NYT is the New York Times and API, if you don't know the acronym, stands for application programming interface, or a series of tools that programmers can use to hook their own software into an already-existing pacakage. What makes this combination of six letters total is that it could spell a revolution in online media delivery. According to a story on ReadWriteWeb
, if this rumor is true, it would make the entire online version of the paper a tool just waiting to be included in so-called mashups, or the Web applications that hook into existing services to provide something more than either party could deliver on its own:
In addition to the API, New York Times CTO Marc Frons told mediabistro.com that internal developers at the paper will use the platform to organize structured data on the site. Following that, the paper plans to offer developer keys to the API allowing programmers to more easily mash up the paper's structured content -- reviews, event listings, recipes, etc. "The plan is definitely to open [the code] up," Frons said. "How far we don't know."
The API itself should be done by the time summer arrives in the US, with more significant chunks available to the public within 6 months.
For example, you might go to a site, click on two points on a map, and get every story that includes the names of both locations, or clicking on a city might bring up all restaurants that have had their recipes printed by the Times. In a way, this takes a stroll from the traditional job of newspapers. Papers did not
focus on simply delivering facts, but arranging them in the context of telling a story. When the data is all open, do the stories become less important?
Labels: computers, mashups, programming, web, Web 2.0