After putting the changes to the Netflix Public API in perspective and noting that the lack of LinkedIn communication about Pealk leaving us thinking the worst, I wanted to talk about the recent decision by Craiglists to send a cease and desist letter to the apartment renting site Padmapper.

We can’t really call this an API ecosystem battle because Craiglist doesn’t have an API--but the Craigslist RSS feeds make the rich content pretty easy pull, so I suggest that we evaluate Craigslist's move alongside Netflix and LinkedIn’s.

Craiglists is a privately held company so they can do whatever they want, but I think its extremely shortsighted of them to not have an API. When you have user generated content, available on a public website, and you even provide RSS feeds, people are going to get at the content.

You are missing a HUGE opportunity to extend and control your brand. Craigslist needs pipe their data to one of the API service providers, require developers to register for keys, provide some terms of use and a branding kit(oh wait you'd need a logo too), and start tracking on and controlling what people are doing with your content.

You can spend your resources on policing the space, sending cease and desist letters creating bad PR for craiglist or you can provide an API and take some control over what developers are going to do, and encourage innovation around the user generated content that has made Craigslist so successful.