Ronnie05's Blog

Harnessing Open Source to power the next level of Business: The Guardian’s Open Platform initiative


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In the age of open source and democratization of content it is just time before newspapers and news agencies join the open platform and social networking as a means to stay relevant. The challenge is to customize the business model around these to make money even while they reinvent the rules of the game. Guradin, The UK based newpaper has taken its first step in this direction by launching what they call the “Open Platform”. While all newspapers have a blogs, content and online presence, Guardian’s venture is different.

What guardian plans is to open up millions of of pieces of content: Stories, Photos, Slideshows and data sets to all who want to process all this data through web applications and mashups etc. In its present avataar, all this is Guradian’s core product, which Guardian shall open up to the internet for free! Why would someone do that?

Three reasons:

1. Guardian plans to use this channel to push advertising. In effect, by being a host to users, developers and applications, it is creating a captive base and it will push advertising feeds into this outlet as well. This thus becomes an extremely scalable way to increase ad inventories and at some stage Guardin will venture out into targetted advertising through API (application programming interface). That like creating a new G Mail and adsense.

2. Opening up all its content inventory would attract a whole bunch of programmers and developers to this platform which would nurture innovations around the core product. In an age where news feeds are so commoditized, innovations from an open source can pep up the channel offering. All this development at zero cost. Developers have already started throwing up interesting results. API maps matches news content with locations aroudn the world to create a crowd sourced geo tagged database of news. Content Tagger allows users to create web tag on Guardian database.

3. If nothing else works out, the effort is going to create branded content and applications, at no incremental cost. With no incremental costs again, Guardian will probably create plenty of new consumers and a new level of brand awareness.

All in all, an interesting piece of work, which would give us reasons and ideas on what works and what doesnot in terms of Monetizing efforts around the social networking platform in this age of Web 2.0 and Freetardonomics.

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  1. […] The rest is here:  Harnessing Open Source to power the next level of Business: The Guardian’s Open Platform initi… […]

  2. […] this context, Guardian’s effort to move from being just a broadcast publisher to a platform and use content , se…. The transition from news and journalism to news, data, video, audio, content partnerships, […]


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