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About The Authors

Suw Charman-Anderson

Suw Charman-Anderson

Suw Charman-Anderson is a social software consultant and writer who specialises in the use of blogs and wikis behind the firewall. With a background in journalism, publishing and web design, Suw is now one of the UK’s best known bloggers, frequently speaking at conferences and seminars.

Her personal blog is Chocolate and Vodka, and yes, she’s married to Kevin.

Email Suw

Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson is a freelance journalist and digital strategist with more than a decade of experience with the BBC and the Guardian. He has been a digital journalist since 1996 with experience in radio, television, print and the web. As a journalist, he uses blogs, social networks, Web 2.0 tools and mobile technology to break news, to engage with audiences and tell the story behind the headlines in multiple media and on multiple platforms.

From 2009-2010, he was the digital research editor at The Guardian where he focused on evaluating and adapting digital innovations to support The Guardian’s world-class journalism. He joined The Guardian in September 2006 as their first blogs editor after 8 years with the BBC working across the web, television and radio. He joined the BBC in 1998 to become their first online journalist outside of the UK, working as the Washington correspondent for

And, yes, he’s married to Suw.

E-mail Kevin.

Member of the Media 2.0 Workgroup
Dark Blogs Case Study

Case Study 01 - A European Pharmaceutical Group

Find out how a large pharma company uses dark blogs (behind the firewall) to gather and disseminate competitive intelligence material.

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All content © Kevin Anderson and/or Suw Charman

Interview series:
at the FASTforward blog. Amongst them: John Hagel, David Weinberger, JP Rangaswami, Don Tapscott, and many more!

Corante Blog

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

FoWA: Ten reasons why you need to build an API - Shaun Inman

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

API facilitates requesting, manipulating and exchanging data. Successful API obscures the storage format of the requested data as well as the details of the retrieval process. Don’t want your API to break if you break your storage.

Everyone has an API these days. Who is using APIs? Well, who isn’t?

Websites, widgets, desktops apps, bloggers.

- Increase brand awareness

Lay people don’t care about APIs. But you’re empowering people to do something with your data. People like to talk about things that empower them, so if someone is using your API in a way that’s new, they’ll talk about it, build more buzz.

- Allows people to use their own data

Feel more comfy if you can pull your own data out and take it with you wherever you want.

- Build goodwill with developers

- A perfect excuse for a community

Pulls people together around a common feature central to your app.

- Solving programming problems with an API in mind can improve code quality

Less work, less revisions.

- Simplify internal reuse of data

Present your data in different ways.

- Allows others to extend the functionality of your application

Means people can do things that you weren’t going to do, or didn’t think of.

- Allows alternate input mechanisms

E.g. Ecto or MarsEdit for blogs.

- Unanticipated applications of your data

Sort of like the Grey Album, an unanticipated use of the White Album and the Black Album. Chicago real-time crime maps.

- Turn your program into a platform

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One Response to “FoWA: Ten reasons why you need to build an API - Shaun Inman”

  1. RanJa Says:

    I love your article on API. I agree with you one hundred percent. Indeed, an API lets people know about your application; so, this is why I am so interested in learning how to build my own. What do you think about google’s OpenSocial API for social network websites like myspace and Hi5? Google saw that Facebook is capturing the majority of Myspace members and set out to do something about it. Google said it wants to provide their API to all social network sites, which is a good thing. However, google’s own social network site (Orkut) gets first dibs with this API. Google said it will eventually make the API available to all social sites, but not so fast. Google is making sure that its own social site reaps as much benefit from its API before every single social site on the net gets a chance at the big pie. What do you think about this approach by Google?