10 March 2009

Guardian Leads the Way (Again)

At a time when most newspapers are talking doom and gloom, the Guardian is instead *doing* something - and thriving (maybe there's a correlation?). Here's its latest shrewd move:

The Guardian today launched Open Platform, a service that will allow partners to reuse guardian.co.uk content and data for free and weave it "into the fabric of the internet".

Open Platform launched with two separate content-sharing services, which will allow users to build their own applications in return for carrying Guardian advertising.

A content application programming interface (API) will smooth the way for web developers to build applications and services using Guardian content, while a Data Store will contain datasets curated by Guardian editors and open for others to use.

So far, so conventional. Here's the important bit:

The Guardian is positioning its Open Platform as a commercial venture, requiring partners to carry its advertising as part of its terms and conditions, while BBC Backstage states clearly that its proposition is for individual developers designers and not for "big corporates".

This is the future of content, which will be made available freely, but revenue-generating features will be bolted on to it as above. (Disclosure: I occasionally write for the Guardian; but not much.)

11 comments:

Roger Lancefield said...

I've just seen this article on the Grauniad and agree with your comments. Putting aside any broadsheet partisanship, the Guardian is busy "getting it" while other publications are hamstrung with too many journalists who one suspects will never get to grips with digital society, much less use those changes to their advantage.

Case in point from The Times. Just what is the writer trying to say? Going forward, just how do publications think they will be able to prosper when they pump out confused thoughts from writers at odds with technological and cultural reality?

glyn moody said...

I suppose we should be grateful it's this way round...

Alasdair said...

undoubtedly a shrewd move,athough sadly the guardian is not "thriving" but suffering as much as any other paper - although the gmg as a whole made a decent profit last year this was only through the sale of various properties, otherwise the groups would have made a loss of £63 million http://www.gmgplc.co.uk/Financials/tabid/133/Default.aspx

glyn moody said...

You're right - but I still maintain they're thriving *relatively*. In other words, they should come out of this reasonably well - unlike many othe publications.

Roger Lancefield said...

They're really serious about this aren't they? Not only do they have API library support for the ubiquitous Java and PHP, they've even got Python libraries. Yay!

There's no .Net support, at least not yet (I guess no one uses .Net to have fun? ;-). Interestingly, and perhaps sadly, no Perl support either. Sign of the venerable language's dwindling developer-mind share?

glyn moody said...

Yup, pretty impressive so far.

Dave Cross said...

Roger Lancefield said:

no Perl support either

See http://search.cpan.org/dist/Guardian-OpenPlatform-API/

glyn moody said...

Thanks for the link.

Johan Örneblad said...

I think this is an interesting way of using the content. By providing it to the masses they can get help to redistribute it to new audiencies and also have a longer life of the published content. I have made some comments about it here. http://intangitopia.blogspot.com/2009/03/newspaper-industry-has-for-quite-some.html

glyn moody said...

@Johan thanks for that.

rhizome said...

@Dave Cross

Happy to be proved wrong :-)

I also missed the fact that Ruby libraries are available as well.