GetInvitedTo has a handy “see who’s attending” list for certain events. As I’m not the mixing type I like to make sure that networking events are going to be worth my while before booking anything. The list on the page can get a bit long and it’s not in any order so, with a bit of copy/paste and one line of unix.

fnm

1. Grab Thy Data!

Go the event page (I’m using https://getinvited.to/fnmashup/friday-night-mashup-culturetech-2014/attendees/ as the example). And select all the names right down to the bottom. Do a quick CTRL+C to save it to the clipboard.

2. Create a Text File!

In your favourite text editor paste the contents (CTRL+V) and this will dump all the names and also some blank lines. Don’t worry about that right now, we’ll sort that out in a minute. Save the file as names.txt

3. Run Thy Command!

Open up a terminal window (if you are running Windows then you’ll need something like Cygwin to run Unix commands). In the same directory as the names.txt file run the following command:

cat names.txt | egrep "\w+" |  sort -k2 | uniq

So we dump the contents of names.txt to the console, pipe that through egrep looking for all lines with words in them, sort by the second column (the surname in the majority of cases) and then show only the unique occurrences.

...Charlotte Bradberry Axten
Gavin Bradley
Karen Bradley
Lauren Bradley
Nikki Bradle
Reuben Bradley
Ryan Bradley
Tom Bradley
Ben Breslin
Trish Breslin
Rebecca Brown
Fiona Browne
Mura Browne
Tim Brundle
Anji Bull
Connor Bunting
David Bunting
Harry Burke
Brian Burns
Neil Burns
Derek Bustard
Declan Byrne
Tom Byrne....

Job done.

(There’s a whole section on manipulating data in my new book, “Machine Learning – Hand On for Developers and Technical Professionals“, published in  November. You can pre-order on Amazon if you wish.)

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