Building Facebook Applications at BCA4

Monday, 19 July 2010

Richard Wright of Federation Media talked at Barcamp Auckland 4 about building FaceBook applications –- pitfalls and promotion. He worked on a campaign that involved using a FaceBook application to give away free beer. Some interesting technical challenges and details there. And other challenges too — despite apparently being technically within FaceBook’s (extraordinarily complex) terms and conditions, the application was taken down when FB objected to the free alcohol angle.

He gave some insights into what went well and what didn’t about the campaign. In a sharing campaign like this, it’s important to clarify exactly what is being shared. Is it the beer token? Is it the beer itself? Or is it the get-together with friends to go to the bar to get the beer? He said a bit more thought in this area would have improved the participation level. He referred to Social Object Theory and posited that FaceBook’s Live Stream is its social “Supersoul”. This may fit in with the theory’s concepts, but the thought that FaceBook has a supersoul just makes me want to throw my computer out the window.

On the technical side, they put their app in an iframe instead of using FBML, FaceBook’s markup language, because FBML was not quite flexible enough. But he recommended using FBML if possible because it is continually improving and it’s a lot easier than reimplementing all that functionality.

There was so much in the talk that he was only half done when his 45 minutes was up. I would have stayed for more but I had another session to rush to.

In another room there was a session on workflow automation. Judging by the tweets, this looked brilliant. Glen Barnes talked about this topic which is very close to my heart — I have long thought that this is what computers are for, dammit! I’m very happy to see that his presentation is on his blog now: Doing Less. Using SaaS and APIs to automate your workflow.

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment