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A simple way to encourage API adoption

Let’s assume for a minute you have a web site with an API people may actually want to use. Let’s use Flickr as an example. You can do as they did ( document it thoroughly and hope people use it ), or, and this is especially useful if you’re someone competing with an 800 lb. gorilla like Flickr, you can do something like this: First, figure out who’s a developer. If someone’s into your site enough to code for it’s API it’s generally a safe bet that they’ve got an account on it. When they sign up add a checkbox to the form: “Check here if you write software” Add it to their profile page to so they can check, or uncheck, it later on. Then, whenever a developer goes to a page, add a small note to the bottom “Developers: you can get the data on this page [link]with these’s APIs[/link].” and have that link to a page that indicates exactly which APIs can be used to get everything on that page, and link to the documentation. This has two benefits: 1) It’s a tease. It says “You could do something cool with this. Look how easy it is…” 2) when someone’s still getting up to speed with your API it makes it much easier to figure out what calls you should be making to get the information they want.