Lets continue the the discussion from Transition Network checking in about opening up data here:
The first step in opening up data would be to provide some machine readable access method (api).
This could be done in different ways, which include more or less work on your side.
(A) open up read only access to the databases you use to create your website, limited to view public data only
(+) needs little work
(-) potential security issues, difficulty to implement this, depending on your database
(B) create views with public data in your databases, copy them regularly to a database with open read access
(+) more secure compared to (A), should be not so much work
(-) no built in versioning, so no easy updates on followers
(C) create a bidirectional data flow into some couchbase instance
(+) this seems already a near optimal solution, you get all features of couchdb for free: standardized web api, easy replication, changes feed
(-) more work than (A) and (B),
To implement this, you will need to introduce some concepts of couchdb into your database, like usage of uuids and version id's for your entries.
(D) create a in page data representation of public data (some json, which can be parsed out of the page)
(+) can be implemented in the data transformation layer, which you use allready to render your site
(+) benefits everyone, who wants to scrape your data
(-) changes feed has to be implemented separately
(E) variant of (D) using http://microformats.org/
(-) more complicated than (D)
(-) you will change allready existing code to produce your website
(+) supports microformats
(F) there are possibly other emerging standards to include easy parsable data in web pages
We should collect them somewhere.
(G) in general we should find ways to publish and link to data / services inside the pages visible to humans
- there could be a link inside the meta section to a machine readable data representation (either json, yaml or xml)
- there could be a link inside the meta section to a changes feed for this type of items
- there could be a link inside the meta section to an directory service for this type of items