Posted on 10-22-2011
Last spring when I started writing for ProgrammableWeb, my first post was "Everything Should Be an API," Says FCC. The story was about the new FCC web site, that was built entirely on top of RESTful APIs using the Drupal platform.
Since that post, I met the company behind the FCC website redesign, Seabourne Inc., which builds some pretty innovative solutions using Drupal, employing APIs in everything they do. As part of the FCC.gov website project, Seabourne Inc. built a module for Drupal that leverages the platform for content publishing, powered by APIs.
I spoke with Mike Reich, the CEO of Seabourne Inc. about APIs, he is as passionate about APIs as I am, but has identified the best place to start when it comes to opening up the government, is with content APIs instead of just focusing on data APIs.
He’s right. In the rush to open up government data, many of us overlook the huge archives and content generated on a daily basis by our government. Recently, many government agencies are adopting Drupal as a content management platform, and using Seaborne’s Content API for Drupal, any agency or organization can make content openly accessible via an API.
Their Content APIs can instantly make content from an agencies website available for other agencies to access in a self-service way, reducing the resources needed for inter-departmental coordination. In addition to making external coordination more efficient, it can make rolling out separate web sites, applications and mobile apps much more cost efficient as well.
Content APIs can also open content to the public allowing media, companies and even individuals to pull content and mash it up, evolve, derive meaning and stories from it that a government agency may not have time or even perspective to do. In my opinion this type of content access by the public truly reflects the next generation of democracy, allowing anyone to get involved in government, even demonstrating better ways to understand how government operates.
You can access the Content API for Drupal on the Seaborne Inc. website, I’m installing a prototype Drupal website so I can play with the API, helping me understand whats possible when using Drupal in conjunction with the Content API.
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