Every Blog should have a right to an API!

A couple of days ago, a well known online information warehouse called Fluidinfo (formerly known as FluiDB) has announced that they have created an API for BoingBoing, a popular mainstream blog. Now any common Web user reading this piece of news wouldn’t make much of it, considering there’s not a lot he can do with a bunch of XML-formatted stuff that can be fetched over something called an API. And no one could blame him.

There are, however, people who should be getting particularly excited about this announcement. People who are involved with any kind of data-driven applications, be it personalized news services, recommender tools, semantic apps. Up until now, developers in these areas were severely limited by the unstructured (read: “bloody messed up”) nature of HTML when trying to access one of the richest sources of personal information online – the blogs. Forget Twitter, Facebook and all the rest, if you want to learn something deep and insightful about human opinion on some topic, you need to analyze what they write in their blogs. And up until now, this has been a serious pain in the you know what due to a lack of any structured representation in the blogosphere.

Now, if the news by Fluidinfo can be any indication of things to come, this might just be about to change. While it is still silly to talk about a revolution on the blogosphere, it can take just a number of popular mainstream blogs like ReadWriteWeb, GigaOM, TechCrunch etc. to adopt the offer of Fluidinfo for many others to follow. Because who would want to be left out of the new and sexy apps built on top of a clean API interface where users could be presented with data in the most innovative of ways? All I know is that I wouldn’t! And hopefully sooner or later most blog authors will realize that they’re being left out of something because their, admittedly public, archives are not usable by the newest apps out there.

And so the revolution begins.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Every Blog should have a right to an API!

  1. Nicholas Tollervey

    Great blog post! :-)

    We’ve just published an article on how to use the Fluidinfo API with the BoingBoing data here:

    http://blogs.fluidinfo.com/fluidinfo/2011/02/09/baby-steps-with-the-boingboing-api/

    Thought you might be interested…

    ntoll.

  2. Hey Nicholas,

    Thanks! And thanks for the link, though I’ve already read that article ;) It’s a very good intro, though unfortunately it made me realize one “issue” about creating some universal blog-API at Fluidinfo – it’s very fluid ;) So it would really need something extra to make it a convenient place for authors who want to upload their posts and then others searching through that data without the need to adjust to every single blog having its own tag names/structure..

    We’ve been discussing more about this with Terry (from Fluidinfo as well) over at http://wordpress.org/support/topic/provide-an-xml-export-of-all-posts – if you have any ideas or suggestions or anything, I’d be really glad to hear those!

    Cheers,
    Martin

  3. Hi again Marty

    Yes, you’re right, we’ve been really busy. Could you email us ({ntoll,terry} at fluidinfo com) so we can talk further about this?

    Terry

  4. Hi Marty

    Did you see the above?

    Terry

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