Tech gossip blog Valleywag is attempting to counter the TechCrunch-spawned rumor that MySpace.com will be following in Facebook's footsteps and opening up its site to developers.
Sources in touch with the Gawker Media-owned blog allegedly said that MySpace is indeed brewing a developer platform strategy and that the News Corp.-owned social networking site will be making an announcement at next week's Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco--but the two are unrelated.
The lengthy legal fight between social-networking scion Facebook and onetime rival ConnectU isn't over yet. New developments in the dispute on Wednesday probed deeper into the question of exactly what happened in 2004, when both sites were early-stage start-ups run essentially out of Harvard University dorm rooms.
The best-known component of the court drama has been ConnectU's allegation that Zuckerberg pilfered the former's business plan while he was a student at Harvard with ConnectU founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (they're twins) and Divya Narendra. In a San Jose, Calif., courtroom on Wednesday, however, the conversation turned … Read more
I came across a very disturbing social networking site last week called Yuwie. It's another site that's decided that for some reason, using a free, and highly functional social service populated by your friends (like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, etc.) is worth ditching for something built with very little ease of use or original design, but created to help you make ludicrous amounts of money by selling out your friends.
It works like this: you get a share of money for every page view on the service (the site makes its money by selling ads). Also, the more people visit your page, the more page views you get a percentage of. Yuwie then takes it a step further with referrals, letting you get a percentage of money from the activity of any friends you've invited to the service, along with their friends, and people who their friends have invited. This goes on for 10 "levels," so you could theoretically have close to 100,000 referrals if your friends and their invitees continue to invite others who use the service beyond the one-month probation period.
Does this idea sound familiar? It's a pyramid scheme. The problem with this, economically, is that it's unsustainable. The people at the top can't possibly pay out the promised amount, and the people stuck at the bottom aren't getting the same benefits as those who have spammed referrals to their friends higher up in the chain. Speaking of spam, even if you're on there with your friends, you're bound to get an intolerable amount of spam from people you don't know as the service grows. The second most popular group on the service at the moment has been specifically designed as a place to add random groups of other folks to beef up your bonus money. Is this the kind of network you want to be a part of? At least the site isn't asking for a sign-up fee--if it did, it'd be illegal. And it ought to be.
The worst part is that Yuwie is pretty much a carbon copy of MySpace, circa two years ago, with nearly identical profile features--meaning you're not really getting anything more than you would with a mainstream social network.… Read more
Amnesty Hypercube, which is probably the best name I've seen this year, has a new Facebook app that's pretty handy if you're a user of their desktop application. Like its other "Amnesty" services, the new app from the folks at Mesa Dynamics takes pretty much any widget code you can throw at it, and runs it in Facebook. In turn, it syncs up with Amnesty's desktop widget app, meaning any widgets you add at home will be available without having to re-add them.
There are several reasons why this is useful. One is for … Read more
Have you gotten sick of the word "platform" yet? Sorry.
According to a post on TechCrunch, MySpace.com is planning to follow in Facebook's footsteps and open up a set of application program interfaces (APIs) so that developers can create "MySpace apps" in the vein of Facebook apps.
TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, who apparently got the details from developers who have been consulted on the project, wrote that we may be seeing this as early as next week--potentially at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco.
More specifically, this is allegedly going to be … Read more
On Monday at the Graphing Social Patterns conference, I moderated a panel about making money from Facebook apps, with Giles Goodwin of Widgetbox, Hooman Radfar of Clearspring, and Jeff Nolan of Newsgator. It's a complicated question, especially for companies that have existing Web-based businesses. When do you start work on a Facebook app? Will a Facebook product cannibalize your other Web products? Can an online business survive on Facebook exclusively?
According to an e-mail copied to the CenterNetworks blog, Facebook's much-touted developer grant program may be off to a rocky start. The FBFund initiative is apparently restructuring its application process and is asking that all previous applicants re-submit their materials. Initially, applications were to be submitted via e-mail; now, a submission form is available.
"To make sure that everyone understands the conditions of submitting a grant application, we will not review any materials you have sent via email, and any materials you may have sent have been deleted," the copy-pasted e-mail read. It's apparently to ensure … Read more
Let's say you've got a great new Facebook app or widget. Good for you! Too bad no one is going to see it.
Narendra Rocherolle (and a few other entrepreneurs) are trying to rescue your app. Rocherolle launched fbExchange a few months ago with the goal of making the "long tail" of apps work for developers. The idea is that you put a little ad banner on your page, which other apps are pitched on. In exchange, your app gets advertised on other Facebook apps.
You can buy clicks if you have no traffic to feed … Read more
Facebook has several layers of functionality that make it worth using, but my favorite is the once-controversial news feed. Why? I simply don't have time to check each of my friend's profiles for what's new, and the feed does a pretty great job at that without all the legwork or annoying e-mail notifications. FriendFeed is a new service that takes the idea of a news feed and extends it beyond the social network into other social services you're a part of. There are more than 20 to pick and choose from, including social news services like … Read more