May 27, 2010
If I had to choose just one newspaper, it would be The Guardian. That’s a rather archaic opening sentence in this age of digital plenty, including as it does the terms choose just one and newspaper.
But I remember buying the dead trees version. I particularly remember running in to the newsagents next to Edmonton (north London, UK) train station to get my Guardian before getting on the train to work.
Most of the time I lived in France, I subscribed to The Guardian Weekly, which included articles from Le Monde and the Washington Post as well as from The Guardian itself. The articles from Le Monde were translated into English, those from the Washington Post not so much.
I now live in Washington Post territory. I’ve yet to buy the Washington Post newspaper, and I doubt I ever will. I do have the Washington Post website bookmarked, and visit it often enough to get annoyed at the register/login hurdle.
I visit the Guardian online multiple times most days. I appreciate its openness, as well as its content.
So I am particularly interested in the Guardian’s open platform. I read about it in a couple of recent articles by Mathew Ingram at GigaOM. Lest it seem that Mathew and I are uncritically besotted with openness, I’ll choose this quote from the first of his articles.
The Guardian’s ownership structure — it’s owned by the Scott Trust — likely has something to do with the paper’s interest in an open API, and its willingness to provide its content to others despite the lack of any immediate return, since it can afford to think longer term rather than just focusing solely on quarterly earnings.
In other words, media owned via financial markets and other mechanisms of impatience would find it harder to do what the Guardian is doing. Here’s my favorite quote from Mathew’s second article.
Open APIs and open platforms aren’t all that new. But The Guardian is the first newspaper to offer a fully open API… We thought it was worth looking at why the paper chose to go this route, and what it might suggest for other companies contemplating a similar move… I explore the topic in depth in a new GigaOM Pro report (subscription required).
I love this quote because, even as Mathew writes in glowing terms about the openness of a 190-year-old newspaper company, he tells us that we need to provide a credit card to have full access to his coverage. This from GigaOM, cutting-edge new media property, running on open source software, etc.
See, I haven’t lost my British sense of humour. It’s that same sense of humour that allows me to smile rather than curse when I note that the Guardian’s site is misbehaving as I write this. It reminds me of the paper being formerly and fondly referred to as the Grauniad, because of frequent tpyos.
February 3, 2010
The recent release of the WordPress for Android app prompted me to look into how many WordPress clients there are. After checking the page at WordPress.com and the page at WordPress.org, and realizing that there are yet more clients than those pages list, I concluded that there are exactly… lots of WordPress clients.
If I’m not being accurate, I can at least be Factual. I mean Factual in the sense of the startup that facilitates creation of open database tables. An investor likens Factual to “Wikipedia for structured database-like information.” Erick Schonfeld at TechCrunch noted that there are “other efforts pursuing similar ambitions.”
Since I was thinking of putting together a table of WordPress clients at the time I read about Factual, I signed up for the service and used it to create the table there. Factual tables, like many other things on the web, can be embedded – but not here at WordPress.com.
So I’ll link to the WordPress Clients table. It’s open, so you can read it and, if you get yourself a Factual account, contribute to it.
November 26, 2009
Who or what are you thankful for in social media? asks Mashable Ben. I’m thankful for sharing, which is vital to social media in so many ways.
So much of the software is free/open source. So many of the web services are free as in freemium. So much of the content is shared via creative commons. So many people share their knowledge to help others via support forums and other channels.