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Over the last months, I was working on several API backends and I couldn't find a simple tool to quickly create API requests and view the results. (Other than writing blocks of javascript or long curl commands)

I've read several Stack Overflow faq's and many promotion-discussions, but I can't find a good way to share my tool with other users, possibly looking for such a tool. If there is a better way, or if there's a special board for 'tool promotion', please let me know.

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You should write the promotion in Q&A format - ie ask a question, and self answer it. –  Bergi Feb 9 at 23:47
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@Bergi — How could that be done without it being an off-topic "Tool recommendation" question? –  Quentin Feb 10 at 16:38
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Please read meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/86717/… –  Oded Feb 10 at 16:38
    
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@Quentin: It's a grey zone, I know. If this was done in "How to do XY" style instead of "What tool to use for XY", it would fit better in (even if not asking for code solutions). Answers like "use this [standard] library" or "use this tool" can be very helpful. –  Bergi Feb 10 at 16:49
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Feb 10 at 16:37

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marked as duplicate by gnat, Martijn Pieters, Łukasz 웃 L ツ, Flyk, James Feb 11 at 1:39

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3 Answers

The definition of on-topic has narrowed over the years, so that "what is a good library to X?" and "is there a useful tool to X?" are now off-topic. If such questions get asked, they will be closed before you can answer with a link to your tool.

The way I see it you have three, possibly four options:

  • Put a link to the tool in your profile. Answer tons of questions without ever mentioning your tool, using the knowledge you gained by building it. Some people will check out your profile and follow the link. Also, become an active blogger or tweeter or suchlike, and put links to those in your profile. Some people will promote your tweets and blogs for you, which will end up promoting your tool. This violates no rules of the site and will work, but it might take time and requires you to be awesome rather than just good.

  • Look for questions from people who are trying to do whatever it is your tool makes easier. Answer the question. If something takes 20 lines or whatever to do, or seven steps, explain that. And gently mention something like "yes, this is a lot of trouble. I made a library to do it myself. There's a link in my profile." Nothing stronger than that. AT NO POINT should you consider posting identical answers to multiple questions. Each answer should be specific to each question.

  • Ask questions that you think could be answered as in the second bullet, and provide good answers to them, again possibly with your parenthetical.

  • if you get email support requests, consider posting them as questions and then answering them, and emailing the asker a link. I used to do this in my blog: if someone emailed a question I would blog the answer. As long as the questions are real, this is ok. Eg "I am using the XYZ tool and getting this error message. What does it mean?" is a real support question. It's even possible that users who get these links from you will ask their own questions here next time. (Careful with this one, though. See http://meta.stackoverflow.com/a/217355/147247 )

If you start answering for no other reason than to promote your tool, or if there's no information in your answer other than promoting your tool, expect to get spam-flagged and perhaps see your answers (or even your account) deleted. Always err on the side of discretion. Once people realize you really know your stuff, word will get out about your tool. This site is a great way to help people realize you really know your stuff. It's designed for that. It's not a great way to get the word out about your tool. You have to live with that.

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It's specifically a violation of the rules to come here just to promote a tool.

There is no dedicated place for "tool promotion" within this network.

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Placing bounties on questions is still OK, though. It might be possible to "promote" this tool (without violating any rules) by placing a bounty on a relevant question. –  Anderson Green Feb 10 at 16:44
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There is one way that you can officially promote your tool.

You can author a widely used tool which gains enough community support on its own in order to garner a legitimate tag on Stack Overflow. Once this has occurred, you may pay the Stack Exchange team a reasonable sum of money in order to sponsor that tag.

Other than that, you should see @Kate Gregory's suggestions for what you can do organically within the site, and also Defining the limits of self-promotion by @Jeff Atwood

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