Via ReadWriteWeb, the New York Times has announced the release of 2.8 million articles with 28 searchable fields in an new API (Application Programming Interface). Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb writes:
This is a big deal. A strong press organ with open data is to the rest of the web what basic newspaper delivery was to otherwise remote communities in another period of history. It’s a transformation moment towards interconnectedness and away from isolation. A quality API could throw the doors wide open to a future where “newspapers” are important again.
What does that mean? It means that sites around the web will be able to add dynamic links to New York Times articles, or excerpts from those articles, to pages on their own sites. The ability to enrich other content with high quality Times supplementary content is a powerful prospect.
This is a pivotal moment in the history of news organizations and the dissemination, consumption, and analysis of information. If, and when it succeeds, I suspect other news organizations (as well as record companies) will begin to release their own APIs and provide information for free. Free, as Chris Anderson argues, is future of business.
This is also another argument for why I need to learn more about APIs and how to create programs that interact with them.
Cross-posted at IAOC Blog.