Remote hacking - joining in the Open Platform commercial launch from #jeecamp

 by Martin Belam, 24 May 2010

I was spreading myself a little thin at the end of last week, trying to take part in both #jeecamp in Birmingham and The Guardian's Open Platform commercial launch hack day in London.

In the end I maintained a presence at the latter by sending a video back to London entitled "Can't code, can sketch". I used my 90 second hack presentation slot to briefly show and talk through some sketched wireframes of products that could be built on the back of the API.

Although I didn't build anything with it, once you've got a developer key the API seems incredibly easy to use - with RESTful URLs and an advanced search explorer I was pretty quickly able to get an XML list of all of our Doctor Who content. It turns out that I'm not immune to Currybet's Law myself.

Here is a still from my video, showing me trying out the API outside Euston Station before catching the train up to #jeecamp.

A still from my Open Platform Hack Day video

It was great to be at #jeecamp the day after the Open Platform commercial launch had been announced. I was in a room full of people where the underlying concern is that our existing business models for journalism are breaking faster than we can find new ones. One of the big themes of Simon Waldman's #jeecamp keynote was that disruption usually comes from outside of a sector. Sitting there representing the only newspaper in the world with a commercial API model in this way felt pretty disruptive.

You can view the presentation from the press launch at Slideshare, and if you've got an iPad, you can download the Guardian Eyewitness app, one of the first of hopefully many commercial applications built on top of the content API.

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