Lanyrd API, Where Are You?

Adam DuVander
Feb. 03 2012, 08:18AM EST

Somewhere in Austin, someone is likely already organizing the lanyards for the thousands of SXSW badges for the techies next month. And somewhere in Brighton, the small team behind Lanyrd is likely working hard to make sure its social conference directory is ready for SXSW and all the other conferences that overlap their way through June and beyond. And for any developers wanting to build on top of Lanyrd, you're wondering about the Lanyrd API. It's late. And coming soon. Maybe.

Update: We reached out directly to Lanyard for comment but didn't hear back. Response from Lanyrd in the comments.

"We're currently shooting for a release in December," founder Simon Willison wrote in November.

And it's been over a year since Lanyrd announced its intention to launch an API with a Google Group, often a first step to engage developer interest. The downside of an early move like that is most of the discussion has centered around questions about the API's release. Will there ever be a Lanyrd API?

The company made a preview available with limited data during last year's SXSW.

While the API chatter has been mostly quiet, Lanyrd itself has been busy. The company raised a seed round and created an iPhone app that uses iOS 5 Twitter integration. Of course, mobile app means API. "Given the release of the Lanyrd App I think we can safely assume there is an API," a developer wrote in the Google Group.

We often see providers shy away from releasing an API too early. Once something is published, there's an apparent obligation to not make major changes. Since programmers are the ones making an API, they're also more aware of the hardship API alterations would cause their developers.

Even when many are clamoring for API access, we've seen hot companies hold off on launching developer communities. The Instagram API started off as an unofficial implementation. The FoodSpotting API is only semi-public. Facebook's former head of platform advised Q&A site Quora to wait as long as possible.

For those who can't wait any longer for the Lanyrd API, there's a scraper and a Ruby gem. For the rest, it's "coming soon."

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact editor@programmableweb.com Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.

Comments

Comments(3)

[...] Where is the Lanyrd API? Somewhere in Austin, someone is likely already organizing the lanyards for the thousands of SXSW badges for the techies next month. And somewhere in Brighton, the small team behind Lanyrd is likely working hard to make sure its social conference … Read more on ProgrammableWeb (blog) [...]

Our full API is still "coming soon".

As a developer who's built against a LOT of APIs over the years, I care a great deal about API stability. I don't want to be in a position where developers build cool stuff against our API which we then break! If we're going to offer an API, we want developers to be able to trust it.

Releasing an API too early would tie us to the set of features that existed when we built the API - but we're still figuring out what that core feature set is.

That's not to say we don't want our data to get out there in to the world - we want Lanyrd's information to go where our users are, not force them to come to us. As such, we offer iCal and RSS feeds for many of our key pages (our PHP topic page, our Events-in-London page, our Startup-events-in-Europe page etc).

We also have JavaScript "badges" for people to list events they are speaking at or attending on their own sites. Our badges inject microformatted HTML in to the user's own page DOM for them to style - and people have been extremely creative with them. Have a look at the "Next conference I'm attending / Next conference I'm speaking at" badges on http://naomiatkinson.com/ for a really elegantly styled example of our badges in action. Likewise, http://www.multipack.co.uk/ has a "Next Events" box that is powered by our Guide badges.

More on our badges: http://lanyrd.com/services/badges/

So yeah... we haven't shipped the API yet, but it's more important that we don't screw it up.