The Guardian Follows The NY Times In Making News A Platform

from the good-job dept

A bunch of folks have been sending in the wonderful news that the Guardian, in the UK, has opened up an API and is sharing data in such a way that others can build programs on top of the news. This is fantastic -- and follows on a similar move last month by the NY Times. It appears that both the NY Times and the Guardian really are pushing the boundaries of recognizing that being an online newspaper these days needs to be about a lot more than delivering the news.

Perhaps even more interesting (though, getting much less attention) is the companion bit of news from some editors at the Guardian -- who are pointing out that they hope and pray each day that the NY Times gives into temptation and starts trying to charge for news... because it will create a huge opening for the Guardian to create a much larger online audience. This is what plenty of people have been pointing out for years: if clueless newspaper execs decide to start charging for news, it just opens the door wide for smarter news organizations to stay free and accumulate a much larger audience.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2009 @ 6:58am

    on-line innovation in the uk whatever next
    oh wait the uk government already does the innovation (or is that just spying

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JTW, 11 Mar 2009 @ 9:49am

    free is nice but not sustainable

    I love the concept of free news, but it's not a sustainable business. There just aren't enough banner ads to support that kind of a model. Newspapers need ads that actually perform, or some kind of subscription revenue for continuous usage.

    The only two models I've seen that make sense are the "Basic Cable" ESPN 360 model, or the "ads or cash" Ultramercial model.

    By racing to be the freest we just won't have newspapers anymore - not as Web pages, brands or even APIs. Only NPR.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Eclecticdave (profile), 11 Mar 2009 @ 12:21pm

      Re: free is nice but not sustainable

      You should probably mention to Google that an ad revenue model is not a sustainable business!

      OTOH you're right about one thing - generic banner ads have a lousy click-through rate. Newspapers need to wise up and make the adverts both relevant to the content and targeted to the demographic of their readers.

      For example is running with the German school shooting story as the lead today - and apparently if I stay at a Crown Plaza hotel for three nights I only have to pay for two! Not particularly relevant.

      Admittedly this might not be the best example - any relevant ad against this sort of story runs the risk of appearing tactless. But I doubt they have any strategy in place for matching ads to stories.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael Long, 11 Mar 2009 @ 1:42pm


    Charge me a reasonable rate NOT to see ads and I'll pay...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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