GNIP Spells a Whole New World for Data APIs

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Allow me to get nerdy.

It has been a long time since I got downright giddy about something developer-oriented. Lots of new APIs are coming out all the time and I usually take a once over look at them to determine if there is something cool there. A lot of time there are cool things and I promise myself to come back and explore the possibilities later. I rarely do.

However, with the announcement of GNIP today, I finally feel like my incessant mulling of API frameworks might be coming to an end.

Let me back up. A few weeks ago, I was fiddling with a bunch of APIs trying to create some mashup I was working on. I sent Keith a direct message pitching a “crazy idea”. An API for all APIs. One API to rule them all. His response, “A meta API?”

That made sense and made me laugh because I know how much he hates the word “meta”.

My idea quickly dissipated as I realized it was probably pretty futile to create an API for all these varied services that all had different data formats and types and my need for it wasn’t all that important at the time anyway.

I could have also used the concept when I was working on Mokonji, the project that now sits dead because Trackur beat me to the punch.

The idea with GNIP, bringing this story full circle, is that it is a meta-API. It sits in front of “data producers” (Digg, Flickr, Disqus) and provides a standardized API for “data consumers” (Plaxo, MyBlogLog, even Lijit!) to exchange data.

Since this is still so very early, there are bound to be other data producers and consumers. Also notable is that the only data format is XML. XMPP and JSON are missing. That will likely change over time too.

Data Producers not yet involved that should be:

And a few Data Consumers that are also missing:

Comments

  1. says

    Aaron –

    Thanks for the kind words. I’d love to keep you plugged into Gnip as we continue building out the service. We’ve got several new services coming down the pipe that expand greatly on the initial callback server idea and I’d love your feedback.

    BTW, we met at SXSW this year (you were at a dinner with Micah from Lijit) and I’ve been a fan of the site ever since.

    Cheers!
    Eric

  2. says

    Eric-

    Sounds great! Love to be involved. In case you weren’t aware, I’m doing BizDev for Lijit and working with Micah. Though I’m in Boulder, I understand your offices are right downstairs from Lijit World Headquarters so when I’m in Boulder this month, I might pop down and say hi.