(and the Web developers
they employ) are
increasingly leveraging the
opportunities presented in
the many available Web
Data, resources, services and functionality
are being ported here, there
and everywhere, resulting in more
thoughtful and engaging products
(apps, mashups, widgets, etc.) that
carry the potential to increase profits
and heighten awareness for the company
while simultaneously enriching
the user experience.
APIs are nothing more than a set of
rules and instructions (specifications)
that software programs must follow in order to make use of the
available resources. For example, if Website Magazine wanted to
publish an “events” section of the website, the information provided
through APIs from companies such as Zvents or Eventification
(see below) could be replicated and presented to our site
visitors. Companies publish APIs to help others (and themselves)
create additional channels of distribution between communities
In this edition of the Design and Development Digest, let’s
take a look at some of the most interesting new APIs released so
far in 2011. While reading, ask yourself how you might be able
to utilize the API to improve your own presence on the Web.
Rvolve is a hyper-local ad platform that lets
advertisers target their advertisements to a local audience. Publishers
of local content, meanwhile, earn from locally relevant deals
and services. The service offers pay-for-performance, pay-per-click
and pay-per-week/month options to advertisers directly. The XML
feed for Rvolve consists of a REST request, which returns an XML
set of advertisements. There is also an option to overlay the ads on
a Google map using a JSON feed. The service is currently in beta.
Quora is an individual-focused question and answer
site with an emphasis on tagging. You can follow users, questions
and topics. The Quora API is an alpha release made
specifically to help developers create browser extensions so their
website visitors can interact with the Quora community.
LiveChat is a live chat software that enables sales representatives
to contact customers currently on the website. Using
the API, return a list of operators who have interacted with customers,
get a list of chat transcripts and more. It uses RESTful
protocol and responses are formatted in JSON.
The ProperSpell API is a RESTful API that provides
‘Did you mean’ style spell-check suggestions, currently only
for the English language. The service can be integrated into
developers’ applications. The API returns data in XML, JSON,
JSONP, PSER and HTML formats.
Data8 is the UK’s premier data solutions provider with
a range of data cleansing, postcode lookup and data validation
services to ultimately improve business communication with
customers. The email validation API lets users avoid typing errors
by checking email addresses in real time as they are entered. Identify
and correct errors in both the username and domain parts of
the address. The API uses SOAP protocol and responses are
formatted in XML.
Eventification is a website where users can submit,
browse, and subscribe/RSVP to events published by other users.
The Eventification API is still in production but developers can
still use the only currently available method for searching events
published to Eventification and receive the results in JSON,
XML, RSS or iCal formats.
BlinkSend is a Web-based document solution.
It provides stats and analytics to show who is reading particular
documents, the amount of time they spent reading and their
feedback on each one. The BlinkSend API allows developers to
access the full functionality of the BlinkSend service. The API
allows users to show reports and traffic, create accounts and
members from your site, view and create tags, add and retrieve
contacts, and add new members and administrators. Documentation
is available after signup.
ENom makes it possible for resellers to buy and sell
Internet domains and services. With over 300 commands,
eNom’s API allows developers to integrate all eNom products
and services into a business site or application. Online services
include the ability to sell 70-plus domain extensions, email services,
Linux and Windows hosting, SSL certificates, website
creators, email marketing, content creation and more. Full documentation
is available after registration.
CodeMunch is a recruitment platform that makes good
use of emerging social networking technologies. It gives developers
complete access to CodeMunch data. Using the CodeMunch
API, developers can post jobs, get job listings, get career
statuses and follow careers.
Txt Mobster provides a two-way API that enables
users to send or receive SMS messages to a single contact or multiple
contact groups or keyword contact lists. The API allows developers to integrate Txt Mobster into their applications. A
wide variety of programming such as managing keyword lists,
activating new keywords, and billing management is available.
The API is a common straight-forward URL HTTP post. API documentation
is available once users register.
Exfm is an extension for Chrome that lets users discover
new music while browsing, organize that music into a library and
share it with friends. The ExtensionFM API allows sites to add
songs directly to a user’s library as well as listen for and dispatch
events to the extension. This API is useful for sites that would
like to add music to a user’s library but are not currently configured
for automatic detection. The API
are formatted in JSON.
The Facebook Credits API
enables an individual to use credits as a
method for purchasing digital and virtual
goods within an application. A user
places an order by clicking a “Pay with
Facebook” button. The order gets submitted
based on the contents of the ‘order_info’
parameter passed to Facebook, and
Facebook gets the item details. Responses
are formatted in JSON.
MyChores is a website where users can
manage and track their chores or recurring
tasks. Users can also form groups
and assign group members different
chores or tasks. MyChores also offers an
API. Requests can be made through
HTTP GET requests and data is returned
in JSON or XML format. HTTP Basic
Authentication is used for most methods,
except for Site Statistics.
an opinion platform that lets customers
collect, analyze and summarize opinions
from sources around the world to stay
engaged and make smarter, more informed
decisions. Millions of news articles,
blogs and tweets are processed in
order to identify opinions, opinion-holders, topics and other relevant
information. Using the API developers can build opinionbased
applications using a simple RESTful API. Responses are
formatted in XML or JSON.
Radian6 SocialCloud API provides the ability to interact
with and fetch Topics, Lookup data and other content
from the Radian6 system. For example, you can fetch posts
matching given query parameters for a recent number of hours.
Radian6 is a social media monitoring tool/platform that helps
businesses listen, track, measure and engage in conversations
across the social Web.
About the Author: Peter Prestipino is the Editor-In-Chief of Website Magazine. A long-time Internet marketer with over
twelve years of experience, Prestipino a regular speaker on Web technology and entrepreneurship, the
author of Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success (web360book.com), and an expert on a variety
of Web-related topics including the development, deployment and promotion of Internet properties.