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ALL APIs should expose all user data (and allow the user to change profile images)

Friday, January 9th, 2009

In our modern day of entirely "open" APIs, it is scary to me how many APIs do NOT allow a user to change their settings, and more specifically their profile image.

In the grand scheme of things this isn't really that big of a deal, but as I was changing my image on a number of different sites tonight, all of which have an API, a great idea came to me to allow a user to enter their image on a single site, and have it automatically take it from there and change it on all of their other sites. After all, this is what the entire "social" and connected web is all about. This wouldn't be a very hard thing to program, but in this case the limitation is the API of these sites, not the difficulty of the programming.

Among a number of different sites I checked, including FriendFeed, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Last.FM, and many more, I only found 1 for sure (Twitter) and possibly another (Facebook) that allows a user to change their profile image through an API call.

Come on guys, you should know by now that users are sick of not being able to do whatever it is we want with our data, it is 2009!

API Wishin' Tom Out.



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