you to successfully combine the two applications into a single page or application. Doing this can sometimes require a bit more understanding of programming concepts than simply signing up for an RSS feed but can be much more powerful in creating mashups.

Of course you can also checkout the mashups created by other Internet users. One web site that specializes in the world of mashups is They keep up to date on the most recent developments in the mashup world and give you the downlow on the newest, hippest and most powerful mashups available all at a single place. They can also teach you more about creating a mashup of your own.