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simplicity



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take action




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500,000,000 users



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What's your     http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500103523
                           photo address?




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http://open.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/25/announ
                                               times-newswire-api/




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http://feblog.yahoo.net/2009/02/19/fire-eagle-location-streams/




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http://webhooks.org/




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Thursday, March 26, 2009
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How to Build Amazing Web Apps

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Blaine Cook - FOWA Dublin 2009

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  • i'm blaine, started out in the internet backwater of vancouver, migrated to sf to work on odeo, that morphed into twitter then blew up, and after hanging out at fire eagle, now i work for bt/osmosoft and live in northern ireland.

    http://flickr.com/photos/atl/323452/
    http://flickr.com/photos/mon_oeil/354696375/
    http://flickr.com/photos/mundocuadro/228345164/

  • so before i go to far, i want to talk a bit about what the talk isn't about. first, it's not about pygmy slow lorises, even though they're awesome. there are a whole bunch of things that i could talk about that i learned at twitter-and-similar
  • people infinitely smarter than me have talked a lot about simplicity as it relates to fields infinitely more complex than mine. I guess all I can say is that working on twitter really emphasized how important keeping things simple is.
  • openness made twitter. seriously. i remember when it was just starting out, I was the first person to hate twitter. The reason: it only worked over SMS, and I only had pre-paid, which meant it cost me $0.15 to receive a message. Twitter would have cost me $3000 a year to use. Twitter got interesting when anyone could use it, and more importantly when they could mould it to any shape they wanted.
  • twitter isn't new - irc, upoc, sms, blogs. it's a slight genetic variation from all the things that came before it.
  • scaling - go read/listen to joe's presentations
    http://flickr.com/photos/bryanthatcher/2305947210/
  • http://flickr.com/photos/plasticbag/224902238/
  • http://flickr.com/photos/joi/1405760562/



  • this talk is about stuff that matters to me
  • and why (i think) it matters to you
  • I don't have answers for a lot of the stuff that matters to me (or I wouldn't be working on it!) but I do have some leads you can follow up if you're interested and want to take action.

  • ... and imagine a room, full of people. you're looking around, and over there's your mom! then you notice your boss, a couple of guys from your football team (i mean, ruby meetup group), then a couple of people who you think you were in high school with. Your wife's there, and, not too far away, your ex-girlfriend. Looking around, it looks like *everyone* in the room is someone you know or knew. you should now be afraid.
  • open your eyes. what you've just imagined is facebook. thankfully, you never have to face this situation in real life, but on facebook, that's just what it is - your cousin getting engaged, your friend changing jobs, and your boss wanting you to go over those TPS reports, while you're trying to superpoke a dozen people and checking out the events for tonight.
  • if I were giving this talk three days ago, I would talk about how you have different contexts for your life; it's important to keep these things apart, because we act differently based on the context. but facebook is way ahead of me. They're smart.


  • natural social networks. what happens when we move beyond friendster \"OMG I can add friends online\"? We get genuinely novel sites that are based around real-world interactions.
  • there is a downside, though. we lose the network effect when we're compartmentalized.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/ejazasi/253032421/
  • openid and facebook connect are great for what they do. but allowing people to share content isn't what they do. friendfeed is a great way to aggregate your stuff, but it's too much information, and it strongly blurs the context lines. these things are great if you're a media/net junkie, but if all you're trying to do is share photos with your friends and hang out, they're incredible overkill
  • urls are the thing.
  • addressing is important
    http://flickr.com/photos/loop_oh/492805848/

  • don't be a sharecropper. facebook and myspace and any opensocial container own your users, and have ultimate say in what happens.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sharecroppers_chopping_cotton_-_1941.jpg
  • small sites can't compete on their own with facebook, but together we can create a viable economy around collective sites
  • laser focus. this is why you care - focus on your users, on features, not on growing your user base to infinity and beyond.

  • the flickr pandas. play with them. see: http://laughingmeme.org/2009/03/04/is-a-firehose-of-snowflakes-a-noreaster/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/psd/2913831391/
  • How to Build Amazing Web Apps

    1. 1. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    2. 2. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    3. 3. simplicity Thursday, March 26, 2009
    4. 4. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    5. 5. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    6. 6. joestump.net/presentations/ Thursday, March 26, 2009
    7. 7. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    8. 8. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    9. 9. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    10. 10. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    11. 11. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    12. 12. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    13. 13. take action Thursday, March 26, 2009
    14. 14. close your eyes Thursday, March 26, 2009
    15. 15. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    16. 16. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    17. 17. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    18. 18. 500,000,000 users Thursday, March 26, 2009
    19. 19. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    20. 20. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    21. 21. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    22. 22. What's your http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500103523 photo address? Thursday, March 26, 2009
    23. 23. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    24. 24. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    25. 25. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    26. 26. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    27. 27. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    28. 28. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    29. 29. Thursday, March 26, 2009
    30. 30. http://open.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/25/announ times-newswire-api/ Thursday, March 26, 2009
    31. 31. http://feblog.yahoo.net/2009/02/19/fire-eagle-location-streams/ Thursday, March 26, 2009
    32. 32. http://webhooks.org/ Thursday, March 26, 2009
    33. 33. Thursday, March 26, 2009

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