Monday, 18 October 2010

In which there is a first time for everything

So, this Thursday is the Toronto Facebook Developer Garage… This is actually going to be the first industry event I’ll have ever attended, and hopefully not the last. Should be interesting—I’m going with the development team from work (all three of us), and I know that a few of the guys from my first Facebook-related job will be there (naturally; that company is one of the hosts). I haven’t so much as touched the Facebook API since I left that job, so it’s certainly going to be interesting to see what cool stuff people are doing with the platform, and how it’s changed in the last two years.

I’m also, admittedly, really curious to see just what goes on at one of these events. Apparently it grew from a bunch of grassroots, community-organised gatherings of just developers who wanted to show off some cool stuff, but this one’s got a proper agenda, with keynote speeches and whatnot. I know that the Garage in NYC involved getting some swag (saw pictures, said former employer co-hosted that one too), so obviously it’s much more… regimented than just an informal gathering.

Should be fun, though. The biggest issue of getting deeper integration of Facebook into what my company does is the monetisation issue, and unless I’m much mistaken, you can’t post your own ads inside of a Facebook app canvas (probably because it takes eyeballs away from the ads on the side of the page), so the issue becomes, how would we get Facebook users to buy the paid parts of the service? Or at least how do we get Facebook users to come to our site (because we’re already one of the most popular sites in Canada; can’t go wrong with getting some more eyes), so that they’ll…

  1. see the ads that our advertisers are paying for, and
  2. continue through the regular flow and maybe buy the paid parts of the service?

Therein lies the challenge… and maybe there will be answers at this Garage. At the very least, there should be ideas on what can be done with the API that’s been introduced since 2008!

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