"And the trouble is / We don't know who we are instead."

Thursday, August 26, 2004

New Ideas (and Coca-Cola)

I've decided what my next great idea will be. I don't know why I feel like moving on to another great idea, since I still have two other ideas-that-I-once-thought-were-great that still haven't seen the full light of day, but this one recently dawned on me . . .

In the spirit of 'content-is-king', I'm scheming to compile the ultimate Coca-Cola vending machine website. Not modern machines, but classics. Skye and I happen to own a 1954 Vendo, as well as a cooler from the same era. The problem is that currently, no single website provides well-implemented, well-integrated data on these antique drink dispensers — namely technical specifications, where to find parts for 'this particular model', value, etc.

Soda Machines is the best I've found so far, but it's just plain ugly, can't be searched, navigates poorly, and doesn't really go the extra mile of making quick connections between 'here's the machine and here's what to do next'. It also has a poor (read: non-existent) ranking in Google's search result pages for "Coke machine(s)" (although it of course comes up first when searching for "soda machines").

The first, last, and most difficult step is actually getting a hold of the data. Vendo doesn't support anything historical, and Classic Soda Machines by some Jeff Walters appears to be the only canonical source on the subject. I wonder if he'd be amiable if I asked him where I can get the same material that's in his book, without buying his book?

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