Neil Thackray’s Business Media Blog

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Guardian Breaks Free From Old Model Publishing

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The Guardian is up to something very interesting.  The have released a beta of an api that allows developers access to their open platform.  The only condition that if used, then developers must take ads from the Guardian.  The premise of this intiative is captured in a lovely quote that the lead executive on the project, Matt Macallister, uses in his presentation.  I re-quote it here because as a mantra for modern media times it takes some beating,

When all that is solid is melting into air it is important that we try to imagine how we would like the future to turn out and set our sites on that, not just struggle to keep the past alive for a few more years.”

The Guardian, as Matt explains, is trying not to worry about its website but rather to embrace the whole internet.  They judge that allowing developers to play with Guardian content will encourage the development of new ways to to distribute it.  What they are tapping into is not a network, but rather a distribution eco system.  They argue that the money – the ads – will follow the users and users will access content in many ways – not just through the publishers own livery.

Matt is a clever guy.  I had the privelege of working with him at The Industry Standard and he is one of the few who is brave enough not just to think something but also to try it.

At Nexus we did well from licensing content from the travel site to third party users.  How much more interesting could that model be using the approach that the Guardian has taken?  In business media we are desperate to find new ways to develop reader engagement and the open platform approach is something to watch as a possible solution. 

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April 10, 2009 - Posted by | business media strategy, Uncategorized | , , ,

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