How To Promote Your Flex Application

This is a draft of an article I’m hoping to post on the Flex Developer Center that outlines the various ways that developers can promote Flex applications that have been built.

Developers love to see applications that other developers have made. Seeing the work of others inspires them, and gives them ideas to add to their own applications.

Once you’ve built something great with Flex, you want to make sure that as many people as possible see your application. Adobe has several free resources and programs available that help you promote your apps. In this article I’ll list the main ones.

The Flex.org website is a community site for Flex developers. The Flex Showcase on Flex.org allows any developer to add their application to a central location, where other developers can see the work that they’ve done. Any Flex application can be added to the Flex Showcase, which is the most popular page on Flex.org. Since its launch, over 350,000 people have checked out the Flex Showcase, which was updated in September to a Flex application. In January alone, the Flex Showcase received over 70,000 visits.

There are currently over 200 applications in the Flex Showcase. There’s an RSS feed that anyone can subscribe to in order to be updated when new applications are added to the Flex Showcase. Instructions are up on how to add your own application to the Flex Showcase.

“The Flex Showcase, without a shadow of a doubt, has been the single most important source of valued visitors for Activa Live Chat. The showcase has led to countless connections with developers from around the world who have expressed interest in our product and their feedback has been key in developing things like the SDK for the upcoming release of Activa Live Chat 2. We’ve also gained incredible exposure from customers interested in the next generation of Web applications – specifically RIAs – and they look for them on the Flex Showcase. This includes developers from top tier enterprises who frequent the showcase looking for applications that meet their unique needs. So in all, the Flex Showcase has been invaluable to our efforts on both a development and a marketing side.” – Jeff Kazmierski, Activa Live Chat

Applications can also be submitted for Adobe Site of the Day consideration. The work must be completely original and not require the user to register. When submitting the application, you can decide how else Adobe can use your project: whether to include it in Adobe newsletters such as the Edge, include it in corporate presentations or even whether Adobe can use it in banner advertisements.

The Adobe Customer Success Program allows business leaders to highlight how their company has benefited from Adobe software. Program participants are normally senior managers or senior executives. To apply for the program, fill out and submit the application form.

Adobe technical evangelists are another great way to get publicity for your application. Adobe employs a number of well-known bloggers, including Ryan Stewart who blogs for ZDNet. A number of blogs are available to highlight your applications, including RIApedia.com, Ryan Stewart’s blog, James Ward’s blog, Ted Patrick’s blog and more. Flex.org has a list of Flex team members who blog. Find an Adobe technical evangelist who blogs about a product you use, and tell them about it.

Flex user groups are a great way to present your product to enthusiastic and passionate Flex developers in your area. Flex.org has a list of Adobe Flex user groups throughout North America, with links to their user group website. Contact the user group manager to arrange a presentation at the user group – most user groups love having someone present a real application.

As you can see, there are a number of ways to promote your Flex application. However, the most important thing to remember is that you can’t promote anything that hasn’t been built yet – isn’t time you started developing with Flex?

- Mike Potter