But only if the APIs can enable useful social contexts. Great insights! RTWT!

From Transparent Bundles: Media Futures, Part 3/5: API via Read/Write Web.:


Virtually all of the major Web 2.0 platforms (GOOG, YHOO, IACI, AMZN, EBAY) recognize how critical it is to engage their users in the act of media production, and therefore are (in different ways) releasing APIs that stream their consumers' meta data. Such data is not simply theirs for redistributing, but rather needs to be the byproduct of some other functionality such as Amazon wishlists, Flickr tags, or EBay auction trends. Along these lines, the value of a Web Service API is tied to its ability to convert granular feeds of individual data into useful social media contexts. It is not particularly helpful to think of APIs as simply conduits of data, since the way in which APIs package data are frequently as valuable as the data itself. In order to access Flickr's API, for example, you need to choose whether to organize the data by groups, contacts or favorites. Central then to the evaluation of an API is to what extent it performs high level operations on low level data, and how interesting the ensuing abstractions are to a broad community of users.


In the meantime, the goal was simply to establish the API as a key component of media futures, specifically as the hinge between the algorithm that processes raw human meta data and the moment of alchemy that occurs when you discover something you didn't even know you were looking for, courtesy of some people that you didn't even know that you knew.