Online Communities - Too Many Sites, 1 API

More and more community sites come and go. Each has it’s own APIs to develop for. Developers want to reach the widest audience, but for each community site they have to learn and implement according to their own specific API. Any change could happen at any time at any site, the developer has to adjust to those changes as well. Now, Google is trying to come up with an answer to all of this by releasing a set of three common APIs that cover basic community functions of:

  1. User Profile
  2. Friends Information
  3. Activities, like news that are happening

Big names have joined in the launch press including Orkut, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Hi5 and others. We should be seeing more of this stuff. Adjusting to each platform by it self just to cover the basics really isn’t practical at all. Ofcourse for specific tasks, you will still have to go back to that specific platform API, but only if you need those specifics.  A similar problem I face is when I want to develop widgets. For which platform do I developer? Which one is the best? How many should I support? Universal Widgets API hopefully is the solution here.

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Hmm.. we’ll see how this goes :/

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