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June 19, 2007

Facebook application growth

Silicon.com has an interesting article describing the rate of growth of Facebook applications - this month's big must-have I guess.  I'd build one myself if I could think of anything useful to build!

In discussion on Brian Kelly's blog I tried (unsuccessfully) to argue that we need to be careful to develop applications that fit with the fb mindset (which broadly speaking is "all about me") and not try to turn it into YAP (yet another portal) just because we are desperate to put our applications (e.g. search the library catalogue) in front of people's eyeballs.

I don't want my fb page covered in hundreds of search applications thank you very much.

But I (reluctantly) concede that others might - and if so, who am I to discourage them :-).  I do think that libraries have a role in supporting and encouraging the "this is what I've been reading recently" type of fb application.

One of the most powerful aspects of fb is that the Facebook Platform allows it to go where its users want it to go.  People will vote with their feet so to speak.


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Thought there was some agreement with your point, especially:

> I don't want my fb page covered in
> hundreds of search applications thank
> you very much.

Too right. Facebook profiles for some people are already getting very long as people get "App Happy".

One of the downsides of MySpace was that it took too long to scan people's pages (though often more for aesthetic, rather than content, reasons - but time is time). FB could go the same way.

After spending 1995-1999 in countless meetings, events, projects, services, workshops about cross-searching and interoperability, it would also be ironic if FB completely undid or ignored these sensible approaches.

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