Intelligent Content: How APIs Can Supply the Right Content to the Right Reader

Adam DuVander, January 11th, 2013

When you buy a car, it comes with a thick manual that probably sits in your glove box for the life of the car. The experience with a new luxury car may be much different. That printed, bound manual may only contain the information relevant to your car. No leather seats, no two page spread on caring for the hide. That’s intelligent content. And it’s an opportunity for APIs to help publishers go way beyond the cookie cutter printed book. It also happens to be an exciting conference coming to San Francisco in February.

It takes effort to segment content, especially when it was originally written as one piece. There are many benefits to those that put in the effort to think of their content as a platform. Publisher Pearson did this with a number of its titles, most notably with its Pearson Eyewitness Guides API. Using the API, developers can take what was a standalone travel book–say, the Eyewitness Guide to London–and query individual locations. One can imagine travel apps using the content to display great restaurants or landmarks that are nearby, for example.

Traditional publishing is a market that is ripe for disruption, characterized by Berkeley professor Robert Glushko co-creating a new approach to academic textbooks with his students in the Future of E-books. Glushko is one of the speakers at the Intelligent Content Conference, which will bring together content creators, technologists and publishers to discuss the many opportunities. Also speaking is Netflix’s Daniel Jacobson, who architected a large redesign of the Netflix API in order to support hundreds of devices. And yes, I will discuss the opportunities for content-as-a-service via APIs.

ProgrammableWeb readers can still get in on the early bird discount to attend Intelligent Content, which takes place February 7-8 in San Francisco.

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Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.