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The Guardian Open Platform

Talking to Graham Hayday whilst being filmed for the Guardian’s Connecting Businesses site this week, I hear the Guardian has opened up its content database with a public API. This allows other sites to search and retrieve content from the Guardian and “weave it into the fabric of the internet”. It is also opening up its Data Store – datasets curated by Guardian editors.

While many newspapers are being headless chickens about their future, the Guardian is doing the best thing – experimenting with openness.

The problem is that this particular angle could reduce the Guardian to a Reuters or AP – providing raw content for others to package and display to readers. If it is to be more than a source, it has to lure readers from single stories to its own territory so it can cross-sell stories and content to them. And then try to make money from that…

UPDATE – Tony Hirst has used the Guardian’s and other data to map MPs’ expense claims across the country – neatly showing the power of open datasets and the internet.