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Showing posts from April, 2008

Social Payment - a simulated WSJ example

One of our stellar developers, Brian Robinson, is working on putting a payment service into Ringside Networks. When we release at the end of June, this should hopefully make it very easy for any application to embed a social payment service. It is still early, but you can see a demo at http://wiki.ringsidenetworks.org/display/ringside/Payment+Services.

Like many of the things we are doing at Ringside Networks, this is new stuff. To help people understand what a social payment service might enable, I will make up an example.

Let’s say the Wall Street Journal has a social payment service. In addition to letting me subscribe for a year of on-line access for $99, it also offers me a $199 option to subscribe myself and 5 co-workers. Makes sense from a business perspective for WSJ, since they will get additional revenue right now and additional eyeballs for their ads.

Here is how it could work. Let’s say I go to WSJ.com and sign up for this service. The first question the website would …

Microsoft and Yahoo Get Social

No, not another blog predicting when Steve Ballmer and Jerry Yang will hug.

Last week, the lead technologist for each firm announced major initiatives to go social.

Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s Chief Software Architect said:
“Community on the web once meant “group communications”, largely through rudimentary tools such as email, IM and IRC, message boards and newsgroups. Today, the action has shifted toward using composite communications tools and platforms that mash together content, applications and commerce, all within the context of group interaction. These social platforms are altering the way we connect and coordinate, establish identity and affinities, and build reputation.”
Ari Balog, Yahoo’s CTO said:
“We are rewiring Yahoo from the inside out with a developer platform that will open up the assets of Yahoo in a way never done before, making the consumer experience social throughout.”
At Ringside Networks, we are building software that is making this vision possible not for Microsoft and …

Social Networking Enterprise Market Sizing

Larry Dignan put out a blog - reporting on a recent Forrester Report.

"Enterprise 2.0 will become a $4.6 billion industry by 2013 and social networking tools will garner the bulk of the money, according to a report by Forrester Research."

It is encouraging to see this new market starting to take shape and people seeing the type of potential we saw when we started Ringside.

The Cure to Facebook Envy

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We are announcing the first two sites to go live with the Ringside Social Application Server on Tuesday morning. Both of these websites had Facebook envy, as much of the world does these days. They took the approach that if you can't beat them, join them! Both websites have deployed applications that run on Facebook and on other websites. They also both take advantage of Ringside's Identity Mapping technology to let users link their accounts to Facebook.

Up and Running

The first is an example of a Facebook application that wanted to go beyond Facebook. Jonathan Otto wrote a very cool application for runners, swimmers and bikers called Voomaxer. You can access it at http://apps.facebook.com/voomaxer/. Local specialty running stores wanted to give this type of functionality to their customers – to tie them closer to their stores. Jonathan wanted a revenue model beyond selling ads on Facebook. Ringside gave them both what they wanted.

With Ringside, Jonathan was able to tak…

Why Develop a Facebook Application?

The original reason to develop a Facebook application was to generate advertising revenue. Many college and even high school students have made some decent money doing this.

However, with the Ringside Social Application Server there are several new reasons for developing Facebook applications.

1. Run your Facebook application on other web sites and charge money. This let’s existing Facebook developers make money other than from Facebook advertising. Let others deploy your application easily – charging the web site to run your application, or charging the end users for that application. This includes charging for virtual goods.

2. A Facebook Application is better than a Facebook Ad. I’m not sure if that many advertising agencies or corporations who do on-line advertising realize this – but creating a Facebook application is free. And if it is a decent one, it can be seen and used by a LOT of people. It is also much more engaging than banner ads (and more targeted since they are sel…

Identity Mapping

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Your website wants to start taking advantage of social networking, but you don’t want to put a drag on your users and make them create a whole profile over again.

Ringside Networks has implemented Identity Mapping to simplify the job of a website as well as make things easy for your users. This is a practical, secure, and private way to making your website more social and engaging and enabling your visitors to spread the news via word-of-mouth easily. Let’s look at how it works:

For example, a new user visits your web site and you offer them the opportunity to register with their Facebook User ID. Your users don’t need to remember two passwords anymore! You can present them information from your website and Facebook mixed together where it makes sense, and update information to their Facebook account as it makes sense. You can also take data from them for your web site directly - for example an order for your product and their credit card.

The picture says it all. The user sees a p…

Fractured Users

Every user of the web complains about it. Sign-ons for every web site we use. We have dozens of logins and passwords, with many of them being different. And we store valuable information on many of these sites – like our credit card numbers (how many web sites have your credit card number?).

Social networks are taking this to the next level because of how much personal information we put into them. Of course the cost of these free services is that we give up the right to transfer our profile with the help of software to another service in a permanent way. Neither MySpace or Facebook allow any software to take all of a person’s profile data and transfer it to another web site and store it there in a permanent fashion.

"you may not continue to use, and must immediately remove... any Data Repository in your possession or under your control... within 24 hours..." - Facebook Developer Terms of Use

So while a user "owns" their data, there is no automated way they can…