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There was mention in one of the webcasts that an API was potentially going to be developed. Is that still a possibility?
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Netminder2015-07-11 08:43 PMID: 1742764
EE looses control over how EE is presented

I agree that branding is very important.  EE does NOT want to lose its identity.  There will always be a need, as an expert, to return to the site for group discussions, the blog and other content.  This is more about extracting some of the functionality for the tasks we do most often.

In terms of the people who are most likely to a) read this thread and b) use an API, I think "branding" as a reason to not do one is a straw man. If you're a Budweiser drinker, you don't care if it you're drinking it from a can or a bottle or a glass (or, in slightwv's case, a bucket); you just care that it's not Coors. Most of us have been using EE for a long time, and unless the changes made to the way things look on the screen are also changes to the way things work, we recognize and continue to use EE. Heck, most of us have seen at least three or four logos, let alone color schemes and layouts.

The whole point to branding is to make something recognizable -- the Nike swoosh or NBC peacock -- and associated with a specific product or company. It's very important for EE to make sure that people associate the branding with the services provided to people who aren't familiar with it. But for those of us who use the site for hours every day... it's simply not a factor in whether or not we'll continue to do so.

On the other hand, it's VERY important to us to be able to do the things we want to do. If providing kaufmed or slightwv or eenookami with access to the data through processes developed and controlled by EE will make those three people spend a little more time, or find the time they spend a little more enjoyable, then it seems reasonable that EE would want to do so -- especially since the various processes would still be subject to the permissions granted by the groups of which each is a member. It wouldn't matter if kaufmed could see the scripts that I use; his permissions aren't the Admin permissions, so an attempt to use them would simply fail.
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In my mind, any tools that we (the experts) ended up creating  which makes use of the API would most likely be used by other experts. I really don't see the casual asker (or even the dedicated asker) using a tool created by us (not that they couldn't use it). The UI provided by EE does the task that they need it to do. As such, I don't think branding would have that big of an impact on the product. Even so, it's not like EE couldn't specify rules to include a logo in the application that associates the tool with EE while making clear that the tool is not created directly by EE. Don't follow the rules? Your access to the API is cut off, and the tool no longer functions.

Personally, I don't see there being a mad rush on people creating dozens of tools that make use of the API, but I could be wrong. The way I see it, you'd basically have EE creating an API that they themselves use, and which they make open to those interested (and lock it down accordingly).
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Rob2015-07-12 01:58 AMID: 1742786
you'd basically have EE creating an API that they themselves use, and which they make open to those interested (and lock it down accordingly).
Exactly.  They created an up to date version for the mobile app.
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Scott Fell2015-07-12 08:03 PMID: 1742902
I have brought this subject up a few times and one of my points is users may find ways of doing things others have not thought about.  Nobody is going to try and recreate the entire EE UI and if they do try, they will quickly find out it is not as easy as they thought although you never know.   SO has an api, how many SO clones do you see?

I think "Branding" gets confused with brand awareness.  Branding refers to how you feel when you identify something with a brand  name.  If you see a logo for Busch beer vs Stone's Gargoyle you get two different feelings.  No matter how many times Busch advertises, I will always have the same feeling about how bad it tastes.

API's have become an important part of many online businesses and some of the things others have come up with that nobody else thought of have become part of the core system.  https://api.stackexchange.com/docs -> http://stackapps.com/  http://www.programmableweb.com/apis/directory.  

An API will have to be created and I know it sounds easier than it is to manage credentials, usage, bandwidth etc.  

Even just hooking up with the likes of https://ifttt.com/ or https://zapier.com/ can get the casual users involved. An api that gets information for viewing and not editing/deleting/accepting would be a good start.   It could enhance branding by allowing another way for people to use EE, get involved and perhaps find new options nobody thought of (or we assumed nobody was interested) and create something that others use a lot.  It may even attract more advanced Experts.  This is a tech company and today it is almost a given to offer an API.

Given the choice of using resources to enhance the EE UI of everything from questions to messaging, of course I would rather see that done first. But that could also be a never ending process and at some point there are some ideas we have discussed over the past few years that should start getting some type of priority.

There are 3rd party services for managing API's and it may even be a good idea to throw the data on a separate service to keep the core fast.  

Things I have wanted to play with in the the past is creating more dashboard info in the profile.  This is stuff I have repeated many times. I do seem to remember Brian touching on this a while back. It would be nice if somebody at SLO would comment on this subject.
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Rob2015-07-12 08:14 PMID: 1742903
I concur with everything you've said Scott.  I addition, I'm also an advocate for the dashboard, which I'll open another thread about.
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Rob2015-07-12 08:22 PMID: 1742905