November 16, 2015
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Recently, blogging service Posterous thought it would try and help ease the burden of moving from other places on the web to its blogging platform by developing a bunch of migration tools. All of these tools were built on other services' open APIs and designed to go in, grab your content, and republish it through Posterous maintaining as much metadata as possible. Things were fine until photo-hosting service Twitpic caught wind and cut of Posterous' API access.
For decades, public radio in the United States has provided accessible news and educational content to millions of listeners. Despite its popularity, traditional radio has a local broadcast range and limited opportunities for interactivity, and the rise of online social media has challenged public broadcasters to redefine their roles for the Internet age. National Public Radio (NPR), which produces popular programs such as All Things Considered and Talk of the Nation, has been a pioneer in embracing web technology by making its content available through a rich, standards-based API. Until now, the API operated much like a broadcast radio station, as it could only be used to retrieve content from a central location. However, NPR has taken a major step toward incorporating the read-write capabilities of the web for content delivery, with its announcement of a new feature called API Ingest. This update which will allow authorized stations to not only download programming, but to post content to the NPR API.
Before 1500, monks spent their lives copying the Bible by hand. That method was replaced by printing presses for the next 500 years. Today, ebooks are set to end the practice of pulping trees and smearing them with ink. In all this change the direction of information access has been constant for half a millennium: faster and faster, easier and easier. The next revolution for publishers is APIs for books.