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Total bankers: Twitter and LinkedIn's cynical API play (The Register)

Writing at The Register, Matt Asay takes a critical look at the business of open APIs, arguing that recent events with Twitter, LinkedIn, and Netflix highlight the dangers of building a product or business on someone else's API. "I don't know if there's a real shift in how the tech world treats its customers, but the API opportunism that is currently en vogue will likely lead to developers mistrusting open APIs and rolling their own services from the ground up, end to end." Is the solution, he asks, "an Open Source Definition for APIs and platforms"?
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Total bankers: Twitter and LinkedIn's cynical API play (The Register)

Posted Jul 6, 2012 14:49 UTC (Fri) by karim (subscriber, #114) [Link]

And rolling their own services from the ground up, end to end would be a good thing because we'd end up with a commodity stack that anyone can use.

Total bankers: Twitter and LinkedIn's cynical API play (The Register)

Posted Jul 6, 2012 15:13 UTC (Fri) by SEJeff (subscriber, #51588) [Link]

Or *yet another* NIH 1/2 broken and 1/2 working implementation.

Total bankers: Twitter and LinkedIn's cynical API play (The Register)

Posted Jul 6, 2012 15:38 UTC (Fri) by nickbp (guest, #63605) [Link]

It's a shame he didn't mention Craigslist's recent blocking of Padmapper a couple weeks ago.

Padmapper is a service which took apartment listings from Craigslist and put them on a Google Maps-based interface. It includes things like filtering by price and listing type, overlays of various statistical data and nearby establishments, estimated walk/drive distances to user-inputted locations, and saving listings for later. Craigslist never had an actual API afaik, so I assume this was all accomplished with screen scraping.

Padmapper is miles ahead of Craigslist's current interface, and was actually extremely useful in my apartment hunt just over a month ago. But now it's gone, because Craigslist has decided that its users should be stuck with their truly miserable, effectively unfilterable (nobody accurately self-posts neighborhoods), spam-filled flat list instead.

Total bankers: Twitter and LinkedIn's cynical API play (The Register)

Posted Jul 6, 2012 15:53 UTC (Fri) by blitzkrieg3 (guest, #57873) [Link]

That's a shame. I found it to be even better than street-easy, which is the only other map based real-estate site out there.

Total bankers: Twitter and LinkedIn's cynical API play (The Register)

Posted Jul 6, 2012 22:29 UTC (Fri) by Lennie (guest, #49641) [Link]

This is even more stupid:
"They allow mobile apps to display their listings if you buy a license from them, but not websites."

Total bankers: Twitter and LinkedIn's cynical API play (The Register)

Posted Jul 6, 2012 23:04 UTC (Fri) by geofft (subscriber, #59789) [Link]

http://www.padlister.com/ exists -- i.e., Padmapper has all the infrastructure to replace Craigslist for apartment listings entirely -- but the Padmapper folks did a very poor job of publicizing it before the crisis.

I suspect that if Padmapper had made active efforts to encourage its users to put their current apartment on Padlister, tell their current landlord, etc., then they would have been in a much better position to break the Craigslist monopoly when the inevitable cease-and-desist came. Then again, it sounds like they did not actually expect it to be inevitable, so it's understandable that they didn't try to hawk their own service.

Open APIs

Posted Jul 7, 2012 11:20 UTC (Sat) by man_ls (guest, #15091) [Link]

Perhaps we need an Open Source Definition for APIs and platforms, generally, much like we have for open-source software.
This part is very interesting. Users of an API cannot force the publisher to do anything, since it is the publisher's code; but a publisher wishing to show an "Open API" badge might consider respecting some requirements. The practical problems seem to me even worse than in the Open Source case...

Of course, publishers like Twitter would rapidly say: "Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!" and ignore this definition. But perhaps their reputation might be tarnished by that... After all, Facebook and other web 2.0 poster children have released a lot of code as open source, without need.

Open APIs

Posted Jul 9, 2012 8:00 UTC (Mon) by k3ninho (subscriber, #50375) [Link]

A 'their data plays nicely with others' list?

K3n.


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