Communicating effectively around API operations is the number one illness I see across the API space. Engineers are good at writing code and DevOp-ing their way to a usable API, but often fall short when it comes to telling the story of what the API does, and consistently beating this drum until people become familiar with what is going on.
An effective API communication strategy is more art than it is science, and I’d like to share three of my rules when it comes to telling stories on the API Evangelist platform.
- Honesty - Be honest with yourself, you’re readers, and those you are writing about. If you can’t find a way to be honest in your writing go find a new job, it won’t be sustainable.
- Consistent - Communicate every day. Okay, maybe every other day. Regardless of frequency, make sure you are communicating on a consistent basis, setting the tone for what your audience can expect.
- Compelling - Make it compelling. No, not every single post will be compelling, but make it your primary goal to tell a compelling story that you would read yourself if it was on someone else’s blog.
That is it. Don’t sweat all the technical details. Just write on the blog, spend the time on Twitter, participate in threads on Github, and regularly dive into the bowels of the Slack. Don’t spend all your time worrying about your communication strategy, just make sure you give it a sensible amount of time, and follow these three rules–the rest will come.
As of this moment, there are 2,680 blog posts on API Evangelist, with the first entry in September 2010. These three rules have kept me on track when I was taking money from bigcos like Intel and Mulesoft, and kept me from losing my shit when I was traveling and drinking too heavily. These three rules are what keep me doing this effectively after seven years.