What can come of NPR’s release of an API giving access to its story database?

Posted in Current’s former online forum, DirectCurrent, by moderator Steve Behrens on July 17, 2008 at 12:28pm
Last year, public radio’s Digital Distribution Consortium Working Group predicted (see page 10) that freeing content could result in mashups such as “a Hidden Kitchens regional food content site that mashes up DDC audio and video content with Google Maps and Flickr photos about local restaurants and food events; a Science Talk site that draws on DDC science content combined with selected blog posts on related topics.” And there probably will be much more significant unforeseen innovations, as the DDC authors would probably agree. But to media traditionalists, freeing content also rips it from a relatively concrete “place” (radio station or website) that carries underwriting and is clearly associated with an institution that seeks to generate good will and membership, subscription, foundation or taxpayer support. Thus the freed content gets much-improved distribution, and probably added value from the mashing-up. But the institutions best positioned to reap revenue are companies like Google that put relatively little money into generating content themselves.