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
by Kin Lane
It is becoming more common for API providers to deliver documentation using what's known as interactive API documentation, instead of the usual static API documentation. Understanding how to use an API can be tough sometimes, and rather than just reading about it how it works, interactive API documentation allows you make real calls against an API, while learning about the interface. While there are several approaches to delivering interactive API documentation, my personal favorite is using Swagger. Swagger comes built in with 3Scale, which is the API management platform I use for the API Evangelist API, but Swagger is available for anyone to use as an open source project. Interactive API documentation using Swagger starts with a Swagger definition, which is a JSON representation of an API endpoint. In this case, the endpoint is for accessing my blog posts: This JSON describes everything about my very basic endpoint, which allows users to query almost 3 years of API Evangelist blog posts.... read more.
Tags: 3Scale, Interactive Documentation, Swagger
by Kin Lane
I'm tracking on a new wave of application frameworks and API centric architecture patterns, that are not just helping deliver the next wave of web & mobile apps, but also bridging, aggregating and providing interoperability and transformations between APIs platforms. One company I've been watching closely is Seabourne. The Seabourne team has an approach to application development that follows a very interesting set of principles: Information Flows Instead of Pipelines - Information operates in ‘flows’ where inputs and outputs are flexible and happen at any point. Flows are fluid and flexible, unlike structured, point-to-point pipelines Data has Multiple Owners - Information flows are composed of multiple streams of data owned by different partners and vendors. Any process must accommodate multiple canonical sources for different information Use APIs to Move Information - By using APIs to move information around, we decouple the data from the underlying technology and vendor, and make it possible to combine information from different technologies.... read more.
Tags: Aggregation, Framework, GovInfo, Reciprocity, Seabourne
by Kin Lane
Way to go brogrammers. You made sure a bright light in evangelism was partially dimmed tday. Really? With all the shaming that goes on targeted at women, you don't have balls to take a little shaming when you arer being a sexist pig? C'mon. ummm have some balls? As I've said it before, us guys are going to have to eat shit with a side of humble pie for many years to come to balance this whole sexism thing out. Let's own it. All it would have taken is a humble apology from those gentleman in response to the Tweet, then some healthy discussion about why what they said was wrong, and move on kids. I sure hope the hacker news crowd steps up and defends every woman that is shamed by guys now, as they seem to be a defender of this now. So if you Tweet out shaming a woman in a career changing way, know hacker news will be all over you. right? Right? I just want to make sure you know I support you Adria. You are not unemployed, you've been promoted to new levels of evangelism.... read more.
Tags: Adria Richards, Sexism
by Kin Lane
It was inevitable. API Evangelist now has its own API. I had a couple partners ask for more sophisticated access than provided by RSS or JSON dumps out of my platform. So I launched a handful of API endpoints, allowing you to get at information from my world. I currently have 13 endpoints providing access to the core of my platform, in 8 key areas: APIs - Name, logo and description of the 2K APIs I'm activtely monitoring API Stack - Access to my weekly and monthly API stacks Analysis (Blog) - Access to my entire blog catalog Service Providers - Access to all API service providers I track Tools - A full catalog of all the API tools I've found Curated News - Title and links of news that I personally curate from my 2K+ feeds Notes - Notes I make during my daily and weekly curation Building Blocks - The common building blocks I've identified after looking at 2K top APIs There is a lot more data behind my firewall that I want to open up. I do a lot of research on top APIs like Twitter and Google as well as trending areas like aggregation, backend, reciprocity and real-time service providers. I will also be opening up API endpoints into the site traffic for apievangelist. com, apivoice.... read more.
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