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Would a service that offers an API with these functionalies be valuable to you?

Discussion in 'General Programming Chat' started by gottkrieg, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. gottkrieg

    gottkrieg Newbie

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    So I'm a software developer that's been involved in the blackhat seo industry for almost 5 years now. Over that time I've built up quite a library of code and information databases that greatly assist me with this.

    I've been toying around with the idea of offering a service where I release an API to my back end servers to make use of these functions. If I were to do this, it'd be a pay per usage type scenario, with each API call costing fractions of a cent based on what it is.

    This is a service targeted towards developers, so I figured this would be the best forum to post in.

    I'm looking to see if there would be an interest in this service, before I spend my time writing the infrastructure to handle paid API calls and setup a site to sell the service.

    Currently what I have in mind to offer:

    1. Fake identity generation
    - I have a database of first names, last names, and statistical information on their frequencies, along with gender prediction based on first names.
    - I have a database of all US Zip codes along with the City/State/Area Code they are associated with.
    - I have code to generate realistic looking random usernames/passwords.
    - Using the above functionality, it's possible to obtain realistic looking fake identities that appear realistic. Zip code/city/state will verify, name/gender will be appropriate, and if enough interest comes in, I will even add valid street address randomization to allow passing a "Real Address" type verification service (it would show up as valid on google maps for instance).

    2. Image manipulation to modify the hash value of an image without changing the visuals of the image.

    3. Text spinning that is simple to use. Does not rely on a thesaurus, only on user given values. Recursive and allows for random numbers generation as well. Syntax is simple, and doesn't require knowledge of regex to use.

    4. Geolocation lookup of IP addresses.

    ---------

    These are the services I plan to offer initially off the top of my head. I am still trying to think of more. The API would come with client libraries for .NET, and would also support SOAP based web API calls to allow developers to create their own libraries in their language of choice.

    Would there be any interest in such a service? Also I'm welcome to ideas of services that I could offer that would make it worthwhile.

    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. Chris22

    Chris22 Regular Member

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    Other developers are probably more interested in open source than paying to use an API.
     
  3. gottkrieg

    gottkrieg Newbie

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    Depends on their situation. If they are employed by someone to write software, could save their company money to use a ready to go service than rolling their own.

    It's possible for someone to write their own OCR decaptcha library using matlab, but that doesn't mean you should when services already exist.

    People I work with switched to the captcha solving services quickly once they became available, so we wouldn't have to maintain our own OCR code any longer.

    However I'm just considering the traits of my potential customer base. What I don't know is if they exist, or in the quantity to make it worth doing.

    Hence this thread. If that's the general consensus, then I'll scrap the idea. Open source for non-critical components is a good idea though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  4. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    APIs are a good thing, I use a lot of different APIs (paid or free) all the time.

    On your ideas:

    1) Easy to make but some might find it useful

    2) Same as (1)

    3) Much better APIs exist

    4) Very easy to make :) - plus lots of free APIs exists
     
  5. lisper

    lisper Newbie

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    Jazzc: Agreed on all points.

    No offense but any developer worth their salt should be able to quickly and easily cook up their own solution...
     
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  6. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    While what Lisper says it 's true, that does not mean there 's not a market for people who don't want to bother and prefer to pay instead (especially if they 're going to sell the script). But whether that market size is big enough to worth your trouble or not, is for you to judge.
     
  7. gottkrieg

    gottkrieg Newbie

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    The mention at other APIs existing is incredibly interesting to me. What already exists to this manner already (paid or not).

    I've found name generating services before, I've never found a valid address generating service, and the databases for street level validation cost a few hundred dollars but the services out there are for validation not generation, hence my plan to use it in reverse once I acquire it.

    GeoIP databases are free for "inaccurate/incomplete" datasets, but the the better ones cost money, and a subscription to keep them up to date.

    In the process of looking through code of mine to see some things I can offer open source. Cleaning up one class that I think will do nicely.

    Edit: Another idea, could offer the service for free with a donation model. I may end up doing that instead.

    Thanks for the input guys, I'm strongly leaning towards that business model instead. Worst case scenario, turns out to be a waste of time and I pull the plug. Best case scenario, people appreciate it and donate enough to make it worthwhile, and I can assist people with their goals.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  8. phatzilla

    phatzilla Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    the problem that immediately sticks out to me in your examples is that all of that stuff is super trivial even to the 'lesser' developers


    Off the top of my head maxmind is good for geo-ip, and fakenamegenerator for personal information
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  9. cgimaster

    cgimaster Power Member

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    I hardly believe developers would want it, it would be more useful if you can do it in a way non developers could make use of.

    I as a developer would develop my own as everything you metioned above is rather easy to produce and from the several scrap's i've done to collect data from linkedin, facebook and others similar communities sites beside having a huge database of real name that I can mix and use all sort of patterns to make new names can also create simple profiles.