What I Have Been Calling API Trends, Are Slowly Being Baked Into API Operations
In my monitoring of the API space, when I started seeing a large number of blog posts, tweets, companies, and other elements I track on get tagged with the same tag over and over, I take notice. My blogging, CRM, and news curation system all have their own tag cloud interface for the week, showing which tags have been applied--so if a tag gets heavy usage, I know it.
Over the last couple of years, I've spun up new research into other areas within the world of APIs, beyond my core design, deployment, management, evangelism, discovery, and integration research. I created separate buckets beyond just provide and consume to track on these new areas, called trends, opportunities, and priorities.
In 2014 it is beginning to seem like each of my trend research areas are getting baked directly into API platforms, ranging from real-time features with Firebase, to reciprocity by default using Zapier. API providers are learning that having a real-time layer, or a reciprocity layer baked into their platform is a good thing, and why reinvent the wheel when you have kick ass solutions like Firebase and Zapier.
It makes sense that API providers would be looking externally to deliver aggregation, real-time, reciprocity, and even voice layers for their API platforms--this stuff is hard, and why spread yourself too thin. Intuit just bought reciprocity provider itDuzzit, and I think we will more providers integrating Zapier into their platforms by default like Nimble did. We'll also see more API platforms bring in Firebase as a real-time layer like Nest did for their Internet of Things (Iot) thermostat API platform.
Overall it seems like a white label solution that any API provider could put to use when considering solutions for aggregation, real-time, reciprocity, voice or even data solutions including spreadsheet connectors, analysis, and visualization, would do well in the space. At the very least, any company looking to step up and provide solutions in these areas, should definitely have a strong partner program like Zapier and Firebase have brought to the table.
I will have to start considering how to migrate aggregation, real-time, reciprocity, voice out of the trends bucket and into either the provide or consume buckets, or maybe both. It would seem that both API providers and consumers need to be educated in these areas, and made aware of what solutions are available.
I’m not that worried about the overall structure of API Evangelist at the moment. That is one of the beautiful aspects of how I architected the site(s), is that each research area lives as its own node on the network, so I can move around, shift as I need to find the right formula—something that helps me in a very fast moving space, where my understanding is constantly shifting and evolving with the swift currents of the APi space.
Photo Credit: Diego Naive