Tony MacDonell, lead developer of Teknision, knew pretty much everything you could do with Radian 6. After all, his company developed their Engagement Console, combining feeds and social platforms for easy monitoring and coordinated responses.
Google Toronto’s analytic lead Alex Brasil could converse intelligently on resources needed to customize and automate online analytics.
I understood about two-thirds of what they were talking about. For me, APIs, especially what Radian 6 offers — access to conversation across the web from blogs, news sites, Twitter, Facebook — aren’t simply ways to measure and monitor what’s being said, they’re tools to create experiences in which the data, findings and their visualization produce an experience that people want to be part of.
Brand Bowl is an example. We didn’t create Brand Bowl only to measure conversation about Super Bowl ads. We created it to attract attention to an event that we “manufactured” out of data and conversation. We used the API and the content it helped gather to attract attention before we had results. Sure, the after-the-fact findings were of interest. But the opportunity for users to be part of the event and contribute to those findings, witnessing their development in real time, was the real attraction.
We can think this way about all API’s, whether from Foursquare, Instagram, Twitter or Google. We can make up social events and experiences that call attention to our clients and brands. But only if we take API’s and the data they represent out of the back room where the number crunchers live and into the offices of strategists, designers and creative teams.
If you’re a creative type, I suggest you start thinking about what you can invent with all the new digital connections available to you. If you’re a numbers guy, perhaps you should grab a few right-brained friends and get them to see the opportunities.
What’s the coolest use of an API that you’ve seen recently? How about this one?