6 October, 2007

Apps for Facebook groups

Filed under: Online communities by Joel @ 9:32 pm, 6 October 2007.

Facebook’s applications platform/API has made it a much more versatile world of activity. Many, or most, are basically useless, but the idea of third-party extensibility in general has allowed Facebook’s uses to multiply (and has given developers an easy development and deployment framework).

But Facebook groups (or other features) could do with the same versatility being available. Applications could make groups a powerful framework for tasks like:

  • charting fundraising by or for the group
  • publishing regular event times
  • better-than-forum planning and discussion tools
  • polls, voting or surveys
  • rostering
  • game tournaments
  • friend wheels to show how group members are connected
  • Countdowns, countups and counters (e.g. how many of my yeargroup have got married)
  • hundreds of thousands of other things only other Facebook users could come up with.

There’s a good chance Zuckerberg and his team have thought of this already, but the privacy arrangements would have to be quite complicated: at the moment individual users consent to individual applications having access to their personal information. Just because a user is a member of a group with an app, that doesn’t mean they consent to the app knowing about them. Will users have to consent to a group’s apps when they join it, or each time the group admin adds another app? That’s potentially a lot of bureaucracy.

Basically, this could get messy. But the future tells of bright and endless possibilities.

23 July, 2007

My wheel of friends

Filed under: Online communities by Joel @ 2:04 am, 23 July 2007.

Friends wheel thumbnailAfter hesitantly accepting a few and later removing them, I’ve generally avoided the craze of Facebook applications. While I could imagine great potential for them, without more centralisation, most are highly redundant and plain annoying.

Nonetheless, I have for a long time wanted to know the relationships between my friends on Facebook. I.e., who of my friends know each other? More so, who is a common friend of a lot of my friends, but is not listed as my own? (more…)

20 February, 2007

“I’ll Facebook friend you…”

Filed under: Online communities,Society and culture by Joel @ 7:59 pm, 20 February 2007.

As the Facebook craze sweeps the universities and high schools of Australia, I have begun to find myself with a problem: I don’t know who my friends are anymore. And by that, it’s not a matter of trust, but that all sorts of people I’ve known but otherwise wouldn’t call “friends” have decided to “Facebook friend” me. Do I accept? (more…)

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