Google AJAX Feed API

I read Udi Dahan's post on how Google's Ajax API Simplifies Safe Mashups. It didn't take 5 minutes to take Google's "Hello World" AJAX Feed API example and embed into a web page of my own. This is fun stuff allowing me to finally be able to manipulate feeds across sites without injecting any server-side code.

What should be noted is that this is relying on Google services and must follow their terms. It means that they monitor all the content this API brings into my page while other search engines cannot. (Crawlers do not typically execute the JavaScript, so that's why they wouldn't see the results of the API calls.)

Certainly I'm not the only one disturbed by this, right? Where is the counter-movement to give the every-blogger ownership of his own services in just as simple a manner? Is there a better answer than Amazon's web services? (For those that don't know, Amazon provides hosting solutions that are API-driven, highly customizable, scalable, and billed-by-use.)

Google's solution is so simply by comparison that I am struggling to remember why this even matters to me. Something in my gut just keeps telling me it is wrong to rely on services where I can't understand the business model.

Also distracting from this actually-quite-cool service from Google is the fact that Yahoo! Pipes already offered this feature and many more. Additionally, I believe that Yahoo! doesn't require you to register for an API key against your URL, though there is a need to register to create a pipe (feed) if you aren't using one someone else already created.

P.S. If you are listening, sorry I'm not keeping up and haven't even uploaded the rest of my notes on my P2P collaboration presentation. I have lot's of activity at work these days keeping my creative energy going without having to resort to my blog rantings. :-) But, this was such a quick post.

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