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Archive for the '3 Stars' Category

AceBucks

Dec 11, 2007 in 3 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun, Money

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

AceBucks Facebook Application
AceBucks — “the largest underground currency for Facebook”.

The AceBucks is virtual currency and has no real value. It’s just that… virtual. So why would you want AceBucks? And what makes the 700,000+ people that have it installed want AceBucks?

Spending AceBucks

Acebucks PurchaseWith AceBucks you can buy things, both real and virtual, through their store. Sweet!

I like alcohol, so I bought the “Cheers!” champagne glasses. Well not really. I bought the virtual “Cheers!” champagne glasses which just adds a picture to the AceBucks box in my profile.

I liked the large picture and would have liked to show it off in my profile, but all I get in my profile is this tiny thumb. Hardly seems worth my $12 AceBucks :(

Ok. Screw the virtual items then. Lets find some real ones…

There are a few real items worth buying on there as well, like a Nintendo WII or this XBOX 360 I found…

AceBucks XBOX 360

Earning AceBucks

So now that you’ve found something you want… how do you earn AceBucks?

First signing up will get you $125 AceBucks, inviting friends will get you $5 AceBucks and $25 AceBucks if they actually join. There are also 11 different Faceboook games that reward you with AceBucks. (yes AceBucks has an API). You can earn additional AceBucks with 3rd party offers from companies like NetFlix, PetSmart, Disney, Walmart, etc. Signing up for newsletters will earn you AceBucks. You can also sell your own items for AceBucks.

AceBucks Problems

The AceBucks application is pretty cool, but it’s not without it’s flaws.

You cannot convert your AceBucks into dollars or dollars into AceBucks. This makes it incredibly difficult to ever afford the expensive stuff.

People do auction off US Dollars (USD). So you could “buy” $50 USD for X amount of AceBucks. But this brings me to yet another problem.

There’s no way to tell what is a real tangible item that will be shipped to my door. All auctions are marked with either “real” or “virtual”. But I’ve found way too many virtual items being sold as real items.

AceBucks Ferrari
I can afford 2 REAL Ferrari’s With my current AceBucks balance!

It’s easy to tell that this Ferrari is not a real Ferrari just by looking at the price. But other items that have their AceBucks price closer to their actual value are not so easy to identify.

It’s very possible you will end up buying a “real” item and receive just a picture of it.

There are also a few “questionable” auctions. Auctions for AceBucks lottery or AceBucks raffles where you could “win” more AceBucks should be banned.

Summary

These problems prevent AceBucks from earning any rating higher than 3 stars. It probably even should have earned a 2 star rating. Though I gave it a 3 star because I feel like this application has potential. And maybe you can buy some neat stuff with the AceBucks you earn from playing games. Just don’t cry when all your AceBucks get scammed away from you.

You can work around the real/virtual problem by contacting the buyer about the item (still no guarantee that you’ll be scammed). But eventually AceBucks needs to offer some sort of guarantee on real items if they want this to be legit.

AceBucks also needs to figure out a way to convert AceBucks into USD and vice-versa. I can’t think of anything I’d want to sell for a currency only used to buy pictures.

If they do nothing else but resolve these issues, AceBucks would easily be a 5 star application with the potential of growing larger than their current Facebook scope.

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Roomster

Dec 11, 2007 in 3 Stars, Business, Classified, Facebook

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Looking for a place to rent? Need a roommate desperately? Check out a new app for Facebook called Roomster. It lets you easily post classified ads and search for a room or apartment to rent. In my experience, the best places to rent have always come from word of mouth. I’ve tried using Craigslist, but came across a lot of weirdos in the process. The Facebook platform is perfect for this purpose.

image

You can filter your search by multiple dimensions. How many other sites let you actually find roommates by Zodiac? Unfortunately, the the filtering system is a little bit limited and only lets you filter results by a single dimension at a time, so narrowing your search is not a possibility. For example, filtering by “Women seeking rooms”, then “25-35″ returns a bunch of guys between “25-35″ looking for rooms to rent, but no women. Since this site revolves around search, I think this is a significant short coming.

image

One thing Roomster impressed me with was the sheer number of results they returned for a roommate search in Los Angeles. The results seem to be current and members active, which is a problem with many websites I’ve used in the past that are cluttered with old listings. Once they add the ability to narrow a search, this is definitely a 4-star app. If anyone’s found a roommate or apt using this service, leave a comment!

Installed

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Twisted Christmas

Dec 10, 2007 in 3 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Twisted Christmas Facebook Application (Choclatto) Twisted Christmas is yet another one of those “send virtual gifts to your friends” applications… but of course, with a twist.

You select a character that best represents you. I chose Choclato.

This app doesn’t have an “invite friends” feature like the others… you go Christmas caroling. You select your from a couple dozen different Christmas carols (Christmas YouTube videos), select your friends and it will blast out the video to them with their invitation.

There are also a few dozen different gifts you can give to your friends. They vary from the standard candy cane to the gift I sent my girlfriend — yep… poop in a box. I’m expecting something special in return.

Poop in a box
poop in a box

There’s not a whole lot of depth to this application and you’ll most-likely uninstall it after xmas. But the cute graphics they have make it fun and hey… it’s almost Christmas.

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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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Family Tree

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

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

iFamily_1196839640937

Family Tree by iFamily, Inc. is a native Facebook application for managing your family tree. Family memebers need not have Facebook accounts unlike some other similar apps for Facebook.

Facebook - Family Tree_1196840232078

They offer a simple interface to add family members. As you see, in addition to adding existing Facebook members, you can create placeholders for those that don’t yet have Facebook accounts (seems like everyone will someday!) Every time you add a family member, it sends out a notice to your news feed.

Facebook - Erik Osterman_1196900253435

I did run into a problem, however, after entering in my father using the above form. The Family Tree tab still didn’t recognize that I added my father. I suspect this is because they asked me to enter the relation (free form text) as opposed to selecting the relation from some sort of Drop Down list.

Instead, I should probably have used this form to enter my father, but I don’t see why they have 2 different forms as it leaves room for confusion.

Facebook - Family Tree_1196840360140

My suggestion is that the checkbox “Check here if the relative is deceased” should only display the Death input boxes when checked. Death is such a negative word, the less it appears when talking about family, the better.

Family members you add appear under a the “Family Tree” tab in a nice tree that you can drag around (Flash). You can elect to have 6 of your family members prominently featured on your profile.

image

As a bonus, I think it also supports multiple concurrent wives.

There are some more community centric features as well, such as posting family news, browsing family albums, public/private groups for discussion, and a search engine that lets you search for other family members by name and heritage.The application is actively being developed, so expect more features to come. Also, they’re growing incredibly fast so expect some hiccups.

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Likeness

Dec 05, 2007 in 3 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Likeness is one of those super simple no-brainer applications. You install it, take a 15 second quiz and it tells you which of your friends you are most like.

The simplicity of the app makes it fun and easy to use, with very little investment of your time.

There are a few things that are annoying. The application makes me feel like it was quickly written with the intention of marketing their Super Wall. After every quiz, the app will prompt you to invite your friends… and the interface looks like it was designed by a South American spider monkey. But hey… it works.

Likeness Facebook Application
Hey Jamie, we’re “Twins”!!!

The quizes are quick and fun, featuring a single question and 10 answers to be ordered from best to worst.

Example: Pet Peeves (penny pinchers, emo, stubbornness, bad drivers, people who flake, rudeness, poor hygiene, excessively flirty, indecisiveness, messiness)

Most are fun to take and you’ll quickly find many friends that have already taken them. But some just won’t make sense for their best to worst ordering.

This app is worth checking out… chances are, your friends already have.

Update – Dec 5 2007 6:40pm

This application will spam notifications to all your friends (that have it installed) of your “likeness”.

This is just from one of their tests…

Likeness Faceboook Application Spam

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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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Who’s Online

Dec 03, 2007 in 3 Stars, Alerts, Facebook, Utility

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

So you wanna see who’s online?

Who’s Online is not perfect, but it works well enough in determining who was online and when.

You won’t be able to get a real-time list of people that are currently online, but you can see who has been active in the past few minutes. The application will fade out your friends the longer they have been away from Facebook.

The profile box is slow to update (but it does update). Clicking on ‘See All’ will update your list.

One minor complaint I have is the application will spam your mini-feed every time it updates your list. But that’s easy to fix in Facebook’s edit apps page.

I currently have it installed and am still debating it’s usefulness. It’s worth installing and checking out for yourself.

Who’s Online Facebook Application

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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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Battle Hangman

Nov 29, 2007 in 3 Stars, Facebook, Gaming, Just For Fun

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

It’s Hangman. You know the rules.

That’s the slogan to the Battle Hangman application by Scott Agass and Richard Matthews that brings the classic game of hangman to Facebook. They couldn’t be more right! Battle Hangman is exactly that.

Battle Hangman You Got Hunged!

It’s just like you remember it, you think of a word or phrase and have a friend try to guess it one letter at a time. For each correct guess you fill in all the characters of the word where that letter appears. For each wrong guess you draw another stick figure limb hanging from a noose. First the head, then the torso, followed by the right arm, left arm, right leg, and finally the left leg. If they guess the entire word or phrase before you draw their entire body then they win. Otherwise they get “hunged” (hanged).

Have no friends? Well you probably don’t belong on Facebook but you can still enjoy Battle Hangman by playing against the computer. Soloists aside, this is actually a great way to build up your score.

Battle Hangman provides the person being challenged with a hint by requiring the challenger to choose from a select group of topics that include; Movies, Books, Song Titles, Bands/Musical Artists, Famous People, Places, Landmarks, Catchphrases, TV Shows, and Sports. Obviously if you’re a cut-throat winner who wants nothing but points you can cheat and throw in random words, misspellings, or off-topic answers — but that wouldn’t be much fun would it?

Battle Hangman Challenge

The point system works like so. Challenge a friend and if they don’t solve it, you get 10 points. Solve a challenge and you can earn up to 20 points or as low as 5 points, depending on how many limbs you have remaining. You can also earn a bonus 50 points per friend you invite, but that seems a little bit unfair.

The game is well developed. We didn’t run into any technical issues trying to use it. The interface is a little cluttered but not enough to stop you from being able to navigate your way around. The game has cute little stick figure animations that are a nice addition beyond the classic hand drawn game of hangman. You can also keep track of your score versus your friends or compete globally on the leaderboard for the most points.

The Result

If you like hangman you’ll probably enjoy Battle Hangman. I probably won’t keep it installed just because I haven’t played hangman since about the 4th grade and there is kind of a reason for that. There is some fun in the nostalgia of it though. We had a few laughs in the office trying to solve each others puzzles. I definitely suggest checking it out. At least until 6pm when you clock out of work.

_ _ i n s _ a _ _ e d

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