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webpage to vcf converter

grabs an address from the web and converts to .vcf
  [vote for,

To add an address from a website to your digital address book (which syncs with your phone) you usually have to carefully copy-paste all the elements in the appropriate fields.

This can be automated by just copy pasting the deeplink to the page with the address you want to grab into a dedicated website and then this site converts all the addresses it finds there into proper .vcf files with a preview. The one that is the best attempt is the one you download into your address book.

All kinds of business models can be build around the database of these downloaded .vcf files.

rrr, Aug 08 2008

vcf is vCard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VCard
vCard is a file format standard for electronic business cards [rrr, Aug 08 2008]


       How do you associate the link/address with a name?   

       For example, it would be easy to write a program that strips out all text that matches a regular expression along the lines of *.*@*.* (I'm sure there are better ways of writing that, but can't be bothered right now) probably fetching the webpages required using something akin to 'curl' but linking these scraped addresses to real, meaningful names (as you'd expect in an address-book) is probably quite tricky.   

       How are you going to do that bit?   

       (I suppose you could extract all instances of word-pairs that are Both Capitalised - but this might cause problems with Double-Barrelled names, or places like Leigh on Sea)
zen_tom, Aug 08 2008

       Very interesting idea.   

       I suspect it would be pretty complex to automate, but perhaps the idea of making a .vcf file available by link could become a standard web practice. I'll play with it at work today.
phoenix, Aug 08 2008

       Phoenix, I think that already is being done quite a bit.   

       The converter is cute. I'd enjoy writing something like that. You'd have a set of rules that say how an address is usually written, perhaps locale-specific; detect the locale based on embedded text or server geography.   

       One of the relatively benign business models could be to make the rules extensible and get really good, then sell an enterprise version to people who have to detect addresses for other purposes.   

       The evil business model would be to store all the addresses and then send spam to them.   

       The default business model is to host ads on the user interface page that you paste the URL into, and have local, location-specific advertising on the result page that you get the vcf link from. (One more hop than strictly necessary.) Right?   

       You could remember which .vcf file originated from which page and then monitor the page for changes and sell some sort of notification/automatic address book updating service.   

       Hm, what else?
jutta, Aug 08 2008

       In retrospect, many employment web sites will scrape your uploaded resume for phone and address information. It's not always perfect but it's pretty good, so the code is there at least in part.   

       It will be more difficult if, say, the address is formatted using tables and the various elements are in separate TD tags. A single page with multiple addresses would also be difficult to automate.   

       [jutta] You may be right - that's not the sort of thing I traditionally look for on a web site.
The standard business model wouldn't just post ads local to the scraped address, it would try to find similar businesses as well. If I try to scrape a page for the address of an auto parts store, show me ads for its competitors as well...maybe at a premium cost to the competitor.
phoenix, Aug 08 2008


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