The second Facebook Developer & Design Garage (and Facebook Awards) will be kicking off tonight at 6:00pm sharp over at the Vancouver Film School on Homer. Doors open at 5:30pm and space is limited to 100, so be sure to come on time. Here’s a sampling of what we’ll see tonight (and for more background, see my past posts about the event).
Potential demos include:
I will be liveblogging – at THIS URL – when things get underway and my entry will be complimented with live shots from Duane Storey who is the official photographer. I look forward to seeing some of you great folks tonight, and if you can’t make it, I hope this live blog will be helpful.
Update – 6:00pm - All photos in this post are Â© Duane Storey and are available on his Flickr. The schedule is being announced and we’ll be doing six demos, a couple lightning talks, a break, then four more apps.
Update – 6:10pm – First up is The Snow Report by Jeremy Holland and Dean Halford (MOK Agency): Unfortunately when I blogged about these guys a little while ago, mentioning that I just added the app to my Facebook they actually went to check out my profile… and I had their competitors installed instead. BUSTED!
To make up for it, here’s the link for Jeremy and Dean’s app – The Snow Report. Best part about this app is that you can let your friends know when you’re planing a trip up the mountain, adding more of a community and social aspect to planing your next carving adventure on top of finding out the latest conditions at all your local (and national) hills. You can create groups (public or private), invite your friends to a trip, create your rider profile and see who else enjoys the runs you do.
I just added the application again and it turns out this WAS the one I was using, since all my mountains were listed automatically and it even knew I already went boarding once this season. It even remembered my trip with Keira to Mount Washington this weekend, so I dunno what happened. Regardless, all is right with the world.
Update – 6:22pm – Next up – (The Worldâ€™s Biggest) Hockey Pool by Ben Nevile (Mainsocial): Hockey Pool is pretty freakin huge. You can create pools based on networks, pick and trade your players and view rankings of users and players. It’s basically your run of the mill “hockey pool” concept but souped up for Facebook including aggregated scores and pool results updated in real time and broken down into various categories. There’s even a poll up there right now including a question about the Maple Leafs which has become overshadowed by an answer about bacon.
Update – 6:30pm – Ben goes on to talk about Friend of the Month. It’s not only an experiment in relationships but it also tests the limitations of Facebook, having something that changes every few weeks, providing a little more variety.
Update – 6:32pm – Now we have 10 Friends Notes by Colin Kierans. Basically you pick 10 friends, enter their names, choose 20 questions to ask, enter a note title, and it send it out to all your friends. It creates a discussion in a sort of … pass it on way. A question in the crowd arises about the viral aspect, and the potential for annoying the heck out of your friends. The spin on this is that it’s a notification, not an invite and doesn’t involve a game or trivia of any kind.
Update – 6:42pm – Chris Richardson from EQO is here regarding Vibrator. EQO is a mobile application company and they’re crossing over to Facebook, “taking pokes… physical”. Vibrator has a fun looking little animated dude that vibrates on your Facebook profile when someone sends you a “vibe”… or “sexy time” or perhaps even a “booty slap”. Also, if you have EQO on your mobile, it will actually vibrate when you get this Facebook notification.
Update – 6:49pm – MyFoodFix, with Matthew Chiu. Pretty simple looking app with two straightforward purposes; to share your favourite restaurants and also tell your friends what you are currently eating or want to eat. Type in your location, or the city in which you ate, and submit a recommendation or review (of food, service or price), with easy look-up features and addresses for many establishments. Create your top picks, and view your friends’, being intuitive enough to show you which friends you may want to dine with in the future ie. you both really like Thai food or Quizno’s.
Update – 6:51pm – Last one before the break is Eat-A-Rama by ActiveState (makers of Up4), who’s attitude is that they want to build applications that have a continued use (unlike zombies that you probably used… and are now sick of). Their latest is a restaurant finder including a Google mash up map with bubbles indicating their locations, along with a cloud tag, what they refer to as “the mullets of web 2.0″. Drag the map around from location to location to find a restaurant or eatery near you, or relevant to whichever query you enter ie. sushi or Granville street or by rating. They field questions from, “Can I update if I change my mind about a restaurant”, to “how do you find the integration with Google Maps?”. They also get into the nitty-gritty of the application and how users and developers can report any issues, we even get to see their “behind the scenes” metrics page.
Update – BREAK TIME –
Update – 7:38pm – Mark Mayo from Joyent speaks to their free hosting accelerator promotion for developers. Their top app is just under a BILLION page views on Facebook. They enable developers to smoothly run their busiest applications without interruption, being fully scalable. “Facebook, Joyent and Dell have partnered to provide free scalable, on-demand infrastructure from Joyent to Facebook developers.”
Update – 7:48pm – Next up is Michael Fergusson of who fully endorses Joyent. They used them for their “Are You Normal” application which has upwards of half a million users. He’s here today to talk about “These are my Kids“. The focus of this application is to make something for a smaller network, which tends to be of more value to you – compared to the millions in your “Oregon Trail Network”. You smaller network is for your family – for parents to boast about their kids to friends and family. But what happens when a family member doesn’t use Facebook? Content creation is key, and the creator would be you. The second half of the application, the “viewing app” could be on Facebook or anywhere else on the web.
People are concerned about certain things regarding their kids online including privacy – it’s only viewable by those you specifically invite and there are specific cookies to register approved users’ machines. Kinzin also addresses profiles, which you update… jot down the latest cute thing they said or what they’re doing. It’s view of photos and albums (you can organize them all in your ‘shoebox’ or in a ‘book’), and you can convert these digital aspects to physical by bundling up a ‘book’ which can get printed and mailed to a grandparent. Another aspect is “the people who are consuming the content don’t want to DO anything”. You sign up your friends and family by email or postal address.
Update – 8:03pm – Mixx Maker (V2.0) by Project Opus / Donat Group, Jeremy Lim is now up talking about the idea of making a mix tape for your sweetie or that hunk you’re crushin over and putting it together digitally over Facebook.
The initial question when logging into the app is “I want music that…” and you fill in the blanks (as previously seen at the last Facebook Garage). You can create any amount of mixx’s (like playlists)… I want music that comes from Germany and isn’t Rammstein… I want music that is bow chicka bow wow… I want music that makes me drive fast… . You can also view your friend’s mixx’s however there’s still the question of legality, surrounding the artists and their content without compensation – unless they’ve only included original tunes in this version, let’s find out.
Question from the audience, “who is paying for the licensing?”. Jeremy says nobody is, it’s pretty much like sharing a CD with your friends and they have sought legal advice to make sure that the files stay within this specific “bubble”. Question, “is the fee incumbent on Facebook, the user or Mixx?” the answer is there is no fee. Mixx is simply a storing service that enables music sharing. I suppose it’s like enabling your iTunes to be viewable by a network, but still… no one pays a fee… to the artist or label… anywhere?
Question from the audience, “can you send images as well?” such as album art? Jeremy isn’t too sure since he’s not a developer himself but they have looked into it.
Update – 8:14pm – Last demo of the evening is Iâ€™m Reading by Garth Shoemaker who starts off with a slide stating: Make it useful, Make it viral, Profit! He also suggests when you’re coming up with an app prepare to support an international audience. His latest app is “I’m Reading” where you can read, share, and write reviews for books you’ve read. Type in a title and it will search Amazon for its information or you can add an entry to the directory. You can view personalized recommendations for you or a friend and see best sellers.
Update – 8:24pm – I’m really hungry.
Update – 8:25pm – I was wrong, THIS is now the last demo of the evening. He doesn’t spend much time trying to be a good netizen, he likes to make money – lots and lots of money, he wants people to download his content and install it on their machines thus making him money. It’s Jason Bailey with $uper Reward Points. Micropayments systems within Facebook, Spare Change is picking up traction and they all allow people to come to your app and pay right there. CPA Ads (ringtones and sms subscriptions, get pretty, get thin etc) are the “new wave” instead of getting paid for clicks, you get paid for interaction. Jason’s message: have an app with something people WANT. These are the current types of apps that will make you money: Gift and Pokes, Competitions, Surveys, Tamagotchi Types, and Get Free Stuff.
Jason compares one of his “Hockey Pool” apps to Ben’s (which we saw earlier). The difference is Ben gives you 4 trades a month, while with Jason’s you need to purchase or acquire “puck points” in order to earn points, with which you can then use toward trading. How do you purchase or acquire points? Sign up for a gym membership, sign up for bingo or flowers from FTD, learn about this vacation, find out how to lose weight fast… etc. Basically subject yourself to spam so you can play, meanwhile earning a pile of dough for the app creators cause you’re clicking and signing up for their affiliate ads… just to get that animated flashy icon on your Facebook profile.
Update – 8:37pm – My laptop is going to die. Losing power. Questions are still flying at Jason. I’m going to sign off – thanks to Duane for taking the photos tonight, the presenters, to Gerald for getting me on as the live blogger and to Megan for keeping us on time.