by Kin Lane
Have you taken a moment and looked at the APIs AT&T is offering through their developer program lately? I think it is an interesting spread of API resources for a leading telco to offer, and is very telling about their strategy. This is one thing I like about my API monitoring platform, is that I'm forced to dive deeper into companies that are ubiquitous in the space, and make sure I'm kep in tune with where they are actually going. I thought AT&T's API catalog was interesting in its current state: Advertising - Create a new revenue stream through the use of customized advertising. The Advertising API allows you to incorporate a simple, easy-to-use solution that supports revednue share-based monetization of your apps through the placement of paid advertising. Call Management - Pick a virtual telephone number and add real time, cross-carrier voice, and SMS communications to your app. Device Capabilities - Returns important information about a device—allowing you to customize your apps accordingly. In-app Messaging - Drive further engagement with your customers by allowing them to share information with friends and family directly from within your app.... read more.
Tags: Advertising, AT&T, Healthcare, Telco, Television
by Kin Lane
I'm always looking for easy, dead simple approaches to explaining APIs to people. Having real world examples, that folks can relate with, go along way in helping people wrap their heads around the very abstract concepts that are APIs. While going for a walk today I was thinking back when I use to build technology for my parents trucking company, when one of the fuel expenses was for Commercial Fueling Network (CFN), which is a self-service commercial fueling station. Whether your a long haul trucker or local contractor, you can use CFN to get at an essential resource for your business, whatever the application. Any business can apply and join CFN, get a "key" to access fuel resources in a self-service way. APIs are the same approach to selling any "virtual" online resource, as CFN is to selling a "physical" fuel resource. CFN doesn't just put free gas alongside the road for anyone to take. They have a portal where you know to go to get your resources, providing you with a key to access the fuel resources you need. CFN then bills you for the usage of their resource. You can be sure CFN has extensive data on how much fuel they sell and who it was sold to.... read more.
Tags: CFN, Commercial Fueling Network, Fuel, Gas, Resources
by Kin Lane
As the universe of APIs expands, I’m working to find new ways that I can discover, educate myself, then organize information around the most meaningful areas in the API space. As part of this effort I’m reorganizing API Evangelist site into a network of small story groups, so that I can focus on a specific piece of this expanding API universe. Each portion of API Evangelist will run using what I call my Hacker Storytelling format, where I use Github Page, Jekyll along with a variety of JSON driven widgets that tell a story around a specific topic. The first story group I’m tackling is redefining two of my main sections which I had called “service provider” and “tools”. My original intent was to find resources people could use to deploy APIs, and if it was an online service I put it in service providers and if you could download and install, it went under tools.... read more.
Tags: Consumption, Deployment, Design, Discovery, Evangelism, Management, Monetization, Toolkits
by Kin Lane
It is has been a while since I updated any of my research around APIs & the Federal Government. In May 2012, I started monitoring the progress of the White House Digital Strategy, where I setup a monitoring system that pings all 246 agencies to see if they have published their digital strategy yet. As we approach the one year anniversary, I expect we'll see a lot more news emerge around what various agencies are doing as part of the original mandate by the White House. As of today there are now 23 federal agencies who have published their Digital Strategy at their domain. I have published all of my research around my APIs & the Federal Government research at a permanent Github repository. I will continue pushing all my research, curated stories and analysis there in real-time.... read more.
Tags: Digital Strategy, Federal Government, Hacker Storytelling
by Kin Lane
There was a lot of buzz in the API space over the last two weeks. I'm not a big on being first with news from the world of APIs, I leave this approach to the tech blogs like Techcrunch, RWW, GigaOm, The Next Web and others. I'd rather simmer on things for a bit, think beyond the press release, and craft a post that offers value beyond the initial announcement and the churnalism. To get everyone up to speed, four major things happened in the API space over the last two weeks: Intel Buys Mashery Computer Associates Buys Layer 7 Technologies MuleSoft Acquires ProgrammableWeb 3Scale gets $4. 2M in Funding There is no arguing that these are some pretty significant signs the API industry is picking up the pace, especially when you have companies like Intel and Computer Associates taking notice and making investments. I've been tracking on the space for 3 years now, with round-ups of API service providers in 2011 and 2012. For 2010, 2011 it was all an uphill battle, but in 2012 I started seeing things heat up with the introduction of several new API service providers, then really stepping up in November 2012 with the acquisition of Vordel by Axway.... read more.
Tags: 3Scale, Computer Associates, Intel, Layer 7, Mashery, Vordel
by Kin Lane
Intel is reportedly buying API service provider Mashery for “a range of $120 million to $180 million”, according to ReadWrite(Web). As I reflect on this, two main questions come to mind: Was it a smart acquisition for Intel, and worth their money? Is this a logical move for Intel since they are a chip maker? Was Intel’s acquisition smart for Intel? If they are serious about playing in the API game, which all signals I’ve seen say yes, I think it was smart. They didn’t buy Mashery for their tech, although their tech was a nice add-on to Intel's existing API Gateway. They bought Mashery to buy their market share. Is the acquisition worth 120-180M? I’m not sure about that. I don’t think Masherys current market share is worth all that, so I think this is an investment in the past and the future more than current market share. Mashery is the pioneer of the API space, owning that history has value, if you can deliver on the future of the API space. Which I think Intel is more capable of than Mashery was all by itself. Next is this a logical move for Intel?... read more.
Tags: Intel, Mashery
by Kin Lane
I’m a walking conflict most of the time. You should try being me, it can be tense about 40% of the time. I’ll give you a couple of example of what I mean to help bring you a little closer to what I experience each day. I’ll start with what I consider to be the 2nd most important API of all time (#1 being AWS), Twitter. I love / hate Twitter. They really deliver on everything around their API except in regards to: Rate Limits - Their rate limits suck! Competition - They don’t approach potential competition sensibly Communication - They aren’t good communicators Other than those three "simple areas", Twitter delivers a damn good API. I find it very hard to criticize what they do, except for the fact that having suffocating rate limits, and shutting off access for integrations you view as competitive, can well, be a pretty quick downer. An example of Twitter in action is with their recent post about Symbols entities for Tweets. I love this idea, I’m working through thoughts that are similar, when it comes to markup APIs or what I’m calling dictionary APIs. I think that a dictionary, symbol or other lookup functionality around an API is cool and has a lot of potential.... read more.
Tags: Pearson, Twitter
by Kin Lane
On a regular basis I review my API consumption to evaluate how I’m using various APIs, and what I’m paying for them. I depend on around 20 APIs to make API Evangelist work, and I need to make sure I’m using them to their fullest potential while also being mindful of budget. As a part of my regular review, I am looking at the differences in pricing between three key services: FullContact API - I use FullContact for all my company and individual contact intelligence. I go through phases of light or heavy use depending on research projects I have going on. Full Contact provides me with per API call rates depending on the endpoint and call volume, and they limit me between four packages Trying It out (Free), Getting Started ($19/month), Gaining Traction ($99/month) and Rolling ($499/month) Alchemy API - I use Alchemy API to primarily pull text content from blog posts, so I can use it internally for indexing. With Alchemy I get access to three packages Free, Small Business ($250. 00) and Basic ($800. 00) AWS APIs - I use AWS for all my computer, storage, database and DNS API services.... read more.
Tags: Alchemy, Full Contact, Pricing
by Kin Lane
Obligatory spider web photo, because Jim and Audrey did too! The ability for me to own kinlane. com, point it at a server, host a website and a blog has been an critical part of my online world and professional career for over 12 years now. My blog goes back to June of 2007, but I have had a site and portfolio up there since around 2000. Having control over my domain has enabled me to store years of my writing, research and projects in a central location that I have control over, allowing me to land jobs, contracts or evolve into entirely new domains that have expanded my audience in ways I never imagined, like with API Evangelist. Anytime I can teach this approach to someone else and empower them to own their own domain, I’ve jumped at the chance, resulting in numerous individuals who have their own thriving domains--including my girlfriend Audrey Watters with her blog Hack Education. Understanding what is necessary to purchase, own and manage your domain, servers, sites, applications and other portions of our digital lives is something everyone should do! But be careful, you just might change the world, and make a significant impact like Audrey (@audrewyatters) has.... read more.
Tags: #ReclaimOpen, #ReclaimYourDomain, Hack Education, MIT, P2PU
by Kin Lane
I wrote yesterday’s piece on API education with Codecademy back in February. I didn’t publish because I wanted to do more research on suggested areas of improvement for the Codecademy team to balance my criticism. The point of yesterday's post was not to bash Codecademy, it is to incentivize them to make their platform better. Until then, I can't really recommend as an API building block. The publishing of my post yesterday was triggered after seeing an example of what is possible after seeing another learn to code platform called Studio Sketchpad by Ari Bader-Natal (@studiosketchpad). Studio Sketchpad is an open studio platform for creating beautiful code, aiming to be a open studio for individuals learning to sketch beautiful code on the web canvas--built on a mashup of the Sketch from Processing and the Pad from EtherPad. Studio Sketchpad, while still a work in progress has many of the essential elements I feel should be part of any learn to code with API tool.... read more.
Tags: Ari Bader-Natal, Codecademy, Education, Sketchpad, Studio Sketchpad
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