You can learn a lot from the history of APIs, and following what the pioneers are doing. Salesforce isn't the coolest API within the Hacker News community, but when it comes to building an API ecosystem--Salesforce knows what they are doing.
I was reading through the Salesforce top developers highlights of 2012. Their highlights doesn't just showcase the success of the community, but what Salesforce feels is critical to keeping their ecosystem healthy.
- 800,000 developers and climbing: the Salesforce Platform Developer Community is growing at an unprecedented rate.
- Cool new Salesforce technologies: Identity, Salesforce Touch Platform, Force.com Canvas, and Java on Heroku for the Enterprise were released.
- Content is king: Great books such as The Salesforce Touch Platform Mobile Development Guide and Dan Appleman’s new book Advanced Apex Programming for Salesforce.com hit the shelves.
- Community is making noise: Salesforce Stack Exchange launched and is already at 1,000 users. Developer User Groups have grown to 60 groups across the globe and climbing.
- New leaders have emerged: Andy Boettcher, Junji Imaoka, Keir Bowden, Sanuki Ikou, Simon Goodyear are the most recent MVPs to join ranks of the Force.com MVP Program.
- We are staying connected, more often and in more ways: Webinars, CodeTalks, Google+ Hangouts, Facebook,Twitter, Discussion Boards, and the list goes on.
- Developer Events of Epic Proportions: 10,000 Developers at Dreamforce ‘12 with close to 300 sessions, Developer Zones at Cloudforce in New York, Tokyo, and London, and Developer Weeks in Brazil and India.
What I hear when I read this list is that to get to 800K developers (holy shit), you need to constantly release new technologies, product resources and content to support your platform, give your community a voice with an emphasis on showcasing the leaders--while also engaging with developers both online and offline.
Salesforce has been building their API ecosystem for 12 years! Twice as long as Twitter. What they highlight as part of their developer community in 2012 is something you should be doing in your own developer community.
from API Evangelist http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ApiEvangelist/~3/CVU41tP7Bt8/