by Kin Lane
Tags: Codecademy, Education, Resources
by Kin Lane
How To Get Your Grandma, Mother, Daughter and Sister to Understand APIs? You stop using gendered approaches when explaining what an API is. I’m not going to cite any of the past or recent examples of this (you know who you are). And I don’t care "how you didn’t even mean to do this", when you wrote your API example. There really isn’t a line between sexism and ignorant sexism. If you really want everyone to understand what an API is, provide well written, plain english examples, that are framed around solving a problem your grandma, mother, daughter or or sister will understand--using problems they truly face in their lives. It really is that simple. As long as you are using gendered terms to describe what we are doing, you are raising the barrier to entry. And when you do this, you are talking down to a person and making them feel small, stupid and all the other power trips that go with sexism. And yes, those thing are still there even if you "didn’t mean to do it". So let ‘s make sure and keep API examples about solving problems and putting the valuable API resources to use, and not about gender, and get EVERYONE on board. End of story!... read more.
Tags: Sexism, Technology
by Kin Lane
Last week Twitter expanded its Twitter Cards initiative to allow 3rd party app developers to include links to download apps within Tweets, opening up new opportunities for app discovery via Twitter. Yay, for app developers. I won’t try to explain the history of Twitter's approach to their ecosystem, their tight fisted approach to Twitter Cards, and how it affects this latest app discovery announcement. Matthew Ingram does an amazing job (as always) of capturing the essence with Twitter plays its platform hand, and it is the one holding all the Cards. My point is, their announcement isn’t that exciting. Could you imagine what would be possible if Twitter decide to actually use an open standard like Open Graph, and allowed developers to innovate within Tweets using Twitter Cards? I fully understand Twitter wants control over their platform, and I don’t deny any platform the right to assert control. And yes, Twitter allows their approved partners to play in this arena. But that isn’t open! And, it isn’t part of the OG vision that Twitter was built on. In my opinion, Twitter is missing out on soooo much opportunity for innovation in the space that exists within a Tweet.... read more.
Tags: App Discovery, Closed, Ecosystem, Twitter, Twitter Cards
by Kin Lane
The first #APIStrat video is here! For those of you who couldn't make it to the APIStrat in New York last February, or in case you missed some of the sessions, the videos are finally starting to come out. The first video is from Laura Merling (@magicmerl), VP Ecosystems and Solutions at AT&T, from her talk 3 Things You Need to Turn Your Enterprise Into A Platform. All the sessions were recorded and are being edited, and they will ALL be gradually posted during the next following weeks. Publishing order will be the same as in the original program, with the only exception of the keynotes being published first. We will be linking the videos available from our website, on the sessions page. You can also find all the videos and slides on InfoQ API Strategy & Practice page.... read more.
Tags: #APIStrat, API Strategy & Practice, AT&T, Laura Merling
by Kin Lane
I get a lot of inquiries from API owners about how they should price their API access in a way that will make sense to developers, but also help them generate revenue from their valuable API resources. As most of us are still trying to figure out sensible pricing for our new APIs, or better understand how to adjust and evolve pricing to better suit existing developers--Amazon is busy reducing their cloud API pricing. I got a simple email from Amazon today: Dear Amazon S3 Customer, We are excited to announce that we are reducing Amazon S3 request prices in all nine of our regions. We are lowering the prices for GET requests by 60% and the prices for PUT, LIST, COPY, and POST requests by 50%. For example, in the US Standard Region, we are reducing the price of every 1,000 PUT requests from $0. 01 to $0. 005 and the price of every 10,000 GET requests from $0. 01 to $0. 004. We are happy to pass along these savings to you as we continue to drive down our costs. The new lower prices for all regions can be found on the Amazon S3 pricing page. New prices are effective April 1st and will be applied to your bill for all requests on or after this date.... read more.
Tags: Amazon Web Services, AWS, Pricing
by Kin Lane
I read your Terms of Service is one of the biggest lies on the Internet. We agree to terms of service for each and every service we use online, without ever reading and understanding exactly what we are agreeing to. This is one of the most damaging aspects of online life, as through this process we are giving away our rights, ownership of our data and allowing for our privacy to be compromised each and every day. While not all services are abusing this, there are many online services that use this to their advantage, in an effort to maximize the amount of value they extract from their platform and end users. Service providers have to go further in educating users about the terms of service they are agreeing to. There is a great example of this in action, via an article in NextWeb called “now THIS is how to write your startup’s Terms of Service”. The post showcases how real-time sharing platform Heello has provided plain english descriptions, next to each “legaleze” paragraph in their terms of service. This is nothing new. You see it with other providers like Tumblr.... read more.
Tags: Heello, Legal, Terms of Service, TOS
by Kin Lane
The Noun Project is soliciting feedback on their upcoming API. If you aren’t familar with The Noun Project, it is a innovative visual language project, that is creating a library of icons that will enable people to visually communicate and interact around the globe. Direct from The Noun Project about page: Humans have been using symbols to communicate for over 17,000 years because they are the one language everyone can understand. Symbols can transcend cultural and language barriers and deliver concise information effortlessly and instantaneously. They allow people to communicate quickly, effectively, and intuitively. And for the first time ever, this language is being combined with technology to create a social language that unites the world. The Noun Project wants our feedback on what a Noun Project API might look like and what we would use it for. So, I wanted to take a moment and share my thoughts, about what I would use The Noun Project API for, and some thoughts about what the endpoints might look like. Embeddable Normally an embeddable strategy for an API is in the background, relinquished to just one of the tools in the toolbox.... read more.
Tags: Attribution, Embeddable, Graph, Icons, IDE, Partner, The Noun Project
by Kin Lane
I spent some time drinking IPAs and talking education technology with Audrey (@audreywatters) and a friend of ours Adam Wendt (@skinnyblimp), the COO of Iris Educational Media last week. IRIS Educational Media is a behavioral research and development company that provides educational resources for parents, parent educators, K-12 school staff, including teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and direct support employees. During our discussion, Adam was describing how he wanted to make Iris Media resources available for people to use on any platform, by providing valuable embeddable tools and resources for organizations and professionals to use on their own sites and portals. As Adam was talking, of course I’m thinking API. An API would not just a way to drive their own line of embeddable tools, but would also allow for other 3rd party developers to build specialized tools and widgets for other platforms that Iris Media might not have awareness, time or resources to focus on. Wanting to be available on numerous platforms is easy, but actually delivering on them can be costly and time consuming--APIs are a way to share this load with a 3rd party community.... read more.
Tags: Education, Iris Media, Resources, Video
by Kin Lane
A roadmap is an essential part of a healthy API ecosystem. The transparency and communication that come with providing a roadmap for your API and open data initiative will go a long way in building trust with your community. The City of Philadelphia is sharing its roadmap of data sets that it intends to open in the coming months, by providing a release calendar using cloud project management service Trello. In addition to seeing the datasets the city intends to release, you can also see any data sets that have already been published. According to the open data roadmap, Philadelphia is releasing data on street closures, energy consumption, evacuation routes, campaign finance, bike racks, budgets, expenditures and city employee salaries to name just a few. This type of transparency doesn’t just build trust with citizens and developers, it provides an incentive for the city government to deliver high quality public data, in a meaningful and timely manner. There is still a lot of work to be done once this data is available, in order to develop quality analysis, visualizations, other APIs and tools that can be used in mobile and web applications. But what Philly is doing is a great start.... read more.
Tags: Building Blocks, City Government, City of Philadelphia, Civic, Open Data, Roadmap
by Kin Lane
NASA has a pretty cool challenge going on, to create an API for SkyMorph, a database of optical images and catalogs generated by the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program. According to the NASA description, SkyMorph provides: access to imagery by time and position or searching by specific asteroid or other moving object. The time dimension, unique to SkyMorph, allows users to discover changes in the intensities of stars, e. g. supernovae, or to discover moving objects, e. g. comets NASA is challenging us to help build a RESTful interface that would enable developers and citizen scientist to access SkyMorph imagery, lowering the barrier of access to the data and encouraging innovation around the program. Ok, how cool is that! APIs that enable everyone to help track on and understand objects in the sky, along with NASA.... read more.
Tags: Asteroids, Challenge, Comets, NASA
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