Pictured to the right is a sample of how notices of data updates are posted into the site. Not all data updates even generate such notices, quite often we try to limit such notices to no more than 1 or 2 a month. For some of the smaller updates, it just does not seem to make sense to clutter the site with such notices. When posted, such notices are always made available under the Latest Update section of the page and a full history can be viewed on the page.
Much of the data for the XOWComics.com site comes from external sources (at this time XOWComics.com has regular data updates from 4 external sources). The data is organized, cleaned, standardized and integrated into the site on a regular basis (bi-monthly, monthly, or quarterly). All of the processes for importing and integrating data feeds from external sources are run while the site is live and fully functional, requiring no "down time" to import new data into the site.
All changes made to the data by the volunteer editors for XOWComics.com are fully tracked. When new data is imported, the corrections and additions made by XOWComics.com editors are checked against the new data coming in and the changes are all automatically integrated with the data. In this way, even if the same data comes in regarding individual items in the site, data that has already been changed by XOWComics.com editors, those changes will persist after many new data imports from external sources.
Part of this tracking of data changes is the tracking of changes in the data from the external data sources, as well. When there are multiple changes to individual pieces of information (e.g. a change in the copy of data within XOWComics.com and a change in the copy of data at an external source), the date of the individual changes are compared and the newest information is always made available. When such "collisions" occur in the data being imported, mechanisms are available for the conflicts to be resolved immediately so we can assure the most accurate data is always available within the XOWComics.com site.
Depending on the data source, more or less "scrubbing" of the data must be performed. No offense meant, but some of the data sources have relatively "dirty" data that requires significant cleaning, parsing, formatting and standardizing for the site to accurately understand the data for use in the tools and functionality made available through XOWComics.com. But, all of these processes are again run in the background without any need to interupt the operation of the site for any users. When an import is complete and all of the data integration is finished, the new dataset is just "automatically available" to all users of XOWComics.com immediately.
All of the data used within the XOWComics.com site is avaialble under some form of open source or creative commons licensing. Meaning, no proprietary data for the comic books, fanzines, etc., that is available in the XOWComics.com site is used. XOWComics.com also makes the data within the XOWComics.com site available under a similar free and creative commons license for anyone to use (use the contact us form for serious inquiries into using the XOWComics.com data in your systems).