The Guardian has just announced the launch of an open Content API. This is a remarkable step when you consider how many newspapers are still struggling to fashion a coherent online identity. However, the Guardian, which Jan 09’s ABCes show is now attracting almost 30 million monthly uniques, has long understood that it isn’t just a newspaper, but a multi-touch, multi-channel content provider.
From my perspective, perhaps the key point of the announcement is that developers will be allowed to use the API to create their own commercial services, and though this is subject to certain restrictions on db calls and ad placement, the ability to develop commercial services from the Guardian’s Content API should ensure uptake.
This news and the increasing revenues the Guardian generates online (now over 30 per cent) tends to support Nathan Richardson’s argument that technologists should be put in charge of newspapers, replacing senior staff who in the most part simply don’t understand stuff like the Guardian’s Content API.