APIs & IPAs

APIs IPAs

We’ve spent 2013 on the road, hosting a series of events called APIs & IPAs in several cities. So far we’ve been to Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Boulder, Denver, Kansas City and Chicago. Here’s a bit more about the events and why we do them:

When it comes to developer marketing, evangelism and outreach, we’ve dabbled in just about every approach.

We’ve hosted our own hackathons, sponsored different types of hackathons, hosted online contests and attended, hostedsponsored and spoken at tons of events.

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53738_556473561052388_1220149535_oHackathons have been great. They give us a chance to truly showcase our API and solicit direct feedback from people who are implementing it.  Conferences and meetups are great, because they have a focused theme, with specific talks attended by specific types of people.

A few months ago, we decided to head out on the road for a series of events called APIs & IPAs. These events aren’t meetups or conferences or hackathons, they are essentially just happy hours. By partnering with the coolest local tech companies, choosing a bar in a startup neighborhood, and promoting through lots of local channels, we are able to reach a wider swath of the tech community than we might be able to with a hackathon or a conference.

So far, here’s who has co-hosted these events with us:

Singly | APIs & IPAs » Singly

Singly exists in part to make apps more social, and break down barriers between the silos of networks and services. Similarly, by promoting through various meetups, blogs, co-working spaces and incubators, APIs & IPAs aims to bring the various tech circles in one city together.

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858347_542487282451016_1816939278_oThis project has allowed us to go to various tech hubs (so far: Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Denver, Boulder, Kanas City and Chicago) and spend time at the local incubators, stop by some startup offices, offer a tech workshop, and then meet and hang out with the Who’s Who of that startup community. Given our limited resources (mostly, a tiny evangelism team), this has proven to be truly valuable for us.

From Pearl Street in Boulder to the KC Startup Village to Gastown in Vancouver and others, we’ve had the opportunity to experience the nuanced differences that make each of these communities special. We’ve even had two people show up to APIs & IPAs in multiple cities.857859_542488439117567_339787697_o

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It’s important that we make sure people walk away from the events with an understanding of Singly and what we do, but these events are also largely about community. We aren’t coming just to pitch a product and walk away, we are hoping to bring the community together for an evening of sharing and networking, and to show our support for both small and large tech hubs everywhere.

Singly aims to make the web more social, compelling and programmable by breaking down down barriers and facilitating interactions between applications.

APIs & IPAs is our way of solving a similar, offline problem. We hope to build bridges between the circles within our innovation hubs, and build bridges between those hubs.

Many thanks to the wonderful companies that have co-hosted these events, and the wonderful people who have attended them. We’d love help deciding where to go next!

DeveloperWeek and AppsWorld

With the amount of time we spend on the road, it is always fun for the San Francisco segment of our team to attend a hometown event, and recently we got two in one week.

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DeveloperWeek was kicked off with a hackathon, and then featured a packed week of speakers, panels, happy hours and other events. Singly co-founder Simon Murtha-Smith gave a tech talk at the event (video below).

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Here’s where we set up camp for both days of AppsWorld

Next was AppsWorld, a conference at Moscone center that drew an international crowd of 5,000 people involved in the app industry, from developers to dev shops to engineering/hosting tools and services to VCs. Our booth was right in the center of the action, and we enjoyed meeting a vast array of people.

Below is Simon’s talk from DeveloperWeek. If you have any questions about it, please email community@singly.com

Singly Developer Challenge – Complete the challenge for a chance to win a Kindle Fire HD


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Last month we had a competition to build and launch an entire app for the chance to win a prize. This month we’re making it a bit easier.

We think the technology we’ve built can make certain things incredibly easy, and we want to show you a couple of those things. If you complete these two challenges, we’ll enter you into a drawing for a Kindle Fire HD. Simple as that!381281576990

  • Make a call to the Singly API to find something you did on the internet on 11/11/11. It can be a photo, a tweet, a checkin or a status. (If that day is empty for you, find one within a few days or weeks) [Hint]
  • Find a person you are connected to on three or more services. [Hint]

Then, send a screenshot of the JSON returned by Singly for each of these queries (feel free to anonymize it) to community@singly.com, and we’ll enter you into the drawing. That’s it!

Deadline: February 15, 2013

RecBob + Singly

This was originally posted on CQuartier’s blog, where he writes about progress on his mobile app, RecBob. We were inspired and flattered by what he wrote, so we decided to repost here. Enjoy!

RecBob’s Beginnings

Before I can explain why I love Singly, I have to explain the path we took to get there. When we started RecBob our intial plan was to utilize Facebook by making RecBob a Facebook app almost exclusively. Our reasoning was that we did not want to have to recreate a social network just for RecBob, when so many people already used Facebook. There were several reasons why this turned out to be a bad idea:

  1. Facebook’s API documentation is often obtuse, wrong, or both, making the initial development more frustrating than we had imagined. Before the switch to Singly, I was never able to get the authentication flow working reliably on all major browsers (especiallyIE).
  2. Our MVP (minimum viable product) is more of a tool for our users and less of a social network. Including social network connectivity will make our app more fun and engaging, but our initial focus had to be solving the headaches that come with managing and playing on rec teams.
  3. Relying solely on Facebook authentication for our users meant that we were leaving out people that didn’t use/didn’t want to use Facebook. I think we all saw this as a problem we’d eventually solve, but it turned out to be a far more serious problem than we initially thought and it ultimately prompted us to start looking at different solutions (and also regret not looking sooner).

The Turning Point

After deciding that we wanted to focus our efforts on solving the problems that rec-league teams have we soon realized that we couldn’t very well solve those problems if we couldn’t assemble the whole team. If RecBob could not be used for every member of a team, then the captain would still have to rely on the inferior crutches we were trying to remove (e.g. using a mailing list to handle all communications). We were missing 3 parts of the puzzle: 1) users that didn’t have Facebook (and therefore could not log in to RecBob at all), 2) users that had Facebook but did not want to use our app with their Facebook credentials, and 3) users that were on Facebook, allowed the app, but were not connected to anyone else on the team.
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