There were two stories announced today with a couple of fairly obvious reactions.
Story: Google Replaces SOAP API with AJAX widget
Obvious Misinterpretation: Google Search API? - mistakes a Web service endpoint the widget talks to for a sanctioned API
Obvious Reaction: The end of SOAP
Story: del.icio.us announces AJAX widget
Obvious Misinterpretation: del.icio.us API for URL top tags, bookmark count - mistakes the web service endpoint the widget talks to for a sanctioned API
Obvious Reaction: God bless the re-inventers - complains that the "new API" uses JSON instead of XML-RPC
The obvious reaction was to make the Google and del.icio.us announcements into a REST vs. SOAP or XML vs. JSON story since geeks like to turn every business decision into a technology decision. However if you scratch the surface, the one thing that is slowly becoming clear is that providers of data services would rather provide you their data in ways they can explicitly monetize (e.g. driving traffic to their social bookmarking site or showing their search ads) instead of letting you drain their resources for free no matter how much geek cred it gets them in the blogosphere.
This is a good thing because it means that as an industry we are slowly figuring out why and how to provide Web APIs and Web services and when not to.
PS: If you are a site that thrives on user generated content this doesn't mean that you should replace APIs that make it easier to add content to your site (e.g. the MetaWeblog API, Flickr API or the del.icio.us API) with a widget. That would make you an idiot.