Self Service vs Sales Oriented Web APIs


I’m doing some big data work. Ok it isn’t really, but feels like I should use that label. What I’m actually doing is analyzing the Twitter activity of top APIs.

I have the twitter handles of 100 of the popular web APIs. I have been pulling and analyzing the Tweets from each of these accounts via the Twitter API for some time now.

It is time that I scale this to about 500 API twitter accounts, and also start monitoring mentions of each of these APIs on Twitte, while also performing searches for some keywords associated with each API or a group of APIs.

At this stage of growth, it was clear I was outgrowing the regular Twitter API and since what I’m doing is more big data, than twitter client app, I am looking at the two approved Twitter resellers Gnip and Datasift.

First I went to Gnip, looked at their product and it looked like what I needed. I saw at the bottom of the page, “Get Started”. I recognize that language, clicked on it and filled out their form and I get a “Thank You, Someone Will Be In Touch”. I move on to Datasift. I look at their product and it too, looks like what I need. I see on the page, “Get Started”. I recognize that language, clicked on it, logged on with Twitter, added my email and password, and boom--I’m dropped into a dashboard. I am able to build streams from Twitter using different keywords, Twitter users, etc. I get freemium access, with the ability to put in my credit card and be billed for more.

Next, I got a quick email from a nice fellow at Gnip asking what I was looking to do, and if I had time in the next couple days to talk on the phone.  I will definitely talk with them, but by the time I get on the phone with them I will be 2-3 days into developing my solution around Datasift. Unless Gnip has some secret pricing or some magic features Datasift doesn’t have, I probably won’t switch.

That’s the difference between self service and sales oriented web APIs. Which one are you?