While learning how to make and edit Google gadgets, I have created hundreds of random gadgets. Many of these gadgets have nothing to with me, my brand, or my interests. I am simply playing and learning. I often will look for a developer’s page on any website I am on to see if anything interests me.
As a result of my “test” gadgets, I have actually created alot of traffic for people. Gadgets are being explored by more and more “recreational” developers who are just tinkering around. I was checking some numbers and I was surprised to see something.
I was creating more than a million Google gadget page views per month for one set of gadgets based on a website and product that isn’t mine.
They receive a massive amount of exposure from my efforts. Their products and links are sitting on thousands of peoples iGoogle page, simply because I was curious and wanted to figure out how to make gadgets.
It is a very good idea to have a developer page or utilize your “tools” page even if you do not have a developers program.
Let’s look at Sphinn and their “tools” page which I think is a very useful and informative page (my compliments Danny), and I will suggest a very simple but very important minor tweak to it.
Tool pages are essentially for your users, but they are also your gateway to developers.
The tweak I would suggest is to have clear contact info targeted towards developers. I don’t want to send an email or fill out a form without knowing it will be responded to. If there was a simple phrase like…
“Have a idea or questions about creating tools for our web site? Please contact (name of the technical person here) we would love to hear what you have to say”
Developers would be much more inclined to contact you with their myriad of ideas if they knew there was an actual person who will respond to them.
Or if you have a general contact form with a drop down menu of choices add a “web development” option so that such queries will actually get to the person who takes care of the technical details of your website and so that developers, recreational or not, will feel warm and fuzzy and feel confident that their email will get responded to.
Developers are very very important. They are the new “links”. If you have talented people in your user base, you want to make them feel welcome and know that their efforts are appreciated.
Sphinn has a great set of tools. Not because they made them, but because their users did.
Danny Sullivan provides an excellent example of how to both spread the news of tools to his users and reward the people who made them.
Even if no one has made tools for you or your brand, you know what? You can still have a similar page. If you blog, you are likely using plug-ins. Consider having a page listing your plugins or themes, thus thanking the developers and providing valuable info to your users. It could just be a “resource page” like the way Sebastian does it.
If you do have developers, have them put out a page about what they are doing, and the things they are testing out, for example, Kayak.com has a wonderful developers page, even though they do not have an actual open developers program.
It is dawn in the age of gadget distributed content, and developers are golden.
Are you developer friendly?
Think about the tiny tweaks you can make to your website that would be attractive to developers and implement them.