I look at a lot of websites for companies who are providing APIs and selling services to the API space. When I find a new company, I can spend upwards of 10 minutes looking for all the relevant information that I need to connect — elements like where their Twitter and Github accounts are. These are all the key channels that I am looking for so that I can better understand what a company does and stay in tune with any activity, but they are also the same channels that developers will be looking for so that they can stay in tune a platform as well.
I spend a great deal of time looking for these channels, so I'm always happy when I find companies who provide a nearly complete set of icons for all the channels that matter. Restlet, the API design, deployment, management, and testing platform has a nice example of this in action, providing the following channels:
- Stack Overflow
All of these channels are available as orderly icons in the footer of their site, making my job easier, and I'm sure making it easier for other would-be API developers. They also provide an email newsletter signup along with the set of icons. While this provides me with a nice set of channels to tune into, more than I usually find, I would still like to have a blog and atom feed icons, as well as maybe an AngelList or Crunchbase, so that I can peek behind the business curtain a little.
I know, I know. I am demanding and never happy. I am just trying to provide an easy checklist for companies looking to do interesting things APIs of the common channels they should consider offering. You should only offer up channels that you can keep active, but I recommend that you think about offering up as many of these as you possibly can manage. No matter which ones you choose, make sure you organize them all together, in the header and footer of your website, so nobody has to go looking for them.