by Kin Lane
There was a lot of buzz in the API space over the last two weeks. I'm not a big on being first with news from the world of APIs, I leave this approach to the tech blogs like Techcrunch, RWW, GigaOm, The Next Web and others. I'd rather simmer on things for a bit, think beyond the press release, and craft a post that offers value beyond the initial announcement and the churnalism. To get everyone up to speed, four major things happened in the API space over the last two weeks: Intel Buys Mashery Computer Associates Buys Layer 7 Technologies MuleSoft Acquires ProgrammableWeb 3Scale gets $4. 2M in Funding There is no arguing that these are some pretty significant signs the API industry is picking up the pace, especially when you have companies like Intel and Computer Associates taking notice and making investments. I've been tracking on the space for 3 years now, with round-ups of API service providers in 2011 and 2012. For 2010, 2011 it was all an uphill battle, but in 2012 I started seeing things heat up with the introduction of several new API service providers, then really stepping up in November 2012 with the acquisition of Vordel by Axway.... read more.
Tags: 3Scale, Computer Associates, Intel, Layer 7, Mashery, Vordel
by Kin Lane
Intel is reportedly buying API service provider Mashery for “a range of $120 million to $180 million”, according to ReadWrite(Web). As I reflect on this, two main questions come to mind: Was it a smart acquisition for Intel, and worth their money? Is this a logical move for Intel since they are a chip maker? Was Intel’s acquisition smart for Intel? If they are serious about playing in the API game, which all signals I’ve seen say yes, I think it was smart. They didn’t buy Mashery for their tech, although their tech was a nice add-on to Intel's existing API Gateway. They bought Mashery to buy their market share. Is the acquisition worth 120-180M? I’m not sure about that. I don’t think Masherys current market share is worth all that, so I think this is an investment in the past and the future more than current market share. Mashery is the pioneer of the API space, owning that history has value, if you can deliver on the future of the API space. Which I think Intel is more capable of than Mashery was all by itself. Next is this a logical move for Intel?... read more.
Tags: Intel, Mashery
by Kin Lane
I’m a walking conflict most of the time. You should try being me, it can be tense about 40% of the time. I’ll give you a couple of example of what I mean to help bring you a little closer to what I experience each day. I’ll start with what I consider to be the 2nd most important API of all time (#1 being AWS), Twitter. I love / hate Twitter. They really deliver on everything around their API except in regards to: Rate Limits - Their rate limits suck! Competition - They don’t approach potential competition sensibly Communication - They aren’t good communicators Other than those three "simple areas", Twitter delivers a damn good API. I find it very hard to criticize what they do, except for the fact that having suffocating rate limits, and shutting off access for integrations you view as competitive, can well, be a pretty quick downer. An example of Twitter in action is with their recent post about Symbols entities for Tweets. I love this idea, I’m working through thoughts that are similar, when it comes to markup APIs or what I’m calling dictionary APIs. I think that a dictionary, symbol or other lookup functionality around an API is cool and has a lot of potential.... read more.
Tags: Pearson, Twitter
by Kin Lane
On a regular basis I review my API consumption to evaluate how I’m using various APIs, and what I’m paying for them. I depend on around 20 APIs to make API Evangelist work, and I need to make sure I’m using them to their fullest potential while also being mindful of budget. As a part of my regular review, I am looking at the differences in pricing between three key services: FullContact API - I use FullContact for all my company and individual contact intelligence. I go through phases of light or heavy use depending on research projects I have going on. Full Contact provides me with per API call rates depending on the endpoint and call volume, and they limit me between four packages Trying It out (Free), Getting Started ($19/month), Gaining Traction ($99/month) and Rolling ($499/month) Alchemy API - I use Alchemy API to primarily pull text content from blog posts, so I can use it internally for indexing. With Alchemy I get access to three packages Free, Small Business ($250. 00) and Basic ($800. 00) AWS APIs - I use AWS for all my computer, storage, database and DNS API services.... read more.
Tags: Alchemy, Full Contact, Pricing
by Kin Lane
Obligatory spider web photo, because Jim and Audrey did too! The ability for me to own kinlane. com, point it at a server, host a website and a blog has been an critical part of my online world and professional career for over 12 years now. My blog goes back to June of 2007, but I have had a site and portfolio up there since around 2000. Having control over my domain has enabled me to store years of my writing, research and projects in a central location that I have control over, allowing me to land jobs, contracts or evolve into entirely new domains that have expanded my audience in ways I never imagined, like with API Evangelist. Anytime I can teach this approach to someone else and empower them to own their own domain, I’ve jumped at the chance, resulting in numerous individuals who have their own thriving domains--including my girlfriend Audrey Watters with her blog Hack Education. Understanding what is necessary to purchase, own and manage your domain, servers, sites, applications and other portions of our digital lives is something everyone should do! But be careful, you just might change the world, and make a significant impact like Audrey (@audrewyatters) has.... read more.
Tags: #ReclaimOpen, #ReclaimYourDomain, Hack Education, MIT, P2PU
by Kin Lane
I wrote yesterday’s piece on API education with Codecademy back in February. I didn’t publish because I wanted to do more research on suggested areas of improvement for the Codecademy team to balance my criticism. The point of yesterday's post was not to bash Codecademy, it is to incentivize them to make their platform better. Until then, I can't really recommend as an API building block. The publishing of my post yesterday was triggered after seeing an example of what is possible after seeing another learn to code platform called Studio Sketchpad by Ari Bader-Natal (@studiosketchpad). Studio Sketchpad is an open studio platform for creating beautiful code, aiming to be a open studio for individuals learning to sketch beautiful code on the web canvas--built on a mashup of the Sketch from Processing and the Pad from EtherPad. Studio Sketchpad, while still a work in progress has many of the essential elements I feel should be part of any learn to code with API tool.... read more.
Tags: Ari Bader-Natal, Codecademy, Education, Sketchpad, Studio Sketchpad
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
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