Archive for June 2008

Comparing Facebook Applications – Books – Early Results   1 comment

Over the last few days, I took bookshelves/book lists as a sample application category and started comparing few. See what this will teach me.
To find candidates, I looked at what my fb friends are using, and at fb’s own application search. I chose three:
– Visual Bookshelf (most used by my friends)
– Books iRead (the only other one few of them used)
– books (promising-looking search result)
– Movies – as a comparison
Criteria emerging so far are:
– easy in comparing your reads with friends’: here Visual Bookshelf seems better
– easy in finding books and rating them: VB and iR are equivalent, iR is much better at proposing you books – relevant ones, that is – alongside those you are recording
– timeliness and consistency of posts to mini-feed: VB issues news in real time; iR scatters over days news about changes you apply at a same time
– easy import from Amazon: VB rules – that made a significant difference for me
– multimedia rating: iR provides the opportunity to record videos, movies, videogames and other, it’s the only one
Interestingly enough, each of them scores poorly in what must be a fb application’s "core business" or driving you to use it and enter information by comparing what you do with what your friends do – the assumption being if you are doing such things on a social networking site, you must value sharing this kind of feedback. Movies is much better at that by proposing you to rate few dozen movies and comparing your rates with your friends’ into a compatibility/likeness test.
Actually, the real core business, from the application’s own point of view, is to get you to invite friends to use them – the viral dimension. There, again, Movies wins hands off. Good that each application lets you opt out of this gracefully.

Posted June 25, 2008 by Gianluca Marcellino in Computer e Internet

How to select an application on FaceBook?   Leave a comment

Social networking today feels quite like messaging in the age of Compuserve and bulletin boards, or content sharing in the age of gopher – a common statement these days as the main players rush to announce their own foundations for federated social networking.
This has driven many of us to keeping multiple identities and profiles more or less up to date – less, usually.
I am now focussing on FaceBook, which in few months’ comparative practice with LinkedIn and these Live Spaces here I have come to consider as more suited for two key social networking activities: 
1) tracking and making visible – ok, sharing – short updates often
2) sharing rich content by leveraging the broad portfolio of tools made available as "applications"
Incidentally his makes it an interesting candidate for launching and driving campaigns on line, which I hope to find time to investigate later.
So I am now taking one example of one thing I have historically done through eBay lists and book reviews: sharing what I read and what I feel about it.
The question now becomes: how to select among the various applications FaceBook peer-to-peer application development and viral marketing arena offers?
One lives and learns…

Posted June 22, 2008 by Gianluca Marcellino in Computer e Internet

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