Entrepreneurs are launching all sorts of sites and services that are built on data that they're siphoning out of third-party sites and databases. Sometimes, the secondhand data is good; sometimes, it's not ... Unfortunately, to the user, the inaccuracies are invisible.It's not enough to mashup some data streams, remix it, throw some pretty AJAX on top, and spew it out on the web. For a product to be useful, the data has to be clean, correct, and reliable.
There's one line of thinking about the unreliability of web information that says, essentially, "get used to it." People are just going to have to become more sophisticated consumers of information.
That's nice in theory, but it doesn't wash in the real world. It's like selling wormy apples and telling customers that they're just going to have to become more sophisticated eaters of apples. Fruit buyers don't like worms, and information seekers don't like bad facts.
Dirty data is useless to users. If you're not going to put the effort in to make sure your data is good, people aren't going to put the effort in to use your website.