July 5, 2010

Why do people still download & install applications?

Millions of downloadable app fans can’t be wrong

David SparkSince the explosion of Web 2.0, there’s been a sense in the industry that downloadable applications for PCs and Macs are dead. Web 2.0 programming languages turned static web pages into web applications. The advantage of this now-dubbed “webware” was that you didn’t have to go through the process of downloading and installing an application, often cited as a major hurdle for usage. Web 2.0 applications could work in everyone’s browser (PC or Mac), no matter the configuration (usually).

If it’s true that “people won’t download and install applications,” how come all of us have downloaded and installed applications running on our computers right now? And how come millions of people still download and install applications?

I wrote about the downloadable application issue (hot or not?) on my blog, Spark Minute. I looked at the three most successful categories of downloadable applications (communications, multimedia, and malware protection) and how they drive revenue.

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August 10, 2009

A chat with the co-founder of FriendFeed

A chat with the co-founder of FriendFeed from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaToday came word that Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site, is buying the microblogging service FriendFeed.

This is interesting on a couple of levels. First, it provides further proof that Twitter — the microblogging platform that has taken the world by storm this year — is truly not for sale. Second, it ratchets up the faceoff between Facebook and Google for supremacy in the social networking space. The four co-founders of FriendFeed are all ex-Google employees. Co-founder Paul Buchheit (above), whom I interviewed a few weeks ago at the UGCX conference in San Jose, was the creator and lead developer of Gmail. He also suggested Google’s now-famous motto “Don’t be evil” in a 2000 meeting on company values according to Wikipedia

FriendFeed In this 10-minute interview, a relaxed Buchheit talks about the company’s origins and launch in October 2007 from the very simple idea of “letting me know what’s going on with my friends” (one co-founder came at it from the premise of “friend alerts”).

Early in our talk I asked Paul what differentiated FriendFeed from Facebooks’s personalized news stream and from Twitter. He said that FriendFeed tends to be more content- and communication-oriented, encouraging people to share tidbits about what’s going on with them, instead of alerting people what Facebook group they’d joined or whether they’d been bitten by a zombie.

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FriendFeed’s premise is quite similar to Twitter’s, and I should have asked Paul about how Twitter has successfully leveraged an outside developer community by letting coders build applications on top of its platform — and why FriendFeed hasn’t taken a similar approach. But we did get into some of the differences between the two services. I like how FriendFeed threads discussions, in a way similar to forums and bulletin boards, letting people chime in on interesting conversations and providing some context. You can also “Like” a posted item, which is an easy way of conveying your approval.

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April 8, 2009

Seesmic Desktop takes its cues from Tweetdeck


Stowe BoydI was a guest at Seesmic‘s launch of a new desktop clients for Twitter (and other streaming social tools) last night. There is a lot to like about the new Seesmic Desktop (the old Twhirl name is being deadended along with that product), but the most lasting impression is that the new mode of use is largely based on the very successful competitor, Tweetdeck.

The application is based on Adobe Air, as are most other competitors in this space, nowadays.

The multicolumn user experience of Tweetdeck has been replayed in the new Seesmic offering, and much of what made Twhirl tick has been dropped.

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