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The Successes and (Mostly) Failures of a Developer Evangelist

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The Successes and (Mostly) Failures of a Developer Evangelist

API evangelist Kin Lane takes us through his thoughts about being an evangelist and why he believes the community needs more of them. Read on for some insight.

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I am a big fan of companies who share their API journey publicly. The comment I hear from readers, as well as attendees of @APIStrat often, is that they want to hear more honest stories from API practitioners regarding every stop along the API lifecycle from defining to deprecation. I encourage API providers to actively share their stories publicly on their blog, and even semi-privately via email newsletters.

Ash Hathaway (@ash_hathaway) over at Stich Data asked me what I thought about her doing an evangelism email newsletter based on her experiences–to which I responded with, “Hell yeah, it is a great idea!” So she has launched The Evangelism Compendium, the successes and (mostly) failures of a developer evangelist email newsletter. She will be sharing her regular thoughts from the trenches, as she is evangelizing for the data integration platform.

Sharing stories from the API trenches like this is a great way to generate content for your operations, while also working through your thoughts on what is working (or not) when it comes to evangelism and outreach for your platform. I think the email newsletter has two audiences 1) data stewards looking to learn more about managing your data in today’s online cloud environment, and 2) other data and API service providers who are looking to learn, and hopefully share thoughts on evangelizing your platform. Many folks think I’m crazy for encouraging this type of real-time transparency into your operations, something that can make some feel vulnerability and exposed, but I find it to the best way to generate honest and compelling content.

API Evangelist is the result of me doing this for the last seven years. Sharing my thoughts as I do my work. I find it is a helpful part of my regular workflow to tell stories in this way, as it helps me refine and articulate my approach. It also generates valuable SEO and SMM exhaust for my platform, while also hopefully helping educate others along the way–even stimulating conversation. I encourage all API providers, and service providers to tune into what Ash is doing over at Stitch Data, and make sure you are telling your story via your blog and/or email newsletter–no matter which stops along the API lifecycle you are looking share with the community.

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