Saturday, June 23, 2007

Top 10 best Facebook applications

You've got to hand it to Facebook. The rollout of Facebook Platform was a masterstroke, not only getting them kudos with developers but also making their site sticky as hell, with a seemingly constant supply of new applications to tempt you away from your work. Whilst many of the apps won't stay installed on your profile for long, there are a few diamonds in the rough. Below is a round-up of ten of the best.

BandTracker - automatically pulls in the artists from the Favourite Music section of your profile and alerts you when they're playing your city. Also creates decent aggregation pages around each band, pulling in videos from YouTube and lists from

Eating - A neat little app from restaurant review site menuism, enabling you to share your dining experiences and discover new eateries. Slightly let down by a North American bias (no, I don't want to travel to London, Ontario for my evening meal...)

Flixster - nice integration of the movie site of the same name (reviewed here) which pulls in your existing ratings (something iLike would do well to get sorted), shows what your friends have been watching and provides access to the fiendishly addictive Never-Ending Movie Quiz.

Friend Stats - creates a page of lists and charts visualising aggregate data on your facebook chums. So, now I know that the majority of my friends are liberal graduates who like music and drinking, watching Lost, listening to Muse and reading John Steinbeck...

Interview - like The Guardian Weekend magazine Q&A feature (only with a slightly smaller readership), Interview asks you a stream of user-submitted questions which you can then add to your profile, letting everyone know how witty and erudite you are.

iRead - expose your bookshelf to your friends, detailing what you've read, what you're reading now and what's next on your list. You can find books by author, title or ISBN or import your Amazon wishlist. Once added, you can rate, review or recommend each title and find others who have read it.

myTV - share your favourite YouTube videos with your friends without leaving the comfort of Facebook. A slick interface and the option to import your favourites from YouTube are the icing on the cake.

TV Shows
- release your inner Nick Horby and rank your favourite TV shows. There's 15,760 titles in the database, delivering fairly decent recommendations based on your list. The app also includes TV news and listings for the US, the UK, Canada and Australia.

Where I've Been - colour code a map of the world according to where you've lived, visited and want to visit. Turns out I'm not that well travelled after all... - encourages users to ask and answer yes/no questions on any conceivable topic. Strangely addictive although liable to quickly give away your moral and political leanings.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My digital life in numbers

I seem to have hit a bunch of digital milestones recently. Here's a summary:

(mental note: get out more).

Sunday, June 10, 2007

10 things I'd be blogging about if I wasn't so busy

Work is eating my soul at the moment. Here are ten things I'd be blogging about at greater length if I wasn't so damn busy:

The BBC Radio Player - which is 5 years old today. My first major project at the BBC, the Radio Player now generates 23 million hours of live and on-demand listening to BBC Radio every month. Not too shabby.

i'm in like with you - strangely addictive Web 2.0 style flirting game where you collect points which you can then use to bid for attention. Invite-only beta at the mo (thanks Jo for mine) - mail me if you want one (dan at

Spock - a search engine for finding people. Also in invite-only beta (I've got a couple left if you want to mail me, as above).

Jindabyrne - outstanding Aussie flick based on the Raymond Carver short story 'So Much Water So Close to Home', starring Laura Linney and Gabriel Byrne. Guaranteed a spot in my Top 30 films of 2007 (here's the 2006 list).

Video annotation (a.k.a. deep tagging) - an interesting new growth area in online video (see Mojiti, veotag,, although Click.TV was recently taken offline. The BBC is currently experimenting with audio annotation.

ubroadcast - in our on-demand, podcastable world, live broadcasting is a USP for this DIY streaming service. Not wildly different from Live365 and Shoutcast mind.

Babelgum - finally got access to this Joost-alike. You should now be able to get in without an invite but mail me if you want one.

Spotback - with ratings.

Heatmaps - ClickTale and tapefailure have joined Crazy Egg at the forefront of new ways of recording and visualising visitors' browsing activity on your site.

T-shirts 2.0 - liberate yourself from the tyranny of the Threadless voting community and get your crap design made into a real-life tee which you can then try and flog to your mates at one of the new breed of democratic t-shirt retailers (Bountee, CafePress, DNA STYLELAB, GoodStorm, innerTee, Spreadshirt, Zazzle).

Right, back to work...