Lanyrd API, Where Are You?

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."

Be sure to read the next Events article: Ten Protips on Avoiding Hackathon Fail