Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Map of Top Social Networks

Map of Top Social Networks
Originally uploaded by FaceySpacey.com

Emote : Going high on my Circle

Today, Since morning i was keeping track on Orkut Apps installation and recent update to check their usage..
One thing is very clear outta of it is ... Emote App is one big profile burner... I am sure the stats much really be good :) So what we can learn out of it is .. Orkut Users are finding it really easy and catchy to use Simple Apps.. two clicks and they are ready with that they want.
But hey .. that doesn't mean other apps wont work... or may not be popular... !! Its just that i will take time the graph will moveup steadily.. No Spikes can be expected. at this point.

My Earlier post on Emote here

Friday, April 18, 2008

Install and Win - WOW!! what an idea sirji!

Well i am not referring to Idea Cellular's Tag line..

Its contests2win's smart move on spreading out their orkut myHangman App.

What is myHangman?
myHangman is the classic word game of Hangman. You can create your Hangman quizzes on your favourite movies, music, TV shows and more. Challenge your friends and have a lot of fun!

How to Install?
Log on to Orkut. On the Left Hand Side, click on the Add Apps link. In the list scroll down and click on the myHangman app.


How to play?
Guess the missing letters of the alphabet to fill in the blanks and get the right answer. Simply click on the Alphabets. Any further doubts, comments, queries? Feel free to comment.

As an introductory offer - we will be giving Rs 3000 (Rs 1000 each) away to 3 lucky users who install the myHangman application on Orkut. All you have to do is install the application and then leave a comment here with your: Orkut Display Name and your C2W iD.

Winners will be announced on the 15th of May.

Source : http://blog.contests2win.com/2008/04/17/orkut-application-myhangman/

Thursday, April 17, 2008

How to Intall Apps on Orkut

Orkut expands range, unveils open social applications - ET

Google, the global web services leader, today broadened its popular networking site Orkut's portfolio by launching Open Social Applications that allows users to add games and music to their profile page.

Google said these applications, created by third party developers, lets users interact with friends and customize the Orkut profile by adding games, music.

"With over a dozen applications to choose from today and many more on the way, you can share your favourite books with other enthusiasts, tell your friends about your favourite hangouts, and even play games with them. These applications are integrated into user profiles in the same manner as regular Orkut features, such as scrapbook or testimonials", Manu Rekhi, Product Manager, Google said from the US.

The launch of OpenSocial on Orkut means that developers can potentially reach tens of millions of Orkut users from around the world and hundreds of millions of new users through other OpenSocial container sites, the Google executive said.
Indian developers contributed a number of applications, so applications on Orkut will also allow for a more 'desi' experience on Orkut. 'Hangout' is one such application that enables Orkut users to schedule an event and invite friends to it. Be it a concert or a coffee meeting, you can now let your friends know where to 'hang out'!

Orkut has over 60 lakh users in India. Google's announcement comes on a day when Rupert Murdoch-run Global media conglomerate News Corporation brought its social networking website MySpace to India.

Source : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Orkut_expands_range_unveils_open_social_applications/articleshow/2959892.cms

8 more Orkut Opensocial Apps under review

After seeing a Great response of Apps on Orkut.. here i go adding 8 more apps under review. As suggested by Mr. Mike i will even try to keep/save Bugs on the apps so that if asked by the developer.. i can provide it.

List of Apps :

1. RockYou App1!
2. iLike
3. myHangman
4. BuboMe
5. iPoke
6. TypeRacer
7. RockYou App2

OpenSocial Launched in India

Here we go!!! Orkut’s is ready to be plugged with application Built on OpenSocial Platform. So now if you click on “Add application and Customise your Profile” it will take you to an Application Directory.from where you have an option to select/install application you wish to be on your Profile.

If you tasted iRead app on facebook and loved it then its party time for you… coz we have it here too. So go ahead and install it.

Ps: you might face problem installing apps or might even landup seeing some errors on the application you have installed but don’t worry our Google and the App developer team is working behind the scene.
More on Official Link here
Happy Orkuting - with OpenSocial
Orkut Post here

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Orkut OpenSocial - Official Launch in India

As per my prediction (after reading this Post) Google might launch its OpenSocial Platform on 18th of April for All profiles who marked "India" as their Country.

Some forums/Blogs went ahead and declared that Orkut Team just overlooked India, Brazil and other Countries when it came to Launch OpenSocial Platform and suggested for a Global Launch.. LOL!!

Guyz! open your mind and think Practical!! What are you ppl asking for.. "A global Launch??". Dam!! its so not Practical..

Going for a Global launch is just not Practical because of some reasons like :

1. First and foremost the apps which are created cant take that much of load at one GO! the servers might just burnout, due to heavy traffic.

2. Launching Apps for Places Like Estonia gives low chances of Down time as the User base is around 1% of the total orkuters around the global

3. Test run is always good so its better to test with less number of users and improve/rectify and fine tune the application before its given out for a country like india

4. After all its Google .. they know the web better then any other.. I can bet on it. :)

All ok with the News that Opensocial is lauching in India but whats thr for the USERS.. they have no idea on what opensocial is .... Trust me..
they just know one thing.. "Orkut= Scraps + Profiles" :D

So Orkut Users Get Ready to install some Apps Like :

My Hangman.
Books iRead
Emote and many more..

I will keep you posted on Catchy/Sticky Apps Daily.

Martin Selva

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Unofficial Orkut Opensocial application directory

Add your Application here so that people can test your Apps
Url : http://www.osocial.net/apps/index.php5

OpenSocial App Reviewed : iRead

iRead is a social book discovery application. With iRead you can organize your favorite books in bookshelves, rate and review them. You can browse what other iReaders and friends are reading. iRead learns from your book reading tastes and recommends books you will like and also users who read like you. Add application and join the social book discovery revolution!

iRead is one of the best crafter application i came across. As said its a Social Book Discovey Application so Search - Add - Broadcast is the key feature of it. With a cool/simple UI you really don't have to take pains to learn to use this Application..
[Picture of Search Box here]

Some cool features of iRead :

Search : iRead search is powered by huge Database of Books. you name it and it will be there. If not then with "Cant find a book, add it" feature you can simply add it. Its that Simple

Explore : One good Social Networking Feature, with explore one can see what our friend Has Read/Reading it/wanna read ..

Fun Stuff : Fun stuff is loaded with sections like Book Quiz, Browse Questions, Browse Quizzes, Add Question, Add Quiz, Leaderboard and mY Quizzes.
As i guess "Never Ending Book Quiz" will be fun.. above it an UGC element like Add Question to "Never Ending Quiz" adds up to the plate. Cant forgot Leaderboard which shows "iReader's" stats.. Just one Question to the Dev team. Why is the Facebook "No profile Image" is showing up here ;)

Issues : Not a Show Stopper tho.. if i log into my facebook account and at the same time i check out my Orkut iRead App on Orkut, i get to see my Facebook App .. surprisingly with all those Facebook Apps Ads. too ;-)

Overall, a must have application on your Profile.

Kuddos iRead Dev Team who are working behind the scene to create such a Easy to use and Sticky Application.

iRead :

Sticky Factor :
User Interface :
Viral Factor : 4.00
Personalize Factor : 3.00
Report a Bug Feature : No
Developed by - ugenie.com
Web URL : http://ugenie.com/
Application URL :

Sunday, April 6, 2008



There are two actors in Opensocial. The OWNER refers to the person that has installed the app on their profile. The VIEWER refers to the person visiting the profile.

  • Viewers can have three different relationships with the owner: either they are FRIENDS, they are FOF (friends-of-friends) or they are UNRELATED (referred to as everyone in Orkut).
  • The viewer has two relationships with the app - either they have installed the app or they haven't.
Users will likely be confused with 6 viewer states as they navigate across the network. So, we recommend just 2 states for viewers:
  • Friends with App (FA)
  • Guest - everyone else



1 - A user's profile is their face to the orkut community. Therefore, the owner should be able to easily see how their profile will appear to others. This requires that:

  • the content being shown on ProfileBox to OWNER, FA and GUEST viewers must be the same. Examples of content: top friends, favorite movies, cities visited, etc
  • it is permissible to have different actions for OWNER and FA viewer. for example, a FA viewer can leave a comment or an OWNER can rearrange songs in a playlist
What is NOT allowed:
  • Message that says "you must install this app to see stuff". This violates the principle that OWNER, FA and GUEST viewers see the same content.
  • Showing an action that the user cannot perform without installing an app. For example - "want to play me?" or "find out how lazy you are" that lead to the app install page. If the user cannot take an action without installing app, don't display the action.
  • "add xyz to your profile" which are ads for the app. Orkut automatically places a link below each ProfileBox to "add this app to your profile". So, if the user wants to install the app, they already can.

Tip: Design for GUEST viewer first. Then, add actions for FA viewers - like allowing them to comment. Design for OWNER last - like letting them update their status, rearrange songs in a playlist, etc.

2 - Autoplay is NOT allowed in ProfileBox. Users do like it when their page plays music or video when their friends visit. But, there are two issues in the v1 of platform:

  • media streaming prevents other apps on the page from loading
  • multiple apps autoplay together creating a cacophonous experience

Until we sort out these issues, no autoplay is allowed on profile page.


The height for profileBox is 280 pixels by default and expandable to 500 pixels. The profileBox should fit within 500 pixels - to avoid appearance of vertical scrollbars.



Due to the limit of 3 Profile boxes on profile, the app's profileBox may not be visible on the user's profile at all. So, the app must not assume that the OWNER or VIEWER are navigating to the canvas from the profileBox. The canvas page may be the first view that the OWNER or VIEWER may have of the application. So, the FIRST VIEW presented on the canvas page must follow the same rules as ProfileBox. Additionally, apps are NOT allowed to:

  • Redirect of any kind as they break the browser's back button
  • Redirect GUEST viewers to App install page


Autoplay on the canvas page IS allowed. This is because the issue of traffic congestion between apps and multiple apps autoplaying at the same time don't apply on the canvas page.


1 - Apps are encouraged to support a GUEST mode that lets the user experience the app before they install it. for example:

  • Games: Let the GUEST play a game (like Hangman) and show how their score ranks with the OWNER of the canvas page.
  • Interaction: Let the GUEST create a photo-attack using the OWNER's photos
  • Music, movies, books, travel: Let the GUEST create a collection of their favorite songs / movies / books / cities.
2 - The API doesn't allow for params to be passed from GUEST mode to INSTALL flow and back to the OWNER mode once the app has been installed. We will soon support this usecase in the API. In the meantime, you can accomplish this usecase by using a cookie.



  • Don't show a blank screen as the app is loading. Show a "loading..." message. Tip: Use http://www.ajaxload.info/ to generate Ajax loader icon.
  • Use error handling in your app. When an error occurs, generate a user-friendly message. Html alerts boxes are strongly discouraged as they're modal and interruptive.
  • Call the adjustheight() method when the height changes. This will remove double-scrollbars.


  • The app should try to fit the content so horizontal scrollbars don't appear in the app.



  • Updates must reflect an action that the user took. For example, user adding an artist, sending a gift to someone else or writing a review for a movie.
  • If there's an image, it must be about something that the user created, bookmarked or posted.
  • Profile pictures of friends are allowed if the owner interacted with their friend - like adding someone to their top friends list, for example.
  • Profile picture of activity owner are NOT allowed - as it does not add unique information to the update.
  • Generic message that says "User is using app" are NOT allowed.
  • Application logos are NOT allowed in the updates. The app already gets attribution in title and soon, we'll add the app's fav-icon as well.
  • Ads to add the application or any links that point to the AppInfo page are NOT allowed.
  • Fonts must be 12pt or smaller.
  • Use of bold is not allowed.
  • Information shown in title and body must be different and no information can repeat.


  • Provide notification inside the app that an update was added.
  • Summarize. It's much better to create a digest update rather than multiple updates. The app can pool updates and post on the canvas window.unload event.
  1. this update is basically an Ad for the app and so not allowed. the app should correct this by showing names and covers of books that the user is reading.
  2. this update is good - it shows the song name and album cover. but, it also includes an ad to add the app to profile. the app should correct this by removing the ad.
  3. this update repeats the user's name 3 times and mentions ReadingSocial 3 times. The app should correct this by only mentioning the user's name, name of book and name of app just once in the update. Also, the sentence is gramatically incorrect - it should say "his ReadingSocial bookshelf" not "their".
  4. this update should summarize for better information density - perhaps the title says "Eduardo Cordeiro added Regina Spektor to his Artists iLike" and the body shows the album cover and lists the 2 songs "Ghost of Corporate Future" and "Little Rich Boy".
  5. this update repeats the user's name and uses bold and bigger fonts than allowed.

Still to do:
summarization ...TODO...
localization ...TODO...



When the user gives access to their data to an app, the app can access and keep that data on their servers till the user uninstalls the app. But, orkut doesn't yet support app uninstall events. Until Orkut implements that, the app must not keep any data about the user obtained via Orkut APIs for a maximum period of 7 days.



To ensure against broken images in updates and profileBox, either use a highly available service or use a CDN (content distribution network).



Apps should implement the following sequence to avoid apps breaking
  • update the gadget spec to 'in maintenance version'
  • wait for the cache to pick it up
  • go into maintenance
  • update the gadget spec to normal
  • wait for the cache to pick it up



Let users copy-paste Html scraps ...TODO



  • List all the required fields ... TODO
  • The app logo will be used against different colored backgrounds. So, the App logo must use transparent background for app logo and favicons.
  • Recommended screenshot size ... TODO


  • Incorporate name of your app in logo.


In order to create the best possible user experience and quickly grow your application's popularity, we recommend that you create comprehensive help resources. Users are more likely to continue to use your application and to share it with their friends if they understand how it works, how it relates to orkut, and how to contact you with questions or to report bugs. The orkut team won't provide user support for individual apps. By offering support for your app you'll not only help create a great user experience, but also be able to leverage user feedback to enhance, improve, and grow your application.


  • You MUST have name of your developer company/organization name in-app so that users can identify the creators of the app. Fill out ModulePrefs/TODO
  • You MUST provide a basic level of FAQ/help content hosted somewhere externally (on your site or even a blog). This might include: a summary of app's purpose, information on the basic functionality and how to use the app, as well as any questions you frequently receive from users. Fill out ModulePrefs/TODO
  • When submitting an app, you MUST provide us with the URL to the help content so that we can link to it from the "About this App" page. Fill out ModulePrefs/TODO
  • You MUST provide users with a way to contact you (email address, group, forum, or orkut community which you regularly monitor and participate in). This is an important part of creating a positive community surrounding your app, getting user feedback, and providing assistance with troubleshooting bugs. You MUST provide us with this contact information so that we can link to it from the "About this App" page. Fill out ModulePrefs/TODO


  • You SHOULD have a basic level of FAQ/help content within the app itself. This can be a "Help" link on the app canvas page that opens an in-app help page describing the best ways to use your application, frequently asked questions, and your support contact inf
  • We strongly recommend putting your help in-app so users can understand your app without leaving it. If you don't put your help in-app, it is suggested that you link to your external help content from within the UI (rather than just the "About this app" page).
  • You SHOULD have a way for users to contact you in-app (email address, Group, or orkut community).



(pending verification of technique with Emote)
  • The app must make no network calls in rendering the ProfileBox as that adds latency
  • Images and Flash are allowed
  • DataRequest calls are not allowed. The app must use the AppData store for content that will be displayed on the ProfileBox. AppData content will be pre-fetched and so will not incur network latency


Orkut can dynamically detect a pattern of JSON requests that your application makes at startup, and "prefetch" these results before you even ask for them. To get the biggest win, you need to carefully control what is in your first OpenSocial DataRequest:
  • DO make your first DataRequest predictable
  • DO request data that you will always or nearly always need, even if it's not needed immediately
  • DO try to batch up multiple DataRequests into one
  • DON'T request data you don't need
  • DON'T add an Update Person App Data item to your first DataRequest
  • DON'T call openSocial.requestCreateActivity() before sending your first DataRequest


  • Turn on gzip for any content you deliver


  • Combine multiple Javascript and CSS into single Javascript and CSS files
  • Minimize JS and CSS using tool at ...
  • Use CSS image spriting using tool at ...
  • Set "Expires" headers on your content
  • Split CSS and image files across 2-4 servers
  • Place JS as late in the page as possible
  • Take advantage of the multiple content sections in your gadget spec to render more tailored views for canvas and profile pages. In particular focus on making your profile view as lean as possible
Not sure:
  • Take advantage of the Orkut Open Social request prefetcher - isn't this automatic?
  • use Orkut albums to store and serve images?



Escape all user input before displaying onscreen.

  • In general, user input should be handled carefully. In order to prevent user-entered JavaScript from being executed inadvertently, all input should be escaped using gadgets.util.escapeString() before being output (e.g. by assigning an element's 'innerHTML' property).
  • App data is a special class of user input and is automatically escaped when fetched. This means that app data does not need escaping if used to store single string values. If a JSON string is stored in app data, however, it must first be unescaped before being passed into gadgets.json.parse(). But because this also unescapes all property values of the returned JavaScript object, the original problem reappears. In this case, all property values must be escaped before being output in case they contain malicious or mischievous script.
  • When in doubt, go ahead and escape all string data before displaying it. Because escaping is a repeatable operatation, escaping an already escaped string will not have any effect.

Sign and verify all requests for third-party resources

  • When using gadgets.io.makeRequest(), sign the request first using this technique. Signed requests provide a way of verifying whether a request is genuine -- that is, whether it originated from orkut -- and whether the requester is legitimate since the viewer's OpenSocial ID is signed and sent with the request. Sample code for verifying signed requests using PHP is available now and examples in other languages will be forthcoming.


The developer does not need to share any revenue with orkut.com. If you're using Adsense (by Google) then the usual adsense terms apply.


  • Ads are not allowed in ProfileBox
  • Promotion of other applications or products is not allowed in ProfileBox
  • Ads are allowed on Canvas. The developer is free to use any Ad network or place Ads by direct arrangement
  • Ads must say it is an Ad or sponsored link/message
  • Ads must meet the guidelines laid out for Google Adwords. Some specific items of note:
    • Ads must not mimic system functionality or warnings
    • Ads must only use FamilySafe content - no adult content
    • Ads must not promote copyrighted content without permissoin
    • Ads must stay inbounds to the Ads region - they must not expand beyond the Ad rectangle
    • Flash Ads must be smaller than 50K
    • Animation is restricted to a maximum of 15 seconds, after which point they must remain static
    • Don't use strobing, flashing backgrounds or otherwise distracting ads are not allowed
  • In addition:
    • Ads must not show any misleading content such as "update from your friend" or "scrap from your friend"


  • Co-branding is allowed in ProfileBox and Canvas page as long as the user put it there and there is a non-commercial option available. Examples:
    • "Peter gave Amar a Heineken beer" is ok as long as Peter can also give Amar something else like a high-five.
    • Using a movie-sponsored skin for a slideshow is ok as long as the user chose it and there is also a default skin available for the slideshow.
  • Cross-promotion of other apps is allowed on Canvas page as long as installing the app is not tied to unlocking any other functionality in the app.


  • If you are caught in violation of the policy, your app will be removed from the directory for 10 days; users who have installed your app will be able to continue to use it, but you will not be able to grow your user base during this time frame.
  • If you are caught again, all apps produced by your company or organization will be removed from the directory for 30 days or for however long your app continues to violate these terms (whichever is longer).

Scratch space

  • app as home and rooms
  • app philosophy. preventing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

Thursday, March 6, 2008

OpenSocial : Graphing Social Patterns 2008

Found a nice Presentation on OpenSocial from Graphing Social Patterns 2008 conference .. it has a nice overview on Apache Shindig and some details of Hi5 implementation..

Tip : http://rollerweblogger.org/roller/

Saturday, March 1, 2008

OpenSocial : Tips on Creating/Planning your App.

While Developing application, Games.. etc for OpenSocial we usually make one Big Mistake is to create Apps which we Like or replicate a product which did good on some other Medium.. take an eg. of an Viral ad./ app which did good on Portal/website might not do good on Social Networking Site (SNS) because in some way .. SNS does not work like usual ".Com"

So, do what?

Well, i have some markers which i presume every Product Mangers and Developer should keep in mind before developing an App.

- Design your Application keeping in mind that it should fit into most of the known OpenSocial Containers such as Orkut,Hi5,Ning,MySpace,Bebo,Friendster .... and so on. But if you are targeting one particular Container such as Orkut.. then please make sure your Application looks cool on inside it.

- Come out of your own "World" from where you are looking @ SNS.. forget what you like/Dislike and rethink on whats widely used Feature types.. 'X' feature might sound "Cool" to you.. might not coz the larger part of TGs needs/likes something else.

- Widely work on Feedbacks with different sets of TGs. Co-workers and Subordinates a big NO NO.

- UI gives the intial kick start to any application So work around it.. as much possible.Cleaner the better. If you are targeting one particular Container.. a Look Alike will gain Confidence.

- Most Important point : You are developing/Planning a Social App.. Cross check that your app is SNS friendly or not.

- Try incorporating messaging Feature.. Comments.. Feedback.. Voting.. Ping.. what ever that makes the user (person who installed the App) interact with the Users from and Out side the Friends List ( with permission )

Let me explain you why : I, as an user of "X" particular app will love to see any app which says more about me .. may be in a Funniest manner or in a coolest way ..
ideally a personality type app which shows me who all are of my type.. is Cool
a Game App which shows me who all scored around my personal Highest Score.. is Cool
an App which relates us to people inside and Out Side my List.. is So very Coool.. after all .. its all about networking..

- A very specific Note to the Developer/Designer/PM ..Showcase your app in a very Smarter and self explanatory way by creating Cool Icons and a Simple description about your apps in not more thn 3 lines

- Viral out your Apps using Communities ( Don't Spam ) Post installation .. make sure your apps is broadcasting some Update under "updates from my friends"

- Avoid incorporating Too Many feature... "Every body is not a Geek" keep it simple and More personal.

- Seed your Application by mailer, Blogs, Get it reviewed (If u wish by us).. viral it out .

- Last and Final.. Your Apps should interact with the Owner ( the Person who installed the App ) regularly..

- Tips to Developers : Share your experience with others .. Leave comments if possible.. and be more social.. afterall you are developing a Social App. ;-)

Martin Selva

Ps : Thanks to Google Team for Feedbacks and helping us out during OpenSocial hakathon.

Friday, February 22, 2008

OpenSocial Tutorial - Step by step Video Guide

4th day in Bangalore at the OpenSocial Hackathon and friends back in Pune and Mumbai are finally concerned about my disappearance.

No one really has much clue about what OpenSocial is and what's it going to be...
Other computer geeks too have been rather ignorant...Finally some guys inquired that how can one go about building an OpenSocial app!

So this post's dedicated to all these guys.

Video 1:
A brief introduction about gadgets, and stuff on how to add your first OpenSocial application in the Orkut sandbox.

Video 2:
Here's some sample code that shows you how to call the OpenSocial API and list a user's friends.

Video 3:
Example of an App. Give gifts to your friends...

Video 4:

Video 5:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Final Countdown! (Submit your Orkut OpenSocial Applications)

(Blogging from the Google office in Bangalore)

3rd day at the Open Social Hackathon...

The final countdown has started for the launch of Orkut apps in Europe!

Just got done with a talk which was about Architectural issues and what to keep in mind. Load balancing etc.

Tomorrow guys here are going to get their applications tested by some college kids and googlers - so everyones busy trying to get their application fully ready.

OpenSocial 0.7 has seem some modification and bug fixes.

There's also been a new group set up at Google Groups - Orkut Announce.
This group is going to be used to send updates on new features, bug fixes, and sandboxstatus to Orkut developers.

There's also a new Orkut Developer blog which has been rolled out. Be sure to check that out too.

Another highlight has been OpenSocial TShirts to all of us out here :-)

Well the final launch seems to be around the corner...
Though it'll be a staged release and it might still be some time before the public gets to taste some of the apps.

In case any of you want to get your Orkut Applications tested and reviewed by us here...feel free to drop us a comment.

Just some additional notes:
- Google offices seem to be the coolest place to work at!
- Unlimited chocolates, drinks, snacks etc
- Awesome food (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
- Amazingly huge monitors for developers and designers.

Oh yeah! They love their cricket here too - The entire office was watching the final stages of the nail-biting India vs Sri Lanka finish. Guys were clapping for wides!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What is Shindig? And what does it have to do with OpenSocial?

Shindig is an Apache incubator project for OpenSocial and gadgets.

It is an open source project which began in December, 2007, to provide a reference implementation for the OpenSocial standard.

The software contains both server-side and client-side code. Once the project is mature, an installation of this product will be capable of rendering OpenSocial gadgets in a web browser.

4 primary features of Shindig:

Gadget Container JavaScript - core JavaScript foundation for general gadget functionality (read more about gadget functionality). This JavaScript manages security, communication, UI layout, and feature extensions, such as the OpenSocial API.
Read more about the Gadget functionality here.

Gadget Server - an open source version of gmodules.com, which is used to render the gadget xml into JavaScript and HTML for the container to expose via the container JavaScript.

OpenSocial Container JavaScript - JavaScript environment that sits on top of the Gadget Container JS and provides OpenSocial specific functionality (profiles, friends, activities).

OpenSocial Gateway Server - an open source implementation of the server interface to container-specific information, including the OpenSocial REST APIs, with clear extension points so others can connect it to their own backends.

Some more useful links on Shindig:

Official site

From the official OpenSocial API blog - Let's get this Shindig started

More with Shindig and OpenSocial

Want to get started with the code?
Click Here

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Open Social Hackathon (Bangalore)

Apologies for not having posted for a long time - but as THE day for the launch comes closer...
the number of posts shall increase.

Currently in the Google office at Bangalore and the next few days are totally dedicated to Open Social. So going to be learning quite a lot and posting stuff too.

Here are some pictures to start off with...

Hackathon in progress:

Saturday, February 16, 2008

OpenSocial Hackathon - Feb 19th to Feb 22nd

Orkut Team is Conducting a Hackathon Starting on Tuesday 19th Feb which will go on till 22nd Feb.. As per the Plan Developers might be showcasing their Applications in a SHOW and TELL Event.. and for this a Technical Lead engineers (OpenSocial Platform) will be there with us...
I personally feel .. this might be a very good time/opportunity to sync up with Google-Orkut team.. coz i have loads of queries in my mind.. will be great to show something and ask a query on it..

If you are not attending the Hackathon.. but still wish to sync up on what goin on.. Watchout this space..I'll be updating it during Breaks and Post Hackathon.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Submit your application to the Orkut directory

Get your hands durty.. !!!! Tried out something with Opensocial? guess itz time to showcase it..

Orkut is accepting Application Entries for "Orkut - Application Directory" So hurry up and Submit your Application(s) asap...

Submit URL : http://code.google.com/apis/orkut/submission.html

All the best!!


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Userplane to Release API’s Supporting Google’s OpenSocial Standard

OpenSocial application developers to integrate Userplane apps, such as Webchat, Webmessenger and Webrecorder, within their applications.

These products can be completely integrated into the OpenSocial ecosystem, giving developers access to integrate any Userplane App into their OpenSocial application. Userplane also will release OpenSocial applications of its own, to showcase Userplane technology. For more information, visit www.userplane.com/plugins.

In addition, application developers can use the Userplane Money API to deliver ads within their OpenSocial applications. The revenue sharing system provides virtually instant payout for any volume of display ad units. Currently, Userplane serves tens of millions of daily ad impressions for Facebook developers, providing a very attractive and stable monetization strategy.

“OpenSocial is a great new standard for developers to grow their businesses, and we’re glad to support this effort. We released our Facebook API a few months back and now support many applications within that environment. We expect the same success with OpenSocial.”

Last week Google unveiled its new OpenSocial standard – a common set of API’s that developers can use to create applications that work on any social network or website that chooses to participate. With standard JavaScript and HTML, developers can create apps that access a social network’s friends and update feeds.

Userplane offers customizable publisher tools, such as live IM and chat, that can be added to any site for free, simply by cutting and pasting a few lines of code or implementing a more custom install via an XML API. Userplane serves unobtrusive ads in its players, and splits the proceeds with participating publishers.

- Sounds good to me.. With 0.7 Specs on OpenSocial..
As a Developer i might just want to just want to 'TRY' out most of the services which are available for Open social so that i have an idea what works and what not ...

For mode Details on UserPlane visit : http://www.userplane.com

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

List of Opensocial Resources : v2

1.Create your own OpenSocial Container : A question which is asked to me very often but with no concrete answer .. i ask to visit the below URL

URL : http://code.google.com/p/opensocial-container-sample/
Getting Started : http://code.google.com/p/opensocial-container-sample/wiki/GettingStarted

2. Orkut Developer's Guide : For people like me who are just concentrating.. to create apps which runs perfectly on ORKUT (at least for now)

URL: http://code.google.com/apis/orkut/docs/orkutdevguide.html

3. Create your OpenSocial Apps : This tutorial is from Mr. Tim Longhurst.

URL: http://www.opensocialblog.com/2007/11/06/creating-an-opensocial-application-example-1-mini-google-search/

4. Latest Update on OpenSocial API : http://opensocialapis.blogspot.com/

OpenSocial - Should you trust Google?

Last week I was in Bangalore for a WebInnovation seminar during which I asked Marc Canter (Co-founder Macromedia and CEO of Broadband Mechanics - PeopleAggregator)...

'In the last week three partners of Google's OpenSocial (Friendster, Bebo and LinkedIn) have announced their individual platforms...why so? Do they not trust Google entirely?'

Marc's reply wasn't really clear - he talked about Bebo partnering with both Facebook and Google and then took the question on a different tangent...about MySpace and how they might never open their own APIs and how they are losing the social network war against Facebook.

Anyways I came across an interview of Marc today and here are a few excerpts from it:

Why shouldn't a company go for existing social platform (say from Google when it launches such a platform) rather than building its own?

It shouldn't. Absolutely not! Today, social networking is a commodity. It is same everywhere. Most sites have standard features, personal page, login page, group page etc. However, to have a compelling online experience you need not only differ from competitors, but also offer something more compelling.

Social networking features need to be everywhere; whether as a productivity suite or as an e-commerce tool.

There is a lot of money to be made in social networking. I believe the company who embraces it in the beginning will be the leader.

How is Google's OpenSocial different from existing social networks?

Today, OpenSocial mimics Facebook. It should be called open widget. However, this is just the opening move of a chess game. This is not the end but the beginning. The beginning for Google was to identify a hole in Facebook's strategy.

Facebook was great when it opened its platform to developers in May. The site was immediately flooded with several interesting applications. However, in the end, Facebook is just another closed system. It locks in its customers. In the end, it only works when you go to them.

Unlike Facebook, OpenSocial does not have its own markup language. It allows developers to write in normal java script and html with only minor adjustments needed for the code to work on its platform. Facebook requires use of FBML (Facebook Markup Language) for security reasons, but it also makes code unusable outside Facebook. OpenSocial will especially attract small developers who can create 'learn once, write anywhere' applications.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are today one way. But they should be two-way. OpenSocial will be first two-way API. Watch Google, it will get APIs into Maps, RSS Reader, spreadsheets and all probable places.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wishing all of you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Also wishing you Happy Development on the OpenSocial platform. We've been developing a couple of apps and are waiting for the Data APIs.

I think it'll take at least a good week or 2 after Google releases the Data APIs for any really cool app to get launched.

In the meanwhile enjoy this funny Christmas viral:

Orkut - OpenSpam

Though Orkut have introduced some new tweaks via which you can make your Album and Scrapbook restricted from the public - they've just been hounded with yet another problem!

Scrapbook Spam!

Recently someone created a script that allows you to so send scraps to multiple users at one go. Here's a screenshot of my Orkut Scrapbook and notice the "To scrap all your friends at once, click here!" beneath each post.

Though this might be a convenient tool for some (senders) it's a pretty annoying tool for the others (receivers).

What's dis-heartening is that Orkut has yet to respond to this with a basic filter mechanism. These are the same Google guys who are preaching a totally SPAM free environment for OpenSocial.

But a tight regulation on Spam might effect the viral nature of some apps and only the heavy-weights (like Slide, RockYou) might benefit.

Friday, December 21, 2007

OpenSocial - The opening move of a Chess game

This is just a thought provoking post. Get thinking. No matter what time of the day it is....
Take a couple of minutes off and just visualise the future.

The first move was a widget / appl platform, then was the Android gambit and the Google Profile defense coupled with a strategic attack with Knol.

OpenSocial is not going to be about just widgets, gadgets and apps. It's just the tip of the iceberg. What's in store?

Imagine a system which is so powerful - which knows who you are, who you are talking to and who you are ignoring. What you are doing and what your friends are noticing you doing? What you are buying and what your friends are buying? What you are searching for and what your friends are searching for? What kind of photos you are clicking and tagging and what your friends are clicking and tagging and what you are commenting on? Imagine someone who knows what you buy and what influences your decision to buy?

A girl who happens to be in your college and her profile page is one of your most regularly visited online spot - and you are keen on impressing her and the system knows that you are keen on impressing her and the system knows her more than you ever will...
So what does the system do? The system uses it's power...

How? What? Why?
ADVERTISING perhaps is at the base of it all. Unbelievable micro-level targetting. A system which know what you buy and what is had to do to make you buy something else.

A system which knows that at 15 past 11 AM everyday in the morning you happen to take a short break and glance at the Stock Markets - this is when you are most vulnerable to the ad of a financial product - And bang! There it is. The system is going to know each and everything about your online as well as offline behaviour. It's going to know that at 7PM you are going to be stuck in a traffic jam and are most probably surfing the web via your smart phone...

The system is Google.
And we are soon going to know...exactly how open...
...social is really going to be.

Monday, December 17, 2007

OpenSocial Partners

A lot of activity is being seen in the Social Network scene with Bebo launching it's own platform on the lines of Facebook and LinkedIn & Friendster also launching their platforms last week. It seems like most of the Social Networks are keen on having their own platforms up and running rather than relying only on Google's OpenSocial - which might be a pretty smart thing to do.

Anyways here is a list of all OpenSocial partners:

Bebo - Very popular Social Network in Europe especially the UK.

Engage - A dating centric Social Networking website.

Friendster - Very popular in South East Asia.

Hi5 - A social network which sees global usage with no particular country dominating demographics.

Hyves - Extrememly popular in the Netherlands

imeem - A popular Social Media service site.

LinkedIn - The most popular Professional Social Networking site. These guys recently launched their own platform and opened it for 3rd party developers.

NetModular - Social Networking + Blogging platform.

mixi - A very popular social networking site in Japan.

MySpace - One of the largest if not THE largest Social Networking site in the world.

- An online platform for users to create their own social networks.

Oracle - One of the major companies developing database management systems and tools for database development.

Plaxo - Online address book service.

Salesforce - Salesforce.com is an on-demand CRM solution vendor. They have something called AppExchange which is a way for external developers to create add-on applications that will link into the main Salesforce.com system.

Six Apart - Creators of Movable Type, Typepad, Vox and former owners of LiveJournal.

Tianji - Chinese Professional Networking site

Viadeo - Another professional social networking site.

- Yet another professional social networking site. Majority of users are Germans.

Plaxo and Ning released OpenSocial support within the first day of the launch, with Plaxo adding OpenSocial support to its Pulse feature and Ning adding basic OpenSocial support.

Developers who had already built applications implementing the APIs upon launch include Flixster, FotoFlexer, iLike, RockYou, Slide, Theikos, and VirtualTourist. We'll have details about all these apps soon.

Google Profile - A link in the OpenSocial chain?

Presenting the GProfile...

Google Profiles will be integrated in most Google services so you have a coherent identity and a simple way to manage your contacts.

Until now, you could create profiles in Blogger, orkut, Google Groups, Google Co-op and all of them could contain different information. You could also add photos in Gmail, Google Talk and orkut, so the situation started to become confusing.

"A Google Profile is simply how you represent yourself on Google products — it lets you tell others a bit more about who you are and what you're all about. You control what goes into your Google Profile, sharing as much (or as little) as you'd like."

Profiles are public and contain basic information about yourself: a nickname (the real name is displayed only to your contacts), your occupation, your location, a list of links, a photo and a short description. They are embedded as iframes in pages that showcase user-generated content (personalized maps, shared bookmarks).

These profiles could be the perfect host of ones activity stream and thats where I see the OpenSocial connection. Your public activities could become part of your profile...

Via: Google System

Facebook F8 vs Google OpenSocial

The Facebook F8 platform pretty much revolutionised the face of Social Networking. Opening up ones architecture for other parties required great courage and Facebook were able to successfully pull it off.

Growing valuation and massive increase in usage meant that Google had to respond. Orkut was and is still hardly used in the United States. It's not too popular with the Europeans either. Google knew that simply opening up their social network to 3rd party developers wouldn't be the best of options.

So what...?

They decided to go one step further and decided to come up with a system which would seamlessly fit into a lot of other social networks and together all of them would be able to beat Facebook with Google being the adhesive binding them all.

But will they be able to succeed?

3 reasons OpenSocial might be able to beat Facebook?

1) Developers might not need to make 10 or 15 different applications based on the API's of various different Social Networks. This is the prime weapon.

Streaming data out of the system - as compared to only feeding in the content. Allowing 3rd party applications a medium where they really stand to benefit in terms of traffic, usage and the ability to impart a better feel of personalization. Perhaps allowing inter-connectivity between Social Networks.
For eg: My flixster account is connected to all the Social Networks which I am on - and not limited to just one social network. If I write a film review on a movie on my Orkut Flixster app - all my MySpace friends get alerted about it too.

A lot of users might have accounts in multiple social networks - and many are pretty active in at least 2-3 of them. Especially when it comes to niche social networks.

3) Language. Facebook is highly limited to an English speaking audience currently and this is where the OpenSocial can really WIN big. Having a set of APIs where the back-end of an application works efficiently and the front-end serving up different languages depending on nationality, country and language spoken.

3 reasons Facebook might still have the last laugh?

1) Facebook has the most monetisable traffic - the US traffic. It's not to bad in the European countries either. Facebook Apps have increased pageviews and time spent on the spent to an incredible extent as compared to pre-F8 days.

2) They are the first movers. Few apps on Facebook have become the very reason why users log on to their Facebook accounts daily. Apps grow on you before they get virally spread and massively used and this has already happened on Facebook.

3) Facebook has Social Networking at it's core while Google has Search as it's primary focal point.

Sunday, December 16, 2007