Love Thy Developers

Dear Twitter: Here Is How to Fix Your API

Mr. Marx.

This is a guest post by Orian Marx, a serial entrepreneur obsessed with tackling information overload. He has a computer science background with expertise in Flash and Flex front-end development. He’s a born-and-raised New Yorker who likes to swing dance when he’s not working.

I want to make something clear from the start: I love Twitter, though sometimes I wonder if I’m suffering from Stockholm syndrome. I have devoted much of the last three years of my life to working with the Twitter API and continue to pursue building the world’s best Twitter client for professionals in the form of Siftee. Recently Twitter staff has been reaching out to developers with a renewed vigor in the hopes of recapturing some of the goodwill and enthusiasm that has been squandered in the past two years. I applaud them for that. The new developer discussion site and documentation portal are significant improvements. Jack Dorsey has reached out for feedback. I recently spent time on the phone with Jason Costa, Twitter’s developer relations manager, at his request.  I think these are all good signs for the ecosystem.

With that said, there is a lot of feedback to give. This post is a technical one focused on the API itself, not on Twitter’s relationship with developers. Although it’s technical I’ve tried really hard to make it readable to “normals.” :)

Without further ado, here’s what’s wrong with the Twitter API … Read More