This is a great article, explaining some of the options available to web designers who wish to use the data resources of other websites via that application interfaces. It’s a quick, readable summary of the main options and I’d recommend it to all marketing and eCommerce people who’re happily bandying the “API”, AJAX and “feed” terms around as part of their Web2.0 awakenings 🙂
You can skip all of the code with an admiring glance: read it as logical English and it’s quite digestible. It’ll give an idea what’s needed to create these links to flickr and others services (or, frighteningly, how little!).
What are the “take-aways”?
* that so many thing are visible from a URL. Compare this to the difficulty of accessing corporate information…
* that the webserver is able to pretend to be other servers and rewrite addresses and results on the fly
* that there are many ways to skin the proverbial Cat2.0.
Most of all, though, eCommerce Marketing professionals should realise just how easy it is for technically savvy people to create new, sophisticated offerings, standing on the shoulders of giants. These are the new competitors. And while Yahoo!, Google and others are happy to provide the data free of charge there’ll be no stopping innovation at this micro, niche level.