Meaningful Stories Across The API Space

In 2010 I made a deal with my girlfriend Audrey Watters (@audreywatters), I’d run the server infrastructure behind her blog Hack Education, and she’d help me polish my storytelling on API Evangelist. Audrey studied folklore and storytelling as part of her masters degree, and I saw that the API space was desperately in need of some meaningful storytelling to help the fast growing space find its future—a perfect partnership!

The API space is full of conversations (and arguments) about the technological building blocks of the space, and saturated with pitches for the products and services across the industry, but the sector is often deficient in stories that help newbies understand APIs, and veterans grasp the big picture of where we are going. For us to understand the space as it grows, make sense of technologies like hypermedia, and evolve approaches for communicating around APIs using definitions like API Blueprint, RAML and Swagger, we need stories—not press releases, not product pitches, we need stories that we can share and retell.

Every once in a while you see great stories from the occasional technologist or passionate evangelist stand out from the noise, but lately I’m seeing more API leaders step up and deliberately craft meaningful stories that help us better understand the API universe. This week I’ve seen two great stories emerge with Why REST is More Like Religion than Most Technologies, from Mike Schinkel (@mikeschinkel), and Dark Matter in the API Universe by Jason Harmon (@jharmn).

These stories aren’t selling you on a specific technology or product, they are helping us understand the big picture, and tell us stories that help us understand a very complex space, which spans almost every business sector. These stories are critical to helping us all make sense of the API industry, and whether we acknowledge it or not, help lead us in a better direction, and even allow us to even laugh at ourselves from time to time.

Thank you to the API storytellers!