Pimping my new site – Widget Death Match

Yes, I love that widgety goodness, so I’ve set up Widget Death Match to create a home for the best widgets on the web. Currently running KickApps on the back end, I’m working on augmenting it with Pligg (Drupal-based Digg clone) so it’s easy for people to share and vote on widgets around the web.

Update: First off, it turns out that despite it’s popularity, Pligg is a POS. It’s not even based on Drupal! For that, you need Drigg, which is the bastard child of Pligg’s former dev talent. It was all too much, so I switched WDM to use Wordpress; it’s now waiting for a skin job.

I am a dad

This is a week late, but I’ve been busy. Last Sunday morning at 637am, my daughter Winifred Martha Keane surprised us all by showing up 20 days early. Delivery was the easy part. More later.

Does social network design affect local acceptance?

Despite some social networking juggernauts’ efforts to become global standards, a quick survey of the most popular social networks seems to indicate that social networking experiences cannot easily be optimized for ubiquity.

Why is Fotolog a relatively photo sharing site in the US but wildly popular in Brazil? Hi5 and Bebo are both able to capture the attention of many social networkers in India and the UK, respectively, despite the hype around MySpace and Facebook here in the US.

OpenSocial ain’t all that, but Pluck has some interesting ideas

After doing some research, I realized there was a major flaw in my previous post regarding the potential of OpenSocial – the new standard will not allow member data to move between the various participating social networks. For now, the gardens will remain walled. Cattle? Safe!

So what this means is that if you build an app, you can plug it into any social network that participates in the OpenSocial standards, but not across multiple participating social networks.

Thinkin bout APIs…

John Musser offered a presentation at Web 2.0 Expo titled Open APIs: Big Picture and Best Practices (that’s a PDF link).

His slides #4, explains why publishers should care about APIs:

  • Ebay uses them to make money: Over 45% of all products get listed via their APIs
  • Google Maps uses them to build their brand, seeing 300% growth vs 20% MapQuest

Zero to 60,000 members in 12 weeks

Social networks are valuable two big reasons:

  1. They cheaply attract eyeballs to your pages
  2. They provide heaps of data about your audience

For reasons to be addressed in a later post (or in my recent FOWA presentation, if you were one of the five people in the audience), both of those benefits are best achieved via targeted, niche communities. That means YOUR community, not those big social networking warehouses. Until recently, setting up a scalable social network with plenty of rich media, Widgets, and whatever else was a big pain in the ass.