Yearly archive for 2007

Like Facebook, but without all the fun

The newest splash in the “Facebook in the Enterprise” race is a facebook application called “WorkBook” from a company called WorkLight.

WorkBook is apparently part of the WorkLight platform, and pricing starts at $10/user/month.

Some coverage:

McAfee, who was able to see a demo, has the best details on the workings of the app:

In a quick demo, Lavenda opened up his standard public Facebook profile, then launched WorkBook (Worklight’s offering) just like he’d launch any other Facebook application. After he logged in, a separate section opened up within the profile. This section was devoted to the user’s employer— let’s call it Lavendaco. Inside this section were a number of standard Facebook features— friends, groups, Q&A, profiles, etc.—presented using the standard Facebook UI. But the data populating each of these were specific to Lavendaco, came from the Worklight server installed at Lavendaco, were encrypted as they travelled across the Internet, and did not pass through Facebook servers.

But I have to confess my own reaction is closer to Bill Ives, which is, wouldn’t this be pretty easy to build yourself, on top of Facebook APIs?

Maybe a good candidate for our next ONE (Optaros New Employee) training class, wherein the team does a quick project. Our Intranet is Drupal 6 based, and shouldn’t be too hard to pull that in to Facebook. I know there is already a Facebook Module for Drupal 5.x

I feel like a star

Kyle Flaherty posted a video compiled largely during the Social Media Breakfast IV earlier this week in Boston: Solving the Challenges of 2008.

It includes yours truly (0:42 through about 1:20) babbling on about distributed social networking and the DiSo project. (I didn’t really go prepped to give the elevator pitch for DiSo, but I think I covered the concept ok – maybe more social network portability in general than that project in particular).

Now, I took the question very much in the context of “social media” and the topic of conversation that morning, and did not go for solving things like the war in Iraq, global warming, or ending poverty on the planet. But that doesn’t mean I’m shallow, just focused.

Flash, Flex, Open Source?

(Via Alex Russell’s blog I came across Mike Shaver’s “Being Open About Being Closed,” which is an excellent discussion of Adobe’s positioning of the Flash player and Flex in Top 10 Adobe Flex Misconceptions.

As Mike points out, the fact that the Tamarin is an open source project, and that various people in the community have over time deciphered the SWF file format, does not make Flash anything other than a proprietary product.

In many of the presentations I give about rich Internet applications, I use a slide which looks something like this:

Ajax and RIA Frameworks

It’s intended to communicate two key concepts:

  1. There are a huge number of mature, professional open source toolkits and frameworks for building RIAs.
  2. There is strong pressure on proprietary, closed, commercial toolkits and frameworks in this space to open up, at least in terms of source code visibility and modifiability, if not in terms of redistribution.


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Now it’s getting interesting – distributed social networking

Two exciting and (relatively) new projects this morning for those interested in social network portability, the social graph, and related concepts: Apache Shindig and DiSo. Both are critical, necessary, and sizable building blocks pointing in the direction of a free (as in freedom AND beer), open, portable, distributed social network infrastructure.

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Who clicks on Ads?

danah boyd asks the question that’s been on my mind since (at least) the Futures of Entertainment confernce panel on metrics and measurement: Who Clicks on Ads?

Advertising is the bread and butter of the web, yet most of my friends claim that they never click on ads, typically using a peacock tone that signals their pride in being ad-averse. The geekier amongst them go out of their way to run Mozilla scripts to scrape ads away, bemoaning the presence of consumer culture. Yet, companies increasingly rely on ad revenue to turn a profit and, while clicking on ads ?may? be declining, it certainly hasn’t gone away. This raises a critical question: Who are the people that click on ads?

She points out that many of the answers at this point are heavily anecdotal – the kind of assumed “middle America” we often project when we need to explain some mass behavior in which we don’t participate. What she finds, in what little research is available, is perhaps surprising:

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