Guardian Open Platform

Tom Watson, Weblog, Mar 10, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The Guardian has launched a new 'platform' that will allow other services to integrate with their own offerings. Praise was immediate. Tom Watson, MP, writes, "Guardian Open Platform is a chasmic leap into the future. It is a work of simplistic beauty that I'm sure will have a dramatic impact in the news market. The Guardian is already a market leader in the online space but Open Platform is revolutionary. It makes all of their major competitors look timid. Governments should be doing this. Governments will be doing it. The question is how long will it take us to catch up." Yes, absolutely. The idea that we can't even today tap into government services and information is something of a scandal. Via Simon Willison. And Willison, who was involved in its design, has more description of the initiative. No Perl library for the API, though.

What's really funny is that in response to this post, just yesterday, I wrote, "Too late. It would take a miracle for a newspaper site to be a platform today. They will have to go through the other sites that actually *are* platforms and which have effectively closed off that opportunity." It will be interesting to see whether the Guardian can pull this off. It's unlikely many other newspapers could.
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