Posted on October 1st, 2008 by Neil Crosby. Filed under Blog Posts.
One of the sessions I attended at BarCamp London 5 this weekend was Stefan Magdalinski’s talk about the Moo API. Ever since I made my first The Ten Word Review Moo Cards by hand I’ve been wanting to automate the process, but lack of time and incentive has always let me down.
So, what changed?
Firstly, moo has an API now. Previously if I’d automated the image creation process for the Ten Word Moo Cards that’s all I would have been able to do, and then I would have had to upload them all myself. So, having an API allows me to press a button in one place and magically have a set of cards created for me. Awesome.
Secondly, in his talk, Stefan mentioned that the revenue sharing for cards, stickers etc that people bought would be set at 15%. Now that’s pretty damn high. Not only that, but it will be applied retroactively, since they’ve not actually got the payment stuff working yet.
The final thing that’s pushed me into finally making the cards is that there’s a prize for the best hack on the Moo API that came out of the BarCamp – a little handheld camcordery device. Obviously, I’d quite like to win that.
So, I made a “Ten Word Moo Card Creator”. It takes the best rated reviews from The Ten Word Review (where you can review anything you like as long as you do it in exactly ten words) and creates moo cards from them. If you want to create cards purely based on the reviews that you have written, you type your username into the textbox below. That’s it, simple really.
There are, of course, a couple of caveats. The first is that it might take a little while getting to Moo’s website after pressing that button. That’s because up to 30 images are being created, and each one needs to determine the optimal font-size for the review it contains. We’re not talking hours here, but it might take a few seconds.
The second caveat is that I haven’t set any default text for the back of the cards or set a default crop. The reason for this that if you set a crop then Moo steps straight over the cropping step of its wizard, which unfortunately is also the place where you choose whether you’d like to discard any of the images that you’ve chosen. Likewise, if I set some default text on the back of the card, then Moo seems to take this as a directive that the user wouldn’t want to edit that themselves and puts the cards straight into the user’s basket. In this instance the user hasn’t even been able to see what the cards look like on Moo’s site before they arrive in their basket.
Of course, if I’m wrong about these caveats, and I can add default text to the cards whilst still allowing the user to enter the flow on Moo’s website at the image cropper stage, that would be fantastic.
Overall, the Moo API is pretty easy to use. There are rough edges, but it isn’t a finished thing, and it’s not at a 1.0 release yet, so it’s utterly forgivable (as long as developer comments are taken onboard, and I’m convinced that they will be). Hack around at it like I did, and see what you can make.
Hmmm, I just remembered that I while back I wrote a Moo Sticker Speech Bubble Generator. I should really hook that into the API too, shouldn’t I? One day. One day…
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