The Open Platform: It’s thanks to individuals

The Open Platform trends on TwitterYesterday we launched the Guardian Open Platform, incorporating the Content API and the Data Store. A lot’s been said already about this — and more will be said — so I will add only a few words of acknowledgement. Many have pointed out (Tom Watson, Jeff Jarvis, ReadWriteWeb, Fast Company and others) that it’s a serious move by the company itself. So I really want to spend a moment to reflect on what that really means.

It can really be best captured by the questions asked by the crowd at the launch event: What if other news organisations want to reuse your journalism? Will the ad network really work? Do the numbers add up? These and other questions were asked at the time and were asked inside the organisation in the months leading up to the launch. The questions span journalism, advertising, finance, technology, marketing, strategy, legal and, of course, technology. These were addressed by real people in real departments who sat down together and worked together. They worked to shape the Open Platform to make sure that it is absolutely right thing to do, from so many points of view.

Matt McAlister brought all the strands together, and must be credited for nurturing and co-ordinating such a major move. But there’s also huge credit to be given to so many individuals within so many Guardian departments who made sure it was a unified, coherent and successful whole. This is a major corporate achievement, but in so many ways a corporation is just another name for individuals working together.