Facebook vs. OpenSocial
The Facebook API was compared to the OpenSocial API. There were quite a few differences, but what caught my attention was that it takes 60 lines of code in OpenSocial what it takes 2 lines in Facebook using the Facebook Markup language (FBML). In general it seems like the OpenSocial API’s are quite imature so far and that Facebook will keep ahead with it’s aggressive constant innovation for quite a while. Still, go for both Facebook and OpenSocial if you are going to do an app. If the social platform war will stay limited to just two standards we are quite well of …
You are defined by your friends
In addition to the information you explicitly have defined, like your age and if you are married or not, there is a lot of information about you that can be deducted from your list of fiends. Are most of your friends from London? If so there is a good chance that so are you. If most of your friends are working in the banking industry then there is a good chance that you are as well. This information is of course worth a lot in the hands of an advertiser that can target the ads to the right people. Now with Facebooks new Social Advertisting initiative that makes it possible for them to target ads to Facebook users even if that user is on another site than Facebook this kind of information is worth even more.
Techlightenment have developed a cool Facebook application called Socialistics that on-the-fly makes best guesses about a person based on their friends. It is a really interesting proof of concept of what can be done. Install it yourself and see what can be deducted about you based on your friends. The more friends the better guesses of course, but it is amazing what can be figured out about you. The power of these kind of statistical analyzis will explode in the near future, which is going to make both Mark Zuckerberg and the Google guys more money.
Who am I according to my friends?
Using the Socialistic app I get the following data about myself. I most likely live either in Stockholm (I did for years) or in Mexico City (not a bad guess since I do spend a lot of time thre), there is a 10% chance I have worked for Microsoft in Copenhagen (wrong) and I most likely took my university degree at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City (I have studied spanish there for all of 1 hour once, but that’s it). The good stuff is that there is a 65% chance that I am a man (just that I work with IT should bring that number up to at least 90%) and that I am from Sweden (guilty as charged)
According to my wife I am a social outcast since I only have 28 friends on Facebook. If the name calling I have to take out a Facebook divorce (ie “cancel relationship”), after all it is 28% chance that I am single already.
Marco Casario from italian Comtaste had a good presentation at Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin today comparing Adobe Flex to JavaFX, Lazlo, Microsoft Silverlight, AJAX and XUL (full name of the presentation is “Choosing th Final RIA Path or Choosing the Appropriate RIA Technology”). In this comparison Adobe Flex won both on the level of maturity, size of active community, small learning curve, multimedia features, usability and spread of the Flash plugin that now reaches 98% of internet users. Of course your choice of technology depends largely on the specifics of your project, but this is another indicator that Adobe Flex is on fire.
Flex & AIR
Adobe Flex is a way to easily develop Flash programs. It is based on MXML and when compiled Flex code becomes a Flash .swf file. That means that it can run in any browser that has the Flash plugin installed. What I really like with Flex is that you can write the frontend in Flex and then use whatever language you want for the backend. Using REST services in Flex is super easy, so as long as your backend can talk REST you can connect to the frontend that way. I like this idea since I would prefer PHP for the backend of whatever app I do since it is widely supported, have a very active developer community and there are lots of PHP programmers all around the world.
About a month I was at the Adobe MAX conference in Chicago. Since that is where all Adobe-fanboys gather there were quite a few Hallelujha moments, and maybe I am somewhat influenced by that. One thing was clear from MAX though, Adobe are pushing Flex and AIR with all it’s marketing might. After having an almost 100% market share on software for web designers (Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver etc) they are now really focusing on the web developers. They are doing a great job making powerful tools that makes development a charm, their Eclipse based Flex Builder is one of the best IDE’s I have used.
Mashups & Flex
Building Mashups in Flex is easy since the REST support is really good. I had a presentation at Adobe MAX dealing with the need for mashups and webscraping in general and combining Kapow Mashup Server and Adobe Flex in particular…
Right now I am in Berlin at the Web 2.0 Expo. The sessions here are brilliant but the general organisation and the exposition hall are not impressive (but I promise not to rant more about that). More about the sessions in later posts.
Yesterday I had a presentation about Enterprise Mashup Infrastructure that you might find interesting. It deals with Mashups in general, mostly from a perspective of improving the productivity of knowledge workers. I also list the 4 types of mashup projects as well as some real-life customers that use Mashups in these ways:
After some work the titles and descriptions for my presentations on the Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin and the Mashup Camp in Dublin during the coming weeks are now set, now it is just the small work of doing the acctual content left…
Enterprise Mashup Infrastructure: How Web 2.0 technologies are used inside Enterprises today
This is the Web 2.0 Expo presentation and it will be about how Mashups enable companies to solve problems quickly and efficiently, and also deal with problems that are impossible to figure out using traditional technologies. I will cover the basics of mashups and the technology behind them, real-life examples of how mashups are used within enterprises today and what the mashup infrastructure looks like.
In an enterprise environment, mashups can be seen as an extension and a compliment to SOA, and not just as simple Google Maps applications that are viewed on the web. This approach enables self-service IT that lets business users build the situational applications they need to solve the problems at hand. A key problem in enterprise mashup building is how to get access to abundance of unstructured data both inside and outside the company firewall. And, this is a problem that can now be solved in minutes rather than hours or days. How this is done will be shown in a short demonstration.
Where are all the APIs and Web Services? Build APIs to any web site in minutes using Kapow Mashup Server.
In this Mashup Camp presentation I will zoom in on one of the most forgotten parts of Mashups. There are many great tools available to build the user interface on a Mashup, but were are all the APIs and Web Services needed to feed the Mashup? These APIs will not appear magically and even if more APIs are created every day it is going quite slow. Using the Kapow Mashup Server and openkapow.com you can build an API to almost any web site in a matter of minutes. Suddenly you can use the whole internet as a structured data source to feed your mashups.
See you there!
If this is anything you like to hear about and happen to come to Berlin or Dublin then please drop by and hear me speak.
Soon it is time for me to have a couple of intense conferense weeks. November 5-8 I am going to Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin and then November 10-12 I am going to Mashup Camp in Dublin. It will be two widely different events I suspect, so I am looking forward to them both. Since I am going to have presentations on both of them I am busy with doing some power point programming about Mashups and Kapow right now.
If any of you reading this are going to either Web 2.0 Expo or Mashup Camp (especially any Swedes!) then please let me know and we can meet over some sponsored beer and discuss life, universe and ridicolus Facebook evaluations …