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Archive for April, 2010

World Domination One Like at a Time

22 Apr

I spent the day watching the live streams of the sold out Facebook F8 Developer Conference. It was streamed by Livestream and besides a few hiccups in the beginning it was great to consume all that information from the comfort of my own desk. The conference timing couldn’t have been better, I have been defining software requirements and drawing workflows for my business partner with specifics around integration with Facebook. Learning first hand about the changes Facebook was announcing allowed me to simplify some the requirements while I was watching the broadcast. Since our website is built on WordPress.org, I was able to quickly implement the new Like button by embedding the iframe into a text/HTML widget. The Like box links the title to the Facebook Fan Page, includes member photos, and if the user is not logged into Facebook, it will allow them to login from our website and automagically post to their Facebook stream. With just a few clicks Facebook integration was accomplished. Additionally, I was able to delete about seven different WordPress plugins we were using to create this integration. Next up, my business partner is working on getting single sign-on working without using the RPX plugin.

Key Messages

  • For developers some of the announcements made by Facebook simplifies the registration and login process because the single sign-on functionality asks for permission to access email and register the users Facebook account to a website. They are now using OAuth 2.0 protocol so this will play nicely with additional login options to different services such as Twitter.
  • Social plugins such as the Like button or box and the activity feeds help even novice bloggers get started with the Facebook platform using a single line of HTML. The code is generated by Facebook after the blogger makes some selections, which can be copied into blogs.
  • Insights is the Facebook analytics tool, the website says, “get detailed information about the demographics of your users and how users are sharing from your application.” While I believe the single sign-on is a must have, what is interesting is the analytics and the server-side personalization.

When launching a new website and brand, it’s important to understand who the customer really is and what they are doing on the website or the web application. Our assumption and research is tailoring the content of our website to a particular demographic, yet what if our target demographic is completely different from our actual users. We need to learn who they are and how they are using the application so we can optimize the experience for them.

The software requirements already build in a few tests to see which elements will drive viral growth and tracking to see where the users are dropping off. We will also request feedback and survey our users to see how their perception of what they are doing ties into actual usage. The goal is to launch a beta version in the coming weeks and update the software bi-weekly to refine how it works with a small group of people. More to follow on my side of the entrepreneurial journey in the coming weeks and how our Like box does in driving world domination.

 
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the future of applications

13 Apr

no one could anticipate the role that software applications play in the world. starting as isolated applications running on big, expensive metal, then siloed applications running on cheap metal. networking opened up communal demand for interaction with an application, breaking the silo model, somewhat. the internet broadened access to applications and data by the masses. social interaction with applications is the new paradigm. simultaneously, mass adoption of powerful handheld communicating computers arose. today, no application avoid inclusion of social and mobile facets integral to its functionality.

where will this go next?