{"API Evangelist"}

API Management: Adding Reciprocity Building Blocks

I’m adding a new grouping to my list of API management building blocks, called reciprocity. If you want to know what I mean by reciprocity check out my earlier post From ETL to API Reciprocity, Looking at 20 Service Providers.

As I was working with Nimble the CRM system last night, and I was planning out some workflows associated with keeping contact data up to date, and noticed that Nimble provides access to Zapier automation tools directly from their interface, using an iframe.

Providing access to API automation tools for your developers, and end-users, is an important piece of a larger reciprocity puzzle. As an API provider you should allow for developers and end-users to access, migrate, download, and orchestrate the flow of their own data.

With this in mind I’m adding four building blocks for reciprocity as part of my API management recommendations:

Reciprocity is not just about users getting the ability to download their data, so they can leave a platform. Reciprocity is about using APIs to empower everyone to maximize the exchange of resources. If a users is given a chance to use their data in other applications, and back again, the more valuable a resource will become, and the more likely a user will continue using a service—it is just good business.

I was able to use a service like Nimble to manage my contacts, which I first imported from Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, then using the Nimble API I was able to publish contact from a proprietary CRM system. Now using Zapier, I’m able to further automate workflow around my relationship management, adding to the features that are already available in Nimble.

None of this would be possible without reciprocity. Using Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Nimble and my own custom APIs, I am able to improve on how I manage my daily operations. This is why reciprocity is a pretty critical building block in how all of this is going to work. I put reciprocity in that space that is the overlap between the business and politics of APIs—that dark matter that helps make all of this API shit work.