I wrote not long ago about New York Times’ release of their API (Application Programming Interface) for Congressional data. Well today the Times rolled out yet another API to add to their arsenal, and this one is ginormous (yes, that is a real word). Dubbed the Article Search API, this new interface will allow for the parsing of over 2.8 million NYT articles – the summation of everything since 1981 (for those of you who forgot, it’s 2009, so that means 28 years of data – wow).
The New York Times is arguably the most respected news organization in the world, and it is taking large steps to be on the forefront of open source in the news industry. With 35 searchable fields, the Times is quite literally unlocking and flinging the doors open to its archives for anyone and everyone. An API may not mean a lot to Joe Websurfer, but for developers looking to enhance their sites by creating dynamic links to relevant information, what better source than the New York Times?
Marshall Kirkpatrick over at ReadWriteWeb had this to say about the new API:
“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.”
Now the idea of “newspapers as a platform” is a key way in which New York Times is spreading its content. In a world where the newspaper industry is deperately in need of a new business model, perhaps eventually charding developers for advanced access to better API’s could help the New York Times as much as it could help Facebook or Twitter.