VRM and Anything / Evented API’s (W2A)

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Session Topic: VRM, Evented APIs, and Anything

Conveners: Doc and Sam

Notes-taker(s): Judi Clark

Tags for the session - technology discussed/ideas considered: VRM, evented API

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

Notes source: http://digitalidcoach.com/2011/10/iiw-xiii-vrm-evented-apis-and-everything/

Doc: Sam and Craig work with Kynetx, the group behind evented APIs: a simple way to move events (something happening, like a state change: when the balance on your bank account changes, dryer cycle is done, etc.) from one system to another. A lot of “things” have an online component, like location change, phone ringing. Now we’re extending certain “events” (me interacting with something) from being captured in data silos to an interactive state (from an “interaction silo”–nothing else happens outside that locked system). Sid suggests visiting websequencediagram.com for a better visualization.

The data becomes a noun in an information flow. Evented APIs allow for verbs: reporting on a state change that can trigger some action. Drummond suggests it’s “Twitter for machines.” Kevin asked about activity streams, Sam: trying to open up the structure. Terry: this is an observer pattern. Sam: this should be trivially implementable in a micro-controller.

Are people polling your API? If so, they’re polling interaction data to get some interaction state.


  • Public Radio Player + ListenLog + twilio + texting + twitter = escrowed indication to pay/donate. Accumulate context (donation tied to time/show on that station)
  • Phil’s example using TripIt, Foursquare and Expensify to coordinate expenses for his trip. (See the other Evented API session for a little more on how this works.)
  • I can use it to be more selectively active in passive activities – get notification of certain blogs that have new post with keyword, etc.

“Bring your core competence of your business into an API is an economic imperative.” -Craig Burton

One more (classic VRM) example: changing your address with the 10,000 sites you’ve ever done business with. What if you could change it once, say in your personal data store, then share it with people/organizations that you want to continue to do business with, ONCE, and the update is automatically distributed?

Also other predictive modeling, notification of events in different context (oil light comes on in a rental car – the company needs to know, not the renter), also 4th party brokering. Craig suggests emancify.org