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Main > Archives > 2008 > May > NY Times Invites Programmers to Build Reader Tools

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

NY Times Invites Programmers to Build Reader Tools

The New York Times finally figured out what technology companies have known for a long time: sometimes your users know way more than you do.

The venerable paper announced it would release an API, which is a set of protocols that will allow programmers who don't work for the organization to develop software applications that use the NY Times information.

Tech companies have done this for years, allowing its users to build applications as a way to expand services without a lengthy development process controlled in-house.

The press has hailed this is a progressive move and it would have been ten years ago in technology circles. Now, it just serves to remind us how far behind our traditional media sources are.

Of course, some of that is mitigated by the copyright fight Viacom is having with Google's YouTube, which smacks of familiarity for anyone who remembers the Recording Industry vs. Napster and the Motion Picture Industry vs. Scour.

In both cases, the entertainment industry determined it was better to shut down the file-trading services than work with the companies to create new distribution paths for music and movies.

Time after time, entertainment conglomerates have sought to battle with technology companies about distribution instead of finding a mutually beneficial way for each to co-exist and create new ways for people to find, experience and share content.

We're not clear how far the Times will go in allowing software developers to create new applications and users to remix information they cull from the site; however, the technology industry will be watching closely to see if this is simply a cosmetic move or an actual admission that centralized control doesn't work in a digital world.

By brad at 10:46 AM | Comments (2)

(2) Thoughts on NY Times Invites Programmers to Build Reader Tools

Whilst it may be a long time coming, I guess they have been protecting there £ $ £ $.Whilst the technologey for API may be well established the way traditional media/ content produers get revenue from new streams is not as clear!

Only human to cling to what is working (and paying themortgage) as long as posible!


Comments by Ian : Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 07:56 AM

I don't disagree with you. I've been a journalist since 1994 at just about every type of organization (weekly, daily, magazine, television). Since 1998, I've worked online -- and it's been a fight to get organizations to invest in building revenues.

The API is a great idea -- but as I read somewhere online, if they only offer data from movie revues and calendars -- it's not really much of a move.

And if they declare the experiment "failed" after that -- it's hard to feel bad for them.

Thanks for reading!!

Comments by Brad King : Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 01:55 PM

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