Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0

Posts tagged ‘API’

Innovation In Assembly

National Public Radio (NPR) is a media organization, an online radio application that produces, distributes and delivers breaking national and world news. It is also a privately supported, not-for-profit membership organization, NPR produces and distributes programming that reaches a combined audience of 26.4 million listeners weekly. With original online content and audio streaming, NPR.org offers hourly newscasts, special features and ten years of archived audio and information (NPR, 2010).

NPR is one of Media Convergence – an example that offers a new digital distribution communication platform to deliver broader public service to their world-wide listeners (international, national and community) and also engages and interacts with their audiences. According to Jenkins, media convergence is more than simply a technological shift. Convergence alters the relationship between existing technologies, industries, markets, genres and audiences. Convergence refers to a process, but not an endpoint. With this, media convergence will come a new trend in consumption.

NPR stated that “Open, distributed access to public radio content will result in much greater usage than if we require everyone to come to our portals” (Dennis Haarsager, 2008).  Therefore, to increase distribution opportunities, NPR has announced the release of their APIs at O’Reilly’s Open Source Convention (OSCON) 2008.

The NPR Application Programming Interface (API) has enabled developers and more tech-savvy users to build complex applications (See picture below).


NPR’s API is a content API, which essentially provides a structured way for other computer applications to get NPR stories in a predictable, flexible and powerful way (NPR, 2010). For example,  podcast directory – mix your own podcast – is one of NPR’s content APIs created by NPR to allow developers to remix and reuse any podcast content created by the network. NPR Addict and NPR Backstory are mashups that are created by third party developers (tech-savvy users) Therefore, NPR opens APIs which make APIs more transparent and opens them to its users. As well as, it provides an interaction platform to allow users to innovate and be creative with its podcast content.

The following video clip shows how people use NPR Addict on their iphone:

In conclusion, NPR provides a secure platform for application developers and tech-savvy users through assembly and innovation. NPR is also open its APIs to increase the spread of its digital material. In the future, the Web probably will offer more and more open web services. As well, more and more companies will allow their APIs to be open to attract more drive traffics. In other words, allowing more people to visit NPR website.


Haarsager, D. 2008. NPR’s digital distribution strategy.
Retrieved March 19, 2010 from : http://technology360.typepad.com/technology360/2008/09/nprs-digital-di.html

Jacobson, D and Neal, H. 2008. Open Content – National Public Radio.
Retrieved March 19, 2010 from : http://www.npr.org/images/api/NPR_OSCON_open_content_for_insidenprorg.pd f

NPR. 2010. API Documentation – API Overview.
Retrieved March 19, 2010 from : http://www.npr.org/api/index.php

Jenkins, H. 2004. The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence’ International Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 7 (1), 33-43.


Data is the next “Intel Inside”

Data is the next “Intel Inside” is one of the key characteristics of Web 2.0. The term was first coined by Tim O’Reilly at Conference  in 2005. O’Reilly describes data (managed by the software) as the data driving force behind web 2.0 application (web 2.0 service combines with function/software).  He states “Database management is a core competency of Web 2.0 companies, so much so that we have sometimes referred to these applications as “infoware” rather than merely software.” Therefore, in Web 2.0 applications, data is a valuable asset and without the data, the web 2.0 applications are useless.

Today, the successful Web 2.0 applications inevitably have been used as a specialized SQL database system to store a body of specific data such as Amazon’s product reviews, Google’s links, eBay’s products and sellers information, IMDB’s movies information and more. According  to J. Gordon Daines III and Cory L. Nimer, “The goal of Web 2.0 is the creation of unique content/data which drives website traffic and the overall usefulness of the site.” (Society of American Archivists, 2010) Therefore, the Web 2.0  is different to Web 1.0. Web 1.0 is more about presenting information to the users,  just lik a word processor or a tool with no data.  Today, I am going to analyze how the data management system has played in the success of  Google.

Google is currently the most used search engine. It has one of the largest databases of Web pages, including many types of web documents like blog posts, wiki pages, group discussion threads and document formats such as PDFs, Word or Excel documents and PowerPoints. (University of California, 2010)

Many Google products and projects, including Google Map, Google Earth, Goodle Analytics, Google Fiance, Personalized Search and Orkut, are using Bigtable which is a distributed system for storing data on Google’s own servers.

Here, a video clip shows how Google stores its own data inside the Google Data Centre:

Google Maps is a web mapping service with a Web 2.0 application. It offers users the ability to search location, street maps, a route planner for travelling by foot, car, or public transport and an urban business locator for numerous countries around the world. (Blippr, 2010) It also allows users to how customise their own map, embedded on their (third-party) websites via the Google Maps API. All users’ preferences (address search, store locator, distance calculator, satellie photos, make your own Google Earth KML, biking directions and custom your own Google Map) will be stored on Google’s own servers. Google “owns” the data (information and links), but it does not own the mapping data, because that mapping data is often owned by other (third party) companies such as NavTech and NAVTEQ.

Here is how you can plan your biking directions via Google Map:

In summary, that mapping data is the “Intel Inside” of NavTech and NAVTEQ and the users’ preference data is the “Intel Inside” of Google. In other words, data makes those applications/services a success.


O’Reilly, T. 2005. What is Web 2.0.
Retrieved March 14, 2010 from : http://oreilly.com/pub/a/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html?page=3

Blippr. 2010. Google Maps.
Retrieved March 14, 2010 from : http://www.blippr.com/apps/337264-Google-Maps

Gordon, J. and Cory, L. 2009. The Interactive Archivist. Case Studies in Utilizing Web 2.0 to Improve the Archival Experience.
Retrieved March 14, 2010 from :  http://www.lib.byu.edu/sites/interactivearchivist/

University of California. 2010. Recommended Search Engines. UC Berkeley – Teaching Library Internet Workshops.
Retrieved March 14, 2010 from : http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/SearchEngines.html

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