“So everyone in our tech bubble thinks open data is a good idea but hardly anyone is doing it.” This and other very spot-on observations about the issues surrounding open APIs and the data they provide from Paul Hammond’s excellent presentation last week at XTech as very nicely summarized here by Suw Charman. Paul’s slides are here and his blog here.
In one slide he took ProgrammableWeb data and did a useful summary by API provider showing that a quarter of the 200+ APIs come from 7 providers:
Also noted: “There are millions of RSS feeds, but these highlight the problems even more. You can now get RSS feeds for almost anything you want, but try getting in depth sports statistics, or updated stock market data, or flight times. You can’t get it. RSS is intended to be read in an aggregator, and most of it can’t be reused or republished. So you can get any data you want from the net, so long as it’s the last 10 items on an RSS feed, and you don’t what to do anything with it.”
He then outlines a series of non-technical issues that are the real obstacles to API growth:
On top of that, many companies couldn’t open up if they wanted to
In the end, it’s a perceived “nice to have”. Paul’s recommendations include: