Not a day goes by when I don’t see complex technical terms thrown around in media press or on blogs. I often wonder if the average marketer knows what half of these terms mean. This new series is aimed at graphically illustrating (this is where the whiteboard comes into play) complex terms in ways that normal, non-geek people can understand. Next up is the API (application programming interface).
One of the core tenets of Web2.0 is the idea around “open APIs”, as you’ve no doubt heard before. The concept behind the API is really pretty simple when you break it down. Think of it as a library of tools that you can access if you have the right key. You can use services from the library and access information and even add information if you have the right keys.
Here is my whiteboard video that explains the whole thing.
- APIs open up, and regulate, a library of data and services that you can access
- APIs are controlled to give and deny access depending on your permissions
- Marketers only need to know what’s available in the library, not how to get it back (that’s the technology person’s job)
- Mashups are web applications that use these APIs to get and combine data from multiple sources
- The more open the API, the more development can take place to extend the use of a site or service (Facebook’s F8 platform is a great example or how opening an API leads to mass adoption and integration)
Is there a term that’s confusing you? Do your tech guys like to show you up and you want a little revenge? Email me or leave me a comment with the buzzwords that you would like to see explained in a similar post in the future. Also, let me know if you have ways I can improve on this concept for new posts.