How many newspapers can you think of that are looking to build a platform for developers? I’ll wager not many. Which is why it’s significant that The Guardian newspaper in London has just made a major hire direct out of Yahoo! to build a development platform to engage with developers and startups. Matt McAlister, currently the director of Yahoo’s developer network in San Francisco and an early proponent of RSS and social media, is to become head of the Guardian’s development network from the end of April, reporting to Mike Bracken, recently appointed to the new post of technology director. The move is a blow to Yahoo! which needs all the good people it can get right now. [Disclosure: McAlister is a former colleague of mine at The Industry Standard Europe magazine).