Archive for December 4th, 2007

iThink

Dec 04, 2007 in 4 Stars, Dating, Facebook, Politics

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Rating: ★★★★☆

iThink Logo

iThink by Raymond Rouf, Himanshu Baweja (and 5 other people) polls the world (e.g. Facebook) about their opinions. After completing the polls, you can compare how you voted with your friends or the entire FB community. If that doesn’t get your attention, maybe this will: if you submit the most popular opinion in any 24 hour period you will win $100 USD and 2 other participants selected at random are awarded $50 for agreeing/disagreeing. Not too bad for a few seconds of your day.

Two ways to win: If the opinion you express is voted most popular by the iThink Facebook community in any given 24-hour period, you will be awarded $100. In addition, one lucky winner will be chosen from the pool of everyone who agreed/disagreed with that opinion and awarded $50. Two new winners every day!

Contests start and end every day at 12 midnight GMT (4 pm PDT).

more details…

After installing, just start voting. It’s that easy. How many opinions you chime in on is up to you.

iThink Opinions

Facebook - iThink Stats Once you’ve completed and click finish, it prompts you to invite more friends to compare similarities. This is entirely optional. If you want to just cut to the chase, you can click on the “Leaderboard” or “Opinion” links up top. There are also thousands of more opinion polls you can participate in. Each poll has statistics that break down how people voted by demographics such as the age groups and genders.

iThink Opinions

Each opinion comes with its own Wall where you can discuss the opinion in further detail, maybe even convince others to agree with your stance.

Facebook - iThink Discussion

Installed

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Are You Normal?

Dec 04, 2007 in 5 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun

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Rating: ★★★★★

Just when I thought I had taken enough personality quizzes on Facebook to last me well into 2008 I stumbled upon one of the most refreshing ones yet. Climbing the charts in the Recently Popular Applications Directory with an impressive 30k DAU (daily active users) it’s easy to see why so many users were too weak to resist its subjective name that begs the question, Are You Normal?

Are You Normal? Results

What is normal and how do we define it? Well Kinzin, the developers of Are You Normal, hold that answer as a tightly guarded secret algorithm. Touting such black magic mathematical terms as “curve”, and shrouded in mysterious values that change as Are You Normal “spreads” we are left with nothing to do but close one eye and wince at the mercy of our score.

There’s never been a more meaningful way to waste your time.

Sigh — are they ever so right? Are You Normal is an absolute waste of your time, but a very good one! To find out how normal you are you take one of the many available “quibbles” which are mini 5 question surveys with multiple choice answers and comment boxes. They are so mini that you can easily digest a quibble in any sitting. No attention deficit here! Each question is carefully numbered and tabbed so you can progress through them or jump around at your discretion.

Are You Normal? Facebook User

The questions range in diversity but are usually relative to their quibble’s topic. The default quibble is the focal “Are you normal?” topic which asks broad ranging questions on environmentalism, politics, love, sex, and religion. The other quibbles currently available cover such topics as, “Habits”, “Conspiracy Theorist”, “Kids”, and of course, “Facebook User”. New quibbles are added weekly but this doesn’t seem to keep up with the thirst of Are You Normal’s users who beat a constant rallying cry for more quibbles in the forums.

After completing each quibble you receive a score relative to that quibble and an overall constant score for all quibbles. The score is presented as a percentage value between 1% and 99% reflecting how “normal” you are. There’s also a friend invitation page that allows you to share your score with your friends and invite them to take that quibble so you can compare scores.

Are You Normal? Invite

Kinzin claims it is impossible to score beyond a 99% “normal” because that would just be too creepy and weird thus creating a “paradox”. They also say you can’t score a 0% either because if you’re able to log on to Facebook you must be a human and well, that’s pretty “normal”.

The Result

Congratulations, your personality is 36% normal. Everyone has a right to be weird. You just abuse the privilege.

What they don’t tell you is that you will feel like a sad and alienated misunderstood blogger when you receive a 36% after completing your first quibble. Sob. That didn’t stop me though, I kept surveying my way up to an average 65%. Yay — I’m just like you! Much of this increase was due to the “Conspiracy Theorist” quibble where unless you are a complete nut job like these folks you can’t possibly score low.

After you finish drying your eyes from tears of laughter at the above video go add Are You Normal to your profile and let’s see just how normal you are! The results are sad, aren’t they? Chin up! There’s more quibbles on their way, and if that doesn’t make you normal you can always suggest your own, which if accepted will make you 100% normal. Oh wait — 100% is abnormal, right?

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Export Photos

Dec 04, 2007 in 4 Stars, Facebook, Photo, Utility

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Export Photos by Calen Michael Fretts allows you to download all your photos or photos that others have tagged you on Facebook as a ZIP archive. I like this because My Photos are my photos; I should be able to easily download them and take them with me. There’s not much to the application and that’s exactly what I would expect. It does what it says it does and nothing more.

  • Step 1: Select whether you want to export photos in your own albums, or photos you appear in.
  • Step 2: Select the album you want to export (in the case of my albums).
  • Step 3: Download the album.

Minor Usability Issues

  • Cannot download a single archive with all photos you’ve been tagged in. Instead, you must download each archive individually.
  • No thumbnail previews of the albums or link to open up album.
  • Formatting a bit rough around the edges; it could be cleaned up with some minor CSS enhancements.

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Graffiti

Dec 04, 2007 in 5 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun, Messaging

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Rating: ★★★★★

Graffiti LogoRanging from masterpiece paintings to the random scribbles in your notes, we all like to draw. Whether you’re good at it may be a different story, but everyone can relate to the basic desire to doodle. Take all of this into account and give it a digital medium accessible to the millions of Facebook users and you have Graffiti

With 234,239 daily active users only 4% of total, creators Mark Kantor, Tim Suzman, and Ted Suzmanhave created one of the most popular applications on Facebook. Kudos to them, not only is it popular, but its fantastic usability and functionality create for a bonafide interactive utility.

Basic Facebook Settings

As with most apps on Facebook, Graffiti comes with its own settings. They do a great job of keeping it nice and simple giving you 4 different options to modify.

Graffiti Settings

  • Number of Graffiti to show on your profile – presently you can only place Graffiti in the main column of your profile and not the left column
  • Email Notification of new Graffiti
  • Who can see your Graffiti Wall
  • Who can see the page of graffiti drawn by you

The Interface – Lets Draw with Graffiti

It’s simple, you have your canvas and below it are your drawing tools. There isn’t a lot of complexity to it which I like, it is in fact pretty intuitive. You get to use and choose from 216 available colors, about 9 different brush widths, and the option to choose the opacity of your strokes. There is a simple preview of your brush size and color so you know what you’re working with before you hit the canvas. Made a mistake? Well that’s okay too because they have an undo button that retains virtually the entire history of your strokes, allowing you to go back quite far if necessary, there will be no fait accompli here! If all else fails, you can simply start over with a click of a button.

Graffiti Canvas

Once you’re finished with your Graffiti piece you simply click Done and voilà! The coolest feature hasn’t even been unveiled! All things final, you can watch what you created in replay mode unveiling the work of art step by step before your very eyes. I don’t know about you but I love time lapsed viewing. Like what you see? Take one for the road, Graffitiprovides you with an option to print from the screen. Like all things great in Facebook you can always “share” it and post it to your profile.

There isn’t much missing from the bare bones aspect of the application. It gives you all the essentials you need to get in and start drawing. The developers stay very active with their users and are quick to discuss what they’re working on. Here are a few important features coming soon:

  • Save Button - presently there is no save so you create long pieces of work at your own risk, if for whatever reason you lose the page, you lose your work.
  • Comments – everyone loves to leave their own words behind wherever they go. Great way for users to offer praise, disapproval , or feedback. Don’t we all just love interaction and social contribution?

Features I’d Like to See

I would love to see an option for different brush shapes, and even a shape marquee would be interesting. While the native tools are probably more than enough for the more talented users the option to have pre-established shapes might prove useful for the less skilled. I’d also love to see a color wheel to have colors beyond the provided 216. Lastly, I’d love to see a type tool. While I know the idea is to draw your message or your picture, sometimes it would be nice to be able to have some type in there that looks better than a 2 year old writing with his left hand.

Community & Contests

With a Public Gallery generated from content submitted and rated by Graffiti users, not to mention sponsored prize winning contests, a community of contributors and artists alike have helped turn Graffitifrom just an app you install on your Facebook page to an app that comes with a large collection of talent, artwork, and collaboration. To me this is what interactive usability is all about.

With over 5,500 entries and 500,000 votes cast, Graffiti completed its first “Monsters” contest with prizes sponsored by Wacom. Among the community of Graffitiusers battles wage between those who draw with a mouse, and those who have aid via Pen and Tablet or Tablet PC’s. There’s even emergence of the touch-pad users who boast skill using an unconventional mouse solution for artists. Regardless of the methods used by the creators, the coveted grand prize was an Intuos3 Special Edition Tablet and several Wacom Bamboo Tablets for individual category winners.  Users voted for their top 150 entries and a panel of judges chose the final winners.

Graffiti Monsters Contest Overall Winner Graffiti Monsters Contest Scariest Winner Graffiti Monsters Contest Cutest Winner
Best Overall Scariest Cutest
Graffiti Monsters Contest Funniest Winner Graffiti Monsters Contest Creative Winner Graffiti Monsters Contest Most Teeth Winner
Funniest Creative Most Teeth

Among your friends or among strangers, the ability to share creations gives depth to the user-base and substance to the application beyond just number of installs. Take a look at some of the top rated submissions from Graffiti users

graffiti-top-1.pnggraffiti-top-2.pnggraffiti-top-3.pnggraffiti-top-4.pnggraffiti-top-5.pnggraffiti-top-6.pnggraffiti-top-7.pnggraffiti-top-8.png

Graffiti will be implementing a Wall of fame in addition to new contests. Nothing like incentivized participation to spark the creative engine in everyone for either a physical prize or bragging rights and notoriety. If you don’t have Graffiti installed yet, get to it and get your doodle on!

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CitF Test

Dec 04, 2007 in 3 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Just because you can’t see the app doesn’t mean it’s not there!

Close your eyes and try to imagine this. You visit a friend’s Facebook profile and stumble across a new application. Is the profile box in the narrow column or the wide column? Next you click on the profile box and are taken to an add application page. Do you add the application?

If you imagined the profile box was in the narrow column it means you are narrow minded. If you imagined it was in the wide column it means you are open to new possibilities.

If you pictured yourself adding the application it means you are secure and confident but reckless with your friends and often take advantage of them by flooding them with notifications and requests. If you didn’t picture yourself adding the application it means you are insecure about the lack of friends on your Facebook profile page and would be more comfortable on MySpace.

Now imagine an application for Facebook that tests your imagination and psychoanalyzes your answers through a series of similar questions. Is the application in your mind named CitF Test?

CitF Test Logo

If you imagined it was then you are genius and may skip the rest of this article!

CitF Test, short for Cottage in the Forest Test, is a quaint little psychological analysis test for Facebook. A take on the old “imagine yourself in a forest” quizzes found in lonely dark places of the Internet and the back pages of teenie bopper magazines.

Created by the imaginary mind of Oliver Staunton, CitF Test guides you through a series of 15 questions in 11 imaginary situations. Using your mind as a cheat sheet you select one of several multiple-choice answers per question. I say cheat sheet because there are no wrong answers. Just go with the first answer that best matches how you imagined the situation in your mind.

Once you complete all of the questions you are given your analysis broken down into a bunch of short paragraphs explaining each question and what your answer represents in regards to your personality.

The Result

CitF Test is mildly entertaining. I’m sure by now you’ve completed at least one of these types of quizzes in your life and are familiar with them. The answers are amusing but should probably be taken with a grain of salt in much the same way as a horoscope should.

If you have trouble staying focused in today’s attention based economy though you might get a little restless half way through CitF Test. I myself became frustrated wondering when the questions would end. This could probably be alleviated by numbering the questions and informing the reader of how many questions to expect but the not knowing made me anxious thinking I would be spending the next hour or two answering trite questions.

I felt CitF Test was a bit lacking in the social aspect though, there is little if nothing to do with your friends except to invite them to take the quiz themselves. I’m not sure if you can see the results of each others quizzes though since there doesn’t appear to even be a way to view your own test results again. Some users have also complained in the forums that it doesn’t appear in their profiles. The only way to currently access it is through the Left Nav.

So now that I’ve taken the test and there isn’t anything more to do, no saved results, and no profile box, it’s pretty safe to assume I can uninstall it.

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