Thursday, March 16, 2006

Insurance Spiders

The last few weeks have been quite varied you could say, even for me. So I'm going to start posting project updates on a (semi) regular basis. It'll help me get a handle on what I've been doing with my time too!

Ongoing spider work for a struggling insurance introducer
Why are they struggling? Well, you can rest assured it's nothing to do with me (obviously, tch!) None of the marketing campaigns have worked and now we're waiting for a deal from an insurance broker we met with last November. Unfortunately, this depends on their new website being completed, and that project has overrun so we're having to wait longer than anticipated (not really a surprise though - since when did software projects run on time!?) The other problem is that the Board I'm working for all have day jobs and so can't devote enough time to move things on faster - all very frustrating, but at least I'm getting paid for 3 days a week, which comes in very handy.

Oh, and a spider is a program that automatically surfs a website for you to collect (aka scrape) information from it. In this case it takes information from a database and fills out an insurance proposal on your behalf before scraping the resulting quote(s) and stuffing them back in the database for viewing on the insurance introducer's website. The idea is that the introducer's website does all the shopping around for you.