Inside NPR.org

API Release : Station Content, Blogs and Search

I am very excited to announce our next release for the NPR API. Today we release our API Ingest project, the inclusion of three blogs into the API, and the migration of the API search functionality to be powered by our Google Search Appliance.

API Ingest

Until today, the NPR API has been a one-way firehose of content, pushing hundreds of thousands of stories from NPR and the twelve NPR Music partner stations out to the world. Now the API is read-write, allowing authorized external parties to post stories to the NPR API.

Today we introduce content from two of the five pilot organizations we've worked with for the last several months. These launch organizations are Oregon Public Broadcasting ("OPB") and Northwest News Network ("N3"). N3 is a network of 11 stations, which also means that the API will include stories from its content producing stations, including KUOW in Seattle, KPLU in Seattle and Tacoma, Boise State Radio in Boise, Northwest Public Radio in Pullman, Washington, Spokane Public Radio in Spokane, Washington, KLCC in Eugene, Oregon and Jefferson Public Radio in Ashland, Oregon.

Over the coming weeks and months, we plan to introduce the content from the other three pilot organizations: KQED in San Francisco, WBUR in Boston, and WXPN in Philadelphia. Thereafter, our intent is to stabilize the system, scale it, and reach out to more public media organizations who are interested in participating.

OPB and Northwest News Network stations are live today, which means that you can get their content from the NPR API in the same way that you would get NPR content. However, the only caveat is that the API query must explicitly ask for OPB, N3 and/or one of the content producing stations affiliated with N3.

I have included API feeds for our new content providers in this page so you can see this in action.

Blogs

Prior to today, all of our blogs have been managed by a system outside of our central content management system. As a result, blog posts have been on an island, unavailable to the API and our other central distribution channels.

Today is the first of three launches introducing all blog content into the API. The first three blogs introduced to the API are.this one (Inside NPR.org), All Tech Considered, and Go Figure! (a new public blog about NPR research and audience insights, which should be live later today). We decided to use these blogs to start our migration because they are some of our niche blogs and because they have some of the more knowledgeable bloggers. After we work out the kinks with these three, we expect to introduce a few more, probably in a few weeks. The remainder of our blogs should follow a few weeks after that.

Blog posts will now be returned in the same way that other API content gets returned. You will be able to request blogs specifically or receive them intermingled with other stories from the API.

Google Search Appliance

When the API first launched in 2008, the search components of the API (accessed via the searchTerm parameter) were driven by the same search engine as NPR.org. A year later, in June 2009, we began to upgrade the NPR.org search engine to run off of the Google Search Appliance. This upgrade, however, did not include the API. Now the API search matches that of NPR.org. I have included an API feed using the Google Search Appliance in this page as well.

I want to thank all of the stations that helped drive the API Ingest project to launch. In particular, thank you Colin Fogarty, Lynne Pollard, Rob Vincent, Erik Golts and Jason Marsh (from OPB and N3), as well as Harold Neal from NPR. This really is a tremendous step forward for NPR and all of public media.

Please let us know your thoughts on the changes to search as well as the new station and blog content by commenting on this post.

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