Archive for the 'Messaging' Category

Poke vs. SuperPoke! vs. X Me

Dec 06, 2007 in 3 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun, Messaging

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Poke

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Facebook’s Poke isn’t even considered an application though you’ll find it under all of your friend’s profile pictures. It has only one option: Poke.

Facebook Poke

Nobody really uses it because it’s not worth using.

 

SuperPoke!

Rating: ★★★½☆

SuperPoke! Facebook Application SuperPoke! is an application written to replace Facebook’s Poke.

It has some cool features like “Type Mode” (lets you type your friends names) and “Select Mode” (shows you a list of all your friends).

SuperPoke! Facebook Application Screenshot If you have Top Friends installed, you can “mass SuperPoke!” your top friends with an quick click.

Some of the actions offer additional functionality like the “give flowers” screenshot on the right.

SuperPoke! also lets you disable email notifications in their settings. This is a very nice feature since most apps don’t ask you your preferences and just blast notifications out to you every way possible.

SuperPoke! has 60 actions (and some premium) that come with cute little icons for you to annoy your friends with.

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X Me

Rating: ★★★☆☆

X Me Facebook Application X Me is another Poke replacement.

X Me functions similarly to SuperPoke!. X Me has less default actions compared to SuperPoke!, but they let you type in your own action. So if you wanna knee-bite somebody, you can.

They also let your set your poke as private so it won’t show in your friends mini-feed.

I still don’t like applications that default send to ALL your friends, and this app is one of them. They provide you with an “unselect all” button, but I’d rather have it default to none and give me the option to ‘select all’.

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Summary

I liked SuperPoke! slightly more than X Me, which is why I gave it an extra half star rating. I liked the features it had and also liked that SuperPoke! didn’t default check all my friends. They’re both pretty similar and worth checking out.

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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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Mobile IM

Dec 03, 2007 in 4 Stars, Facebook, Messaging, Mobile

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Rating: ★★★★☆

mobileim

Mobile IM by WUPIMA.com provides 2-way messaging between your Facebook profile and your mobile phone in the U.S. and Canada (select carriers). The only fees are those associated with your mobile phone plan. The application preserves your privacy, never revealing your phone number to those viewing your profile (just sells them to telemarketers instead! jk). When you receive an SMS message on your phone, you can reply back directly to the Facebook user that sent the message.

Facebook - MobileIM - SMS Text Messaging_1196328673968

Pretty straight forward: enter your carrier, number, and times when you can be contacted (EST). My first complaint is that it should let me select my timezone. Seems simple enough for them to do the calculation as it is for me.

After submitting, there was no pressure to invite friends. The navigation is straightforward: Compose/TextOUT, Inbox, Sent, Mobile Setup.

Facebook - MobileIM - SMS Text Messaging_1196329075687

I like the feature of being able to send an SMS directly to another friend on Facebook by name and not requiring their mobile number. So, to test it out, I send a message to my friend Joel.

Unfortunately, off the bat, I was not lucky and the send failed.

Facebook - MobileIM - SMS Text Messaging_1196329336968

My friend’s carrier is T-Mobile (U.S.). So, I’m going to try another number (my own) also on T-Mobile. Success!

Facebook - MobileIM - SMS Text Messaging_1196329500953

So, no conclusions can be made of a test with 2 text messages, but that it works and doesn’t work at the same time. The second SMS message sent to my own personal number worked. The message formatting is a little bit cryptic:

1234@m.wupima.com / / FR: First Last Name MSG: This is the message. [wupima.com]

To complete the test of 2-way messaging, I reply to the message wait about a minute and the following shows up in my MobileIM Inbox.

Facebook - MobileIM - SMS Text Messaging_1196330598609

Clicking on the [x] removes the message. Click on the from loads the user’s profile, if there is one.

The application works as advertised.

Installed

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The 12 Walls of Facebook — Part 4

Dec 01, 2007 in 3 Stars, Chat, Dating, Facebook, Just For Fun, Messaging

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Flirt Wall

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Secret Wall

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Secret Wall Facebook ApplicationFlirt Wall Facebook Application
Since Flirt Wall and Secret wall are so similar, I decided to write their reviews together…

Both of these walls allow your friends to write anonymously on your wall. They both share a very similar feature set. One wall seems to encourage flirting, while the other just secret posts.

They both require writers to install the wall — which I didn’t like.

No pictures or videos on either wall.

Flirt Wall has a few extra features like private posts (invisible to everybody but you), it will show your sent flirts, and you can view your friends flirt walls.

Well, these walls aren’t a replacement for the wall you currently are using, but if you want your friends to flirt or write anonymous message to you, they’re worth checking out.

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Crap Wall

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Crap Wall Facebook Application Crap Wall is just like your favourite wall application, but without any of the functionality.

Things you can’t do:

  • Leave messages on a friends wall
  • Share videos
  • Spam the newsfeeds of yourself and your friends
  • Anything at all, except look at the wall
  • New! You can now write on your own wall. But it’s still crap!

Crap wall is obviously a joke. It’s kinda funny.

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Summary

Well, I reviewed quite a few walls over the past few days. We’ve seen some good and we’ve seen some bad. If you’re looking for a replacement for the default wall facebook provides, you should check out either Fun Wall or Advanced Wall. I liked both of these, but ended up going with Fun Wall.

Facebook Login Box The downside to replacing your default wall, is you’ll no longer see your default wall (and all the comments) or you will have two (or more) walls.

Also, when your friends try to write on your wall, they will be prompted to login — unless they also have the wall installed. This can be annoying, but I’m pretty sure all Facebook users are used to seeing the login box by now.

 

 

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The 12 Walls of Facebook — Part 3

Nov 29, 2007 in Chat, Facebook, Messaging, Photo, Utility, Video

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Emotion Wall

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Emotion Wall Facebook Application Emotion Wall is a little known wall with only 199 daily active users.

It’s got some great features, lets you import YouTube videos and images into your posts. It’s got a simple interface and even has a few cute emoticons. It uses a BBC style code to insert the images and videos which is neat.

Wall owners can create a sticky at the top of their wall and users have the option to post private messages.

Emotion Wall Screenshot

Though, it’s a little spammier than I’d like for an application and will push an ad in your face at every opportunity. Clicking on ‘More’ brings you to a page with more options for posting. Though part of the form is to “invite friends to write on my wall” and it’s always checked.

I had to disable my mini-feed as every change I made blasted an announcement out to all my friends. After about 10 seconds I have 4 items to nuke from my news feed.

It’s not a bad wall and if you don’t mind subjecting your friends to advertising torture you might want to check it out, just be sure to disable it’s access to your mini-feed or you’ll be sorry.

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Classic Wall

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Classic Wall Facebook Application I really wanted to review this application because it boasts interesting features such as “Historically accurate representation of the pre-September 2005 Facebook Wall!”

Well, long story short… it doesn’t work… but somehow 31 of his friends still have it installed.

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Comment Wall

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Comment Wall Facebook Application Seems like every wall application makes big claims that they usually can’t live up to like “Get rid of your old and crappy wall and get a little more creative :) ”. Well, this one did just that.

The wall does have some good features, like HTML in your comments.

You can also add a video or image — I think. The interface to do so is extremely unfriendly. After clicking the “Add Image or Video” button and being presented with such an incredibly complex page, I gave up and just clicked my back button.

I like the simplicity on (only) the profile page, it didn’t spam my news feed for every action I performed and no ads (seriously — no ads). It has good features, but it’s just not user friendly.

There’s a reason why this wall only has 25 daily active users — they were the only people on Facebook that could figure it out.

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My Appology

Sorry about the post today. The other wall review posts were more interesting as they had walls actually worth checking out. I had higher expectations for these walls, but hopefully I saved you some time.

 

 

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The 12 Walls of Facebook — Part 2

Nov 28, 2007 in 4 Stars, Chat, Facebook, Messaging, Photo, Utility, Video

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FunWall

Rating: ★★★★☆

FunWall Facebook Application We’ve gone over Super and Advanced, now it’s time for something Fun. Well I thought “Fun” was just another adjective the marketing department threw in front of “Wall” to get people to install it… But you know what? It does have some fun elements.

The interface is quite simple and clean, you have a button for normal posts and a few other options like Photo, Video, Graffiti and a Slideshow…

Funwall Facebook Application Screenshot

Now here’s where the “Fun” comes in… Adding a photo here has more than what you would think. After you upload your photo, you can edit it. There’s a bunch of effects to choose from like shine, glitter, hearts, thought bubbles. You can add other things such as horns, mustache, buck teeth, pig noses and much more.

FunWall also provides you with a graffiti option to draw on the pics you upload so you too can be the new Perez Hilton.

Videos can only be added from YouTube, though this seems to be the norm. The “Fun” they added to videos is simple… they let you theme your video by putting a border around it. They have a dozen or so to choose from — my favorite is the old school 70′s tv set border.

It’s easy to see why Slide applications have become so popular. This one is worth checking out… it’s got great features and it isn’t too spamy.

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Best Wall

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Best Wall Facebook Application Hmmm… this wall is called the Best Wall. Though I think a better name for it would have been Definately NOT the Best Wall or Worst Wall.

Try to think of the default Wall by Facebook… now take away all the features, like wall-to-wall, links to write on friends wall, message, DELETE. Oh ya and I forgot to mention, there’s no way for any of your friends to write on your wall.

Best Wall Facebook Application Screenshot
Ummmmmm… where is the text box and the post button?

To sum up, don’t waste your time. (the rating below should be considered -1 star).

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Hot

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Hot Facebook Application Not Hot Wall, just Hot.

This wall reminds me a little of FunWall… but with all the fun removed.

You can do stuff like add Photos, Videos, etc., but it’s a pain in the ass to do so. When you try to add a photo (or video) it first prompts you to select from a list of either photos or videos. If I clicked “Add a Photo”, why would I then want to select from a random list of photos?

On this page you can click “Upload a Photo” which will upload it into their photo mix for everyone to select from. No thanks.

If you do decide to go through with it and complete the process, it prompts you to blast it out to all your friends (all are selected by default). All I wanted to do was upload a photo to my wall. Grrrr…

I don’t see why you’d want to install this one when there are much better walls out there. This wall is lacking in features, spamy, annoying and tries to get you to install their other Facebook apps. Avoid!

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The 12 Walls of Facebook — Part 1

Nov 27, 2007 in 4 Stars, Chat, Dating, Facebook, File Sharing, Just For Fun, Messaging, Photo, Utility, Video

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If you have a Facebook account, you’ve probably noticed the handful of different wall applications. It’s not uncommon to see a handful of them on the same Facebook profile.

Facebook provides you with a wall by default. So what makes these “Super” or “Advanced” walls so “Super” and “Advanced”? Lets take a look…


The Wall

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Wall Facebook Application This is the default wall created by Facebook. By default (unless you removed it), it’s on your profile. The Wall allows you post text, no html or bbc (bulletin board code). You can’t post images or YouTube videos, but you can attach items such as a link and can create a video from your webcam.

Other applications have the ability to tie into The Wall and extend it’s ability. Though, from what I’ve seen, most addons are vampire hugs and other crap you probably don’t care about.

If you like it plain, this is the wall for you.


Super Wall

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Super Wall Facebook ApplicationThis one has to be better, right? It is named Super Wall after all. The 16 million people that have it installed sure seem to think so.

Besides all the features The Wall provides, Super Wall allows you to attach photos, YouTube videos and even music (though you have to install another app to listen to it).

Photos can be added to the wall from your Facebook photo galleries, you can upload, or provide the URL to an image on the web. There’s also an option to draw Graffiti.

Videos can only be attached from YouTube or Google Video, which I guess is ok since everyone uses YouTube anyway.

Though I do have a very serious complaint about this application, which affected it’s rating… This is the spammiest app I’ve encountered on Facebook. I’m beginning to think maybe this app has so many users, not because it’s so great, but because it Super Spams everyone you know.

Upon install, it asked me to invite friends with all of my friends selected by default. Then it added an additional item to my news feed asking people to come and write on my wall.

When I created a test post on my own wall, I accidentally blasted it out to all my friends Super Wall’s. (Everybody is selected by default). In addition to accidentally writing a test message on everybody’s wall, it posted a message in their mini-feed saying they got a new post on their Super Wall.

This means not only did I post on all of my friends’ Super Walls, but all of their friends got messages in their mini-feeds saying I did so. F’n great…

Super Wall Facebook Application Arrrggg!!

A quick browse of the Super Wall Message Boards will reveal a lot of other users angry at this application. *danger*

Install at your own risk. But if you do install this app… make sure you uncheck the mini-feed option!


Advanced Wall

Rating: ★★★★☆

Advanced Wall Facebook Application The Advanced Wall operates almost exactly like The Wall, but gives you an “Advanced Editor” option. This advanced editor is a WYSIWYG / Rich Text editor. You can change your font, color, height, embed links, emoticons, images, YouTube videos, Flash and even HTML.

You can even import all your posts from your old Facebook wall.

Advanced Wall also lets your friends write private messages on your wall. It is highly configurable and allows you to change a number of settings, like the number of posts on your wall, number of posts per page, a lot of privacy settings and you can even have new post notifications sent via sms to your phone.

If you like the way the original Facebook Wall operates and want a little more functionality, this is a good choice.

 

 

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Crime

Nov 26, 2007 in 4 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun, Messaging

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Rating: ★★★★☆

What is Crime and Who Commits it?

When I came across this new Facebook application with the daunting name of Crime it immediately caught my attention. Crime by developer Kate Setterfield allows Facebook users to commit acts of virtual crime within Facebook and allow their friends to react to it. Here’s how Kate describes it in the Crime about page.

Ever felt like being a little bit naughty? Or just think that your friends need a bit of punishment?

Crime allows you to use your judgement: deal out what’s appropriate – from stealing your friend’s pencil to hooking up with their mom.

Of course, just trying to commit a crime doesn’t mean it will be successful and your victims will still have the chance to fight you off with pepper spray or to scream for help…

If the idea of stealing virtual possessions of your friends doesn’t make you giddy, maybe the psychology of it all will. I’m sold, time to install!

You’re a Criminal

Wow — so this is the life of crime! The intent is there, now time to choose a victim. Alternatively Crime gives you the option to choose a crime before you choose the victim. If you choose a victim first like I did, then you are given an array of crimes to commit against them. My options were trespass on the property of, forge signature of, kidnap, plastic wrap the toilet of, graffiti the car of, give a wedgie to, or unlock new crimes. As a first time criminal I chose to go with a classic and grafitti my friend’s car. He is going to be soo pissed!

Just before you commit crime gives you a few more options, like adding a comment (pre-meditated) , and a last conscious decision to rethink what you are about to do. But it’s not enough to stop the morally ambiguous, time to start tagging!

Crime In Over My Head

That was too easy! But I’m not free yet, Crime not only lets the user commit crime, but also allows the victim to respond. But I’m innocent until proven guilty — right?

Crime Response

Like any good victim hopefully he will just let this crime slide and I will continue my clean record to go on and commit more crimes! At least until someone catches me. After all it’s just a cry for attention — right?

Crime Commit Again

The Result

I don’t care who, I don’t care how, I just need to be bad! Crime lets me do this in a relatively harmless way that turns out to be a lot of good fun. Overall Crime is fun, simple to use, interactive between you and your friends, and keeps you coming back for more. The further you progress the more crimes you can unlock and hopefully avoid a stint in the big house.

Installed – But don’t steal my stuff!

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