Should we build our own API?

02Apr09

By Tom Burton

NYT, NPR, BBC, Guardian have each recently created an API for their content.  These APIs allow developers to build purpose built applications using the vast content these top brands have.  Here are a few early examples for the NYT .  The Guardian has probably gone furthest by offering a data shop and letting any one use all their content. (NYT has limited access to snippets and for non profit) .

If you believe Jeff Jervis (author of  very thought provoking “What Would Google Do?)  API’s are the future of  content distribution and his recent  Seeking Alpha post is well worth a read.  In the Jervis world rss feeds and widgets (“the trend that never was”) is a transition phase to a world where “APIs take distribution to its logical – if unknown and sometimes frightening – limit. ”

How the media publishers wrap ads into the content is a challenge, but for CAP this new distributed world is a fantastic opportunity to engage with our constituencies by pushing through various applications our content (sliced up using semantic tools like Calais into relevant buckets) into the places where users gather and converse about the topics we think and postulate about…yesterday Facebook (so 2008), today Twitter, and tomorrow ? (my guess is we will see a bunch of hot apps working with the new smartphone/netbooks –my 12 year old daughter has 15 iTouch apps she obsessively uses) .

The prize for CAP would be to manage this so our constituencies could meaningfully engage in the content creation/policy formulation process led/facilitated by our experts.  A gigantic wiki if you like. This would hopefully improve the quality of the policy and give a political mandate and legitimacy other contenders for D.C. influence would not have.   Thoughts ?

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One Response to “Should we build our own API?”

  1. 1 a5herry

    Yes


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