Guardian Launches Open Platform, Nerds Rejoice.

This man was no match against people who knew about CSS.

This man was no match against people who knew about CSS.

As print media clamors to find a way to make money, the Guardian, a British major daily, decided to give everything away for free.

On Tuesday, they launched their Open Platform.  Computer nerds, you can skip this part.  This is the part where I explain to non-nerdy people what that means.

An “open platform” means that the Guardian gives away the technical parts of their entire online network to developers that can “hack” into it, adjust it, modify it and then pipe them into their own little applications.

I feel like that still might be too nerdy.

Okay, it’s like if you had an iPhone horroscope application that allowed you to see if that dude you just made out with at a bar last night works well with you being a Capricorn.  You know the geek who developed that application?  He used the Guardian’s horroscope content to pipe in that information.


Papers like the Wall Street Journal are charging customers for content.  Even the Arkansas Gazette charges $4.95 a month to their readers just to read their online content.  The Arkansas Gazette!

These papers selected a business model that charges people for their news, even though they can get similar content throughout the Internet on portals like Google News.  I think this model is flawed because you’ll have to make your content so exceptional that people feel like they can’t get it anywhere else.  And really?

You’re the Arkansas Gazette.  Get it together.

Here are three reasons why I love what the Guardian did.  I’ll put it in bold, because you deserve it.

  1. They’re giving the milk away for free, but advertising on the carton. Computer geeks who want to use their platform to make applications like that horroscope-make-out one I mentioned have to actually present advertising from the Guardian.  That means the Guardian still gets to sell ad spots.  Which means they’re still making money.
  2. They’ve accepted that content must be whored out. So when we find out that Bush is tinkling on a tree at a golf course somewhere, we’ll get that news from anywhere.  We’re not going to pay for something so readily available.  Just give it to us for free, and we’ll read your advertising.  Maybe some of us will even buy the penis pump you’re offering.  It sounds like a bargain.  (Note: I do not know competitive pricing)
  3. They surrendered to the nerds. Look, I don’t know much about the Internet.  I really just want to use ICQ again.  But I know I can’t.  I know that there’s probably just one friend on my list online, wondering what happened to everyone else.  Then I’ll log on and he’ll yenta it up for seven hours and bore me into a coma.  I just don’t know technology well.  But there’s a growing army of nerds rising throughout the world.  They’re hacking stuff, coding, digitizing things.  They know how to PHP and RSS and SMS and BYOB everything.  If you go up against them, you’ll probably lose.  One day you will go to your website and in its place, will be an offensive picture of a naked Star Trek character.  I don’t even want to try to guess a name but maybe, like, Darth Vader or something.  That’s when you know you’ve pissed off the nerds.  You’re affronted by Darth Vader’s package.  The Guardian must have known this, and decided to just surrender to the nerds.

I, for one, am too lazy to hack anything.  Also, I’m not nearly smart enough.  But I know many nerds will and I look forward to their applications.

And I hope from this post, I never see Darth Vader’s cock and balls.

Darths a little needy when it comes to texting.  Also, he LOLs his own jokes.

Darth's a little needy when it comes to texting. Also, he LOL's his own jokes.