How to engage us, developers to use your API.

There are tens of thousands of API’s available. More to come. Most of the companies though, have troubles engaging developers to use them. So I have decided to share a few thoughts and ideas on how you can do that, based on my experience.

Design your API well

Nobody likes powerful, but not developer-friendly APIs. Follow the “standards” in the area, but innovate a bit to make us (developers) happy and eager to learn more. I will not spend more time here, because I guess you are already building your API if you need the information below. If you are looking for more info on that subject, click here to read an excellent article.

Document your API

If you want other people to use it – document it well. Add examples for the most popular programming languages. Copy/ Paste/ Run is the first step to a great journey.

Do not forget the not-so-trending programming languages at the moment. Target people who explore them – they are the right group to start with.

Eat your own dog-food

Ask your internal developers to use the API. Get the feedback from them and make it better. I am not talking about the developers who wrote the API, they must use it of course. Try to engage other teams within the company (if you have any) to use the API.

Organize an internal Friday APIJam. Sit together in a room for a few hours and do something useful using the technologies you work with – don’t push them to learn new language or technique – just use the API focusing on the value.

Come up with nice awards for the most active participants, get some sweets and drinks (even beer) as well. Then ask the participants to present their work at the end and listen to their feedback.

 

Hack your API

Organize hackatons with external groups or jump into such organized by someone else – ask developers to hack the API and to create a small app that will serve theirs needs – then promote the effort and make those developers rockstars by using your PR channels.

The goal is not to test your API (as you do during the internal APIJam event), but to show the value that your API brings to the world. The Call for Action should be something like “use our API to build your own App”.

Create more initiatives like that. Repeat();

Connect

Get in touch with the local developer groups and go the their next meeting with some pizza and beer. Show them your data, ask for their feedback, show them your API, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Then create a fair process to work with communities around you – what you want from them and what’s in for them.

Discuss

Push the discussion around your API and manage it. Respond to comments immediately, ask for feedback and show how it is implemented. Post your API to reddit, Dzone and other similar sites and get real, honest feedback (together with some trolls, that’s inevitable)

Equilibrium

Treat your community members equally. Sometimes a new member can have a kick-butt idea and if you ignore him/her this can have negative impact overall. Focus on the value!

Partner up

Find partners to help you to get traction. Why don’t you contact your local startup accelerators and do something together to include your awesome API as an requirement for the next call? Does it work? Oh yeah!

Explore

Constantly explore new ways and hacks on how to engage the community, but remember – this must be a fair deal – every part should be happy and equally satisfied. This is your way towards an engaged community.

The best API ever?

No, it’s not yours. Is this one :)

 

What do you think?

Do you have a different experience? Please share!

 

More resources?

P.S The head image is under CC license by giorgiop5

 

Time management is dead? Really?

My linkedin timeline is being sarcastic today:
timemanagement

The first post says: “Time management is dead…” (by Forbes)
The second one says: Time management training just started.

So who’s right?

There is one place to share ideas about the web and its name is @WebExpo – Prague

No kidding. Prague became one of the finest European technology and start-up hubs and I believe there is a great future and potential, which we will see coming true in the next couple of years.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons I moved here a couple of years ago. If you add the beauty of Prague and the fine quality of the Czech beer, you will not be surprised that I want to invite you to an unique event.

[note]This is one of the few places in the world where developers, designers, product managers, marketing ninjas, big data nerds, content management racoons, hackers and even normal people can sit together and discuss a lot of things together and even to start something..[/note]

I know, you will say that you have such events in your country, but this is international, have a look at the speakers and do not forget the beer and the city.

Trusted companies and awesome startups are happy to be here and to turn their dreams into reality and most important, into profit.
[highlight]13 different subjects, many speakers, 3 days of fun and beer + something you can take home with you – knowledge and inspiration. That’s priceless.[/highlight]

 

Join the event:

 

$you->is_geek(): apply

 

We are looking for ambassadors in every European country. Prime directive – to spread a word about the event and to become a super geek star. In exchange we will give you free entrance and will make you famous – this is a long time deal.

[highlight] Interested?[/highlight] Follow the link to fill a secret form. Shhh!

 

? buy_ticket();

 

Another option is to buy a ticket and join the magical Prague, beer and awesome knowledge.  Invest in your future.

 P.S This is still a secret, but all sessions will be in English this year. Visit the website to find out more, because this is just the top of the iceberg.

P.P.S Oh, did I mention the parties. We will have couple of parties that will blow your head away :)

No, Facebook, I don’t want my 5$ back, but I want something from you.

Via different channels I got the same question :

Did you get your 5 dollars back?

It’s not a secret, that I got this question as well:

Did you really delete the data as requested? Can you sell it to me … /can you share it with me?/

Well the truth is, I don’t want my 5$ back, especially not from Facebook.

And yes, I deleted the data…but maybe, just maybe I’ve deleted the data the same way Facebook deletes users’ data when he/she wants to delete his/her account…

What do I want?

[box color=”red”]

I want Facebook to start removing entire user data after pressing “Delete my account”. Is this so much to ask. This is fair, isn’t it? Can we achieve that as a community?

[/box]

Change the education worldwide by remixing the web

We want to empower students to show their originality and knowledge, all while speaking to them in languages they understand: Multimedia and the Web.

Through discovery and implementing new ways of teaching, we could inspire the creativity of the next Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page or Sergey Brin to create something new, exciting and special.

The initiative is on: Go and check it: http://changedu.org

Don’t forget to read the manifesto

 

 

Make me run and support your favorite opensource project

Couple of months ago I started a little “via Twitter” only campaign and now I think it’s the time to give it more visibility, because the deadline is in 20 days.

What?

The main idea is:  for every tweet [tooltip title=”Yes I Will” gravity=”e”][mark color=”yellow”]I will run 1[/mark][/tooltip] meter on Prague Marathon on September 8th 2012 (yes in 20 days) and will donate some money to an open source project.

How?

[box color=”orange” icon=”flag”]
Join the campaign now – it’s FUN. Fell more than free to share it with your friends.
[/box]

Remixing the Web and Creative Learning? My new mission.

Maybe some of you know, maybe not, but I am part of a great company now called Glogster EDU.  The reason I joined was I will have the opportunity to change how the education system works and to try to implement THE WEB into every school in the World. How awesome is that?

Those who knows me well, probably know the fact that I am a bad-ass person and I don’t like stupid rules and any form of Autocracy (One of the reason I am not active in the Mozilla Project anymore) and now I will have the opportunity to teach people how to remix the web and how to be part of a Great teaching community. (We have more than 3 000 000 community members so far. )

I just create a course in P2PU about Remixing the Web and Creative Learning for Teachers. Feel free to invite your peers to join our mission.

Great Teachers don’t take students to a destination, they provide them with the tools to get there on their own.

GeekOut 2012 – Java conference in Estonia, Europe.

Conference GeekOut is a great possibility to meet the luminaries of the Java community right in Tallinn, Estonia. You can listen to great talks and network with your peers. We invite rock star speakers from all over the world to introduce you to the latest and greatest aspects of Java technology. And we make sure, as it was in 2011, that each and every talk focuses on technology and technology only.

When: June 14 – 15, 2012

How to control HTML5 slides with your hands via webcam

I had an idea to show kind of human computer interaction during my Fosdem talk. I may not use that, because I will not have time to polish it, but it works quite well if you want to use it.

The Idea
The idea is to control slides only by moving my hand, without any devices in it.

The plan:
0. My web-cam should detect my move
1. After detection an event should be triggered
2. As a final action the slide should move to the next one :)

Motion detect

$ git clone https://github.com/sackmotion/motion.git
$ cd motion
$ ./configure
$ make & make install

Configure it

Motion comes with a great almost working config file, so just copy it to make it “official”:

$ cp  /usr/local/etc/motion-dist.conf /usr/local/etc/motion-dist.conf

Open it, search for those values, edit them and read what are they for:

;on_event_start value
event_gap 60

to become:

on_event_start xdotool key Right /OR xdotool search "Mozilla Firefox" windowactivate --sync key --clearmodifiers Right/
event_gap 1

Event triggering

You may need to install xdotool using your package manager. This tool allows you to emulate keyboard action in different combinations, but I will need to emulate pressing the right arrow key.

How it works:

When web-cam detects movement an event emulating ‘right arrow’ key is pressed. Since I am using HTML5 DZslides from here, this allows me to move to next slide only with moving my hand in front of my webcam.

Run

Run it and move your hand in front of your camera. You may want to turn on the logging to see the motion detection and the event detection if it’s not working at first.

$ motion

If you have any questions, please let me know.

I am Wikileak’ed

A friend of mine just show me a info about my efforts to establish Pirate Party in Bulgaria published on Wikileaks:

(SBU) A Bulgarian Green Party leader and two other Bulgarian
activists have started a petition to establish a Bulgarian “Pirate
Party” which advocates for free downloading of copyrighted materials
among other things. Under Bulgarian law, 5,000 signatures are
required for a political party to be formally established. Given
the fact that Bulgaria’s Green Party has generally attracted less
than one percent of the vote in national and EU elections, it is
unlikely that the fledgling Pirate Party would surpass the four
percent voting threshold needed to win a seat in Parliament.
Nonetheless, if this new party begins to win support from the
general public, IPR enforcement and legislation could face political
obstacles in Parliament in the future.

P.S Bulgarian Green Party leader == me :)
Source

Installing #JRebel on #Fedora and #Eclipse Helios

Since we launched free version of JRebel for non-commercial products called JRebel Social I was curios how fast I can install it on my Fedora 15. I thought it will be a hard task, but I was surprised how easy I done it.

What is JRebel?

First of all this is a must have tool for every Java developer. Why? See this cool PDF for an great answer to that question. or watch this video.

0. Let’s install Eclipse HELIOS first via yum.

#yum install eclipse

Note: It does install and JDK also, so you don’t have to be worried about that anymore :)

1. Install the Eclipse Market place

Eclipse market place is not installed by default on Fedora’s version so you will need to do that.
1. Click on Help >> Install new software
2. Choose “All available sites” and write “marketplace” like shown here:


3. Install it

2. Install JRebel

Click on Help >> Eclipse Marketplace and choose/ search for JRebel and click on install:

Select all of these, if you are not sure what to do or read more about them here:

Read and accept the JRebel License and click on Finish button

3 Configure

Go and login to https://social.jrebel.com/ in order to get a FREE (yes no money charged) license for JRebel

JRebel Social login page

Register and follow the menu to activate your license

Start the eclipse and choose you will use JRebel Social:

Jrebel Social and Eclipse

Working with it

Read more how to use it here with screenshots and instructions

Subscribe to my RSS and win a free postcard (via snailmail)

Hello,
If you don’t know me, my name is Bogomil – Bogo for short. I am from Europe (Bulgaria).

I am an openweb hacker and a community enchanter (because I help people to create magic with their skills).

I am writing here about OpenWeb, FOSS Community management, hacking, Javascript, PHP and different interesting stuff and if you subscribe to my RSS feed (click here to do that) and if you send me your address (click here to send it to me via secure form) I promise I will send you a nice postcard using snail mail or I can buy you a beer if we meet somewhere.

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Thanks,
Bogo