Will 2009 be the year news organisations finally went open? Barely a month after the New York Times allowed users to build on 28 years of content with its articles API (with immediate results), The Guardian is opening up over a million articles to developers for free as part of its own ‘Open Platform‘.
“The Guardian is effectively letting control of its content go in order to maximise its reach – and therefore the number of eyeballs that see its brand/content – across the Web.
“the API does not prevent developers from running “commercial applications” using the API – but I’d read the fine detail first. They do say: “You can display your own ads and keep your own revenue. We will require that you join our ad network in the future.”
“… The APIs feature ‘full fat’ feeds and other content including video, audio and photo galleries. You can combine free text search and combine tags to create feeds based on XML, JSON and Atom.
“… Some early examples include Zemanta’s Guardian topic research demo. It’s a simple app that searches the vast database of Guardian articles via its API and then uses Zemanta’s API to get links to related concepts.
“There is also Content Tagger, an application to provide user-generated tagging on guardian.co.uk content. ApiMaps.org, built by Stamen Design, is designed to crowdsource geodata about Guardian articles. Cass Sculpture Foundation is using the Open Platform to insert lists of articles from the Guardian about its sculptors into their biography and home pages.
Expect more news organisations to follow suit.
Great move by the Guardian. A lot of people are comparing the Guardian API to the recently launched NYT API, but they are different animals. The Guardian API returns the full text of articles, while NYT gives headline and lead paragraph only. Furthermore, the Guardian encourages commercial usage and while the NYT API terms expressly forbid it.
While both are positive steps, the Guardian Open Platform is really groundbreaking in all senses.
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