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Folks, this is, in no way, open

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 by Dave Winer.

Today the Guardian announced their "Open Platform," much as the NY Times did a couple of weeks ago. It's even less open than the Times was.  Permalink to this paragraph

If it were actually open they'd announce it to all developers at the same moment, so we could all try it out at the same time on a level playing field, not give an advance to their favorites. In the press release they talk about developers who got an early look. Fine. It wasn't open then, that's for sure. Is it open now?  Permalink to this paragraph

Well: "API key approvals will be granted on a very limited basis, so please don't be offended if we fail to reply to you or don't approve your request in the short term. You can be assured, however, that we intend to open the service more widely soon." Permalink to this paragraph

Okay, but please don't be offended if I don't apply for one. ;-> Permalink to this paragraph

You gotta wonder if when they get out of beta their competitors will be able to repurpose their content. My guess is not. And how broadly do they view their competition? And why should anyone have to guess if they're "open."  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named love.gifAll this begs the question, because even if they were just publishing RSS feeds (btw, they are), to be competitive in the API business, you have to enable other people to publish on your side of the API. That was the flaw of the Times model too. Permalink to this paragraph

I have no idea how these guys got the idea that they could save the news industry by becoming the tech industry; I don't think they can. What's the diff betw what they're doing and just adding more metadata to their feeds?  Permalink to this paragraph

My guess this is the result of some tech guys doing their best to give the higher-ups what they want. Some market analyst or consultant told them that to survive they need an API, so come hell or high water, an API is what they'll have. Permalink to this paragraph

Correct me if I'm wrong please. (And if the past is prologue, the Guardian will attack personally, calling me names, in print, as they've done so many times. Not to say there aren't a number of very nice people at the Guardian these days. Maybe they can moderate the response keeping it professional and impersonal.) Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named love.gif Permalink to this paragraph

Big hugs, your pal in Berkeley, Dave Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.


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Last update: 3/10/2009; 10:23:58 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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