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Facebook Apps Facing Delays and Uncertainties 82

NewsCloud writes "After reading about the Facebook platform launch, I spent the next week learning the API and building my application. Facebook's platform has been pretty successful despite complaints of poor documentation, instability and outcries over its application approval process. I've been waiting two weeks for my application to be approved for their directory and had my account disabled (temporarily) after I invited a large number of colleagues. While I'm impressed with the potential of the platform, the experience has made me more concerned about the lack of transparency in privately held social networks and the risks we take as developers when we invest time in a company's platform. Facebook's home page advertises itself as "a social utility that connects you with the people around you." My concern with Facebook is that there's no one regulating the utility."
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Facebook Apps Facing Delays and Uncertainties

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  • by yebb ( 142883 ) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @10:19AM (#19540687)
    To avoid situations like this, I wonder if anyone would be interested in proposing an RFC for a public, distributed social networking system. Much like IRC, that could be made redundant with multiple geographically diverse servers and more importantly couldn't be controlled by any one corporate entity.

    Advertising revenue could be made by the "application" writers themselves, and the framework (something like Facebook) would become a commodity just like IRC became.

    Facebook-like social networking without the corporate oversight could be a little more chaotic, but no more chaotic than every other distributed system on the Internet.
  • Developers.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by what2123 ( 1116571 ) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @10:23AM (#19540713)
    It's because of developers like this that are making Facebook junk. It was one of the best networking applications on the net, now your getting all these frills that are really making it lame.
  • by dominion ( 3153 ) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @11:34AM (#19541235) Homepage

    My project, Appleseed [], does just that. All the distributed functionality is in place, and it's at the point of rounding out the functionality, optimization, and then bug testing and cleanup.

    It's open source, and uses a custom protocol, which is also open, although I would be open to modifying up the protocol at this point to make it easier for other applications to use
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @12:42PM (#19541685) Homepage

    From the article: I saw a real opportunity for my site to reach a large new audience without a big marketing expense.

    In other words, this guy had figured out a way to spam via Facebook. And he's complaining that they didn't process his application for a developer ID fast enough.

  • by PCheese ( 810782 ) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:48PM (#19544805) Homepage
    We really haven't had much trouble with our app either. We anticipated Facebook making lots of changes and built our app to respond accordingly. If something breaks, our app saves as much information about the event as possible so that we can fix it ASAP. Isn't that a pretty standard way of doing things? We keep a close eye on what happens and are able to make minor tweaks to keep the app running smoothly. We haven't seen major breakage; everything has been fixable in 20 minutes max. Our app ( [] for the curious) was recently approved into the directory. We had a significant number of users already through the viral aspect of it all, but we're seeing a rather significant spike now that we're reaching out to even more networks through the directory. We had some hiccups getting in (partly our fault, partly Facebook), but now all it takes it to make sure everything is filled out completely. In my experience, they're really trying to seek out the trouble spots. Do we need the directory? No, but we're grateful for it! I agree that the documentation is lacking, but there's an IRC channel, discussion board, mailing list, and developer email support that make up for it. And yes, the Facebook guys do respond through all those channels!

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?