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Getting Email Updates From The API Providers I Care About Is One Way To Stay In Sync

I do not like email. I do not have a good relationship with my inbox. However, it is one of those ubiquitous tools I have to use, and understand the value it can bring to my world. The goal is to not let my inbox control me too much, as my it is is often a task list that other people think they can control. With all that said, I’m finding renewed value in email newsletters, on several fronts. While I’d prefer to get updates via Atom, I’m warming up to receiving updates from API providers, and API service providers in my inbox.

I am an active subscriber to the REST API Notes Newsletter, API Developer Weekly, and other relative newsletters. I’m also finding myself opening up more emails from the API providers, and service providers I’m registered with. Historically, I often see email as a nuisance, but I’m beginning to see emails from the companies I’m paying attention to as a healthy signal. Increasingly, it is a signal that I’m using to understand the overall health of a platform, and yet another signal that will go silent when a platform isn’t supporting their user base, and potentially running out of funding for their operations.

I recently wrote a script that harvests emails from my inbox, and tracks on the communications occurring with API providers and service providers I am monitoring. At it’s most basic, it is a heartbeat that I can use to tell when an API provider or service provider is still alive. After that, I’m looking at harvest URLs, and other data, and use the signals to float an API provider or service provider up on my list. It can be tough to remember to tune into what is going on across hundreds and thousands of APIs, and any signal I can harvest to help companies float up is a positive thing. Hopefully it is something that will also incentivize API provider and service providers to tell more stories via email, as well as their blog and social media.

Email is still one of my least favorite signals out there, but I’m beginning to realize there is still a lot of value to be found within my inbox. Having a regular newsletter is something I’m going to write about more, encouraging more API providers and service providers to provide. I think more companies, institutions, and government agencies feel comfortable telling stories via email, over a public blog. It may not be my preferred medium of choice, but I know that it takes a diverse set of channels to reach a large audience, and who am I to only use the ones I like the most.