What Does The API Evangelist Do?
02 May 2013
I sent three emails this morning to people, explaining what it is that I do and how they can get involved. This process reminded me that I need to do the same here via the blog on a regular basis, to help people understand what API Evangelist is, and my vision for it.
Despite popular belief I do not evangelize any single API to developers, my role (self-appointed) is to evangelize all APIs to the masses, most importantly beyond the developer community--penetrating business, marketing and other key groups.
At API Evangelist I monitor the entire API space. To do this I track on 2000 of the best of the APIs out there. I've gone through the entire ProgrammableWeb Directory and hand pick the ones that are worth paying attention to, and I continue doing this in real-time as they are added. Its not that the rest aren't worthy of use, just not an approach I feel is worth showcasing to other API owners.
700+ of these APIs have blogs, 1000+ have Twitter accounts and many have Github accounts. I monitor all in real time. I also track on 250+ blog feeds from mainstream tech blogs (TC, Gigaom, etc) as well as lesser known feeds.
I watch all this in real-time and tag everything using a centralized system I've developed. This is where I derive my blog posts and generate what I call my API Stack. The API Stack isn't meant to be a definitive list of who are the best, in a single order, but a living stack of which APIs are worth paying attention to, and are doing innovative things on a week to week basis.
I generate The API Stack using my home grown ranking system which is based upon 3 types of signals:
- Internal - Number of blog posts, tweets, github repos and other internal activity from the APIs themselves
- External - @mentions of twitter, stack exchange, hacker news, tech blogosopher, github repo follwers and activity
- Analsyst - My curation, flagging w/ notes, voting up and writing stories about an API or company
From all of this weekly process I have carved several areas I focus deeper on:
API Service Providers
These areas will evolve and grow as my research continues and the space changes. From all of this research I produce short form analysis (blog posts, project sites) and long form content (whitepapers, books). To keep things simple I provide a single standard monthly subscription to partners wishing to access of all this for $1500.00 / month.
- Writing - Access to all of my long form content. White papers, research, etc.
- Data - I generate a lot of data exhaust tracking, ranking and curating the API space. I have JSON data available across all aspects of my work.
- Logo - Placement of maximum 250px width logo on right hand menu of API Evangelist properties.
- 4 Consulting Hours - Four hours of conversation via phone, skype or hangout each month.
- Keywords - Your company name plus one other keyword or key phrase of choice which will link to URL of your choice.
- Weekly / Monthly Summary - I produce a weekly and monthly summary of the top APIs and industries, with curated news and my analysis from the API industry.
This monthly subscription provides access to all research, data and writing I produce. I'm willing to negotiate other relationships, but this helps me keep a nice pool of clients, and me knowing I'll be in operation next month. Keeps me focused on research and not chasing new customers all the time.
Sometimes I also do specific industry research looking for patterns and opportunities as well going deeper by targeting specific APIs, like Twitter or Twillio, but I try to keep targeted research feeding into my overall pool of industry data, providing value to the bigger picture and overall space.
Hope this helps you understand what it is I do, and if you'd like to get involved, feel free to reach out.