API Evangelist Strategy for CityGrid

When I started with CityGrid as their API Evangelist, I wanted to make sure and share as much of my strategy with my audience here, in real-time. Of course I’ve been so busy executing I have forgotten to tell the story about what I’m doing.

So let me take a few moments to kick off telling the story of what I’m doing to build awareness of the CityGrid Places, Reviews, Offers and Advertising APIs.

Let me paint a picture from the 100K foot view, then in other posts I’ll go into more detail. Here are the areas I’m focusing on:

  • API - The CityGrid API already provides clear value and has a developer base, but there are always ways to improve. I will be providing feedback regularly, to the CityGrid API team on where we can improve on our APis.
  • API Area - Spending time in December hacking on the CityGrid APIs, I experienced first hand what it takes to get started hacking using the content and advertising APIs. While it is still fresh in my mind, I’m working on building a new getting started, publisher overview, FAQ and code samples and SDK page to help my publishers get up and running with their own development.
  • Hyp3rL0cal - To wrap my head around the CityGrid APIs I needed a project, so I started Hyp3L0cal, a playground for building local applications using CityGrid and other local and social APIs. I will be publishing all my code there, for others to use in their projects.
  • Presence - A healthy presence is important to the success of the CityGrid APIs. I am focusing on equal doses of an online and offline presence for CityGrid. The online presence consists of actively blogging, tweeting and coding on projects, while my offline presence includes a non-stop tour schedule of hackathons and conferences.
  • Publishers - CityGrid calls its developers, “publishers”. I am focusing on helping attract new publishers, and educating them about what CityGrid APIs can do for them, while also listening to existing publishers about what they need to be more successful with their web and mobile applications.
  • Landscape - CityGrid is working hard to dominate and lead the local content and advertising space, I’m spending a lot of time working to understand this arena. I’m spending a lot of time understanding the landscape and the other players like Foursquare, Factual, Yellow Pages and Google to not just understand their approach, but also help CityGrid publishers understand which tools are the best for them.
  • Internal - Not everything I’m doing is outwardly focused. I’m working hard to share what I learn from working with publishers and studying the local, social and mobile landscape and bring what I learn back to CityGrid. Internal evangelism is very important to the success of CityGrid APIs, without a larger awareness our internal teams can’t build the next generation of local content and advertising platform.
  • Weekly Updates - I’ve worked to report on four main areas of what I’m doing, to help track on what my efforts and the results I’m delivering. I provide a general overview of my week, as well as a schedule of events that I’m attending, overview of the industry landscape and list of stories I’m working on for blogging.

Of course there are a lot of details in these eight areas, but this provides an nice overview of the things I’m focusing on while evangelizing for CityGrid.

Even though I feel like I have a solid strategy around what I what need to accomplish for CityGrid, there is so much to learn on a week to week basis. That is why my weekly evaluation and updates are so important. I need to stop an evaluate what I’m doing every week and learn from it in as real-time as possible--so I can adjust quickly to prevent mistakes and maximize opportunities.

This is the best part of what I do, I’m constant learning at the forefront of technology that is changing the face of multiple industries. Not only do I get paid to do this, I get to share it here on API Evangelist so that others can learn from my success, and my mistakes.