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Archive for the '4 Stars' Category

Flirtable

Dec 13, 2007 in 4 Stars, Facebook

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Flirtable by Frengo is the ultimate Mass Flirt application. The way it works is simple: for every friend you invite, you get 20 flirts; for every profile you view or message, you get a single flirt; but for every person that flirts with you, you get 50 flirts! Flirts are like a currency. The more $$$ you have, the more people will notice you (the more your profile will be shown).

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Users can customize their profiles by adding a custom tag line and selecting who they are interested in flirting with, such as Women aged “20-25″. Noticeably missing, however, is the ability to restrict the proximity of your flirtation. So, you might meet the girl of your dreams, but half way around the world. Guess that shouldn’t matter too much!

image

Their application screams. No lag whatsoever. You can quickly flip through hundreds of pictures just by clicking flirt or skip. Clicking on “Flirt” doesn’t require you to send any messages. It just adds the person to your list of flirts.

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There’s not too much I would change about the application. It works really well as it stands. One thing that is ridiculously obnoxious is that they flood your mini feed EVERYTIME you send a flirt. In the future, I hope they add support to limit profiles by proximity and add more profile options to set yourself apart. Also, a “back” link would be nice, if you were a little quick on the trigger.

Installed

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IOU

Dec 06, 2007 in 4 Stars, Facebook, Money, Utility

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Rating: ★★★★☆

*BANG BANG BANG BANG* and *KKKAAA-CHING* and take their money

Tired of your friends, roommates, co-workers and poker buddies borrowing money from you and not paying you back? $13 for lunch, $20 for dinner, $11 for a movie ticket. They promise to pay you back and even tell you a sad little tale of how they forgot their wallet at home, or were supposed to get paid yesterday but won’t until Monday. If they’re a good friend you probably don’t really mind. You also probably trust them a lot and know they’re good for it. You’ll get your money back for sure — right?

Unless they pay you back within a few days or you’ve loaned them enough cash to put a down payment on a car the chances are that you’re going to forget. If you don’t forget, they will. Or you both will. There’s even a possibility they’ll remember paying you back and you won’t remember that part. Uh-oh.

Before you lose your friends over some petty cash go add IOU to your Facebook profile. IOU by Sanjay Madan, another Harvard Alumni, will keep you from having to bust noses and break legs by keeping both you and your friends up to date on any outstanding financial transactions. Anytime you dole out some money log into Facebook and visit the IOU canvas page where you can enter the date, the amount, borrower’s name, and the reason. If you invite your friend IOU will create a link between both of you and will display to them the shared transaction so they know exactly how much they owe you and why. Once the debt is repaid you can simply clear out the transaction which removes it from both of your profiles.

IOU Ledger

Not only is IOU great for keeping track of the money you’re owed, but it can also help you keep track of the money you owe. If you’re frequently dipping your hands into your friend’s petty cash drawer this is a good way of making sure you maintain that relationship so when you’re down on your luck that register will still be open.

The Result

IOU is an incredibly useful app for Facebook. Not only will your wallet be happier, but IOU will help you keep those Facebook buddies by not letting the bitterness of debt and deceit come between you.

IOU Buddy

The app consists of only two pages, the ledger, and an invite page. It’s easy to use and beautifully designed. It also does not send out pesky and annoying notifications that make your friends secretly hate you. Those Harvard kids really know what they’re doing. For an extra bit of charm there’s also a little icon buddy in the top corner that randomly spits out satirical comments now and then. He’s not very functionally useful, but he takes take the edge off tracking finances a bit.

One thing noticeably lacking from IOU though is the ability to track payments. You can clear a debt in its entirety but there currently is no way to register or track partial payments. IOU is relatively new though and just starting to be published in the Application Directory so perhaps with a little bit of time we’ll see more functionality. Hopefully not at the cost of its simplicity though.

Now I can finally keep track of all those times Erik borrows lunch money.

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Hugs

Dec 05, 2007 in 4 Stars, Dating, Facebook, Food and Drink

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Everyone Needs a Hug!

Hugs Monster

Hugs by Hugsalot Inc (Brett Keintz, Robert Fan, and Dan Ackerman-Greenberg) is about as simple of an application as they get. But that’s the ingeniousness of it. Hugs are universal, and everybody needs a hug now and then. Hugs for Facebook helps deliver those hugs by sending virtual hugs to your friends profiles.

It works like this. Add Hugs to your profile and select the friends you wish to hug from the Hug Friends tab. Click send and voila! That’s the magic of hugs. Anyone can give them. And anyone can use this application.

Hugs goes a little bit further than real hugs though by keeping track of all the hugs you’ve sent, and all the hugs you’ve received. But when it comes to hugs, who’s keeping score anyways? Your friends receive their hugs as requests and others will see who you’ve hugged in your Facebook News Feed. There’s also a profile box that shows how many hugs you’ve received — maybe this is to earn those lonely profiles some sympathy hugs?

Hugs Request

The Result

Hugs is a great application for Facebook, it’s so simple everyone can use it, there’s no learning curve to figure out how to hug someone. It’s just human nature. Better yet it won’t lead to any possibly embarrassing situations like the KissMe app that can land you into some steamy trouble if you’ve got a jealous mate. So go brighten someone’s day, or even just your own and give someone a hug! Hug your friends, hug your family, hug your lover, hug your crush, or hug a lot of strangers like the guy in the FREE HUGS campaign video. It doesn’t matter.

The only problem with Hugs is that you will probably see an “Error while loading page from Hugs” message a lot because too many people are trying to spread the love. I experienced this a lot trying to send hugs. Some people are hug hogs! Just keep re-trying.

Also, can someone please explain to me why Hugs is listed under the Food and Drinks category of the Application Directory? Seriously — wtf?

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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

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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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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.

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More Friends

Nov 30, 2007 in 4 Stars, Facebook, Just For Fun, Utility

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Rating: ★★★★☆

More Friends by Chris Lee helps you find the most common 2nd degree friends in your social network.

How does it work?
It’s simple. This application will get a list of all your friends’ friends (second degree friends) and count who appeared the most. You can then use the application to discover those common friends that are not on your list. However, there’s one catch: You’ll have to get your friends to add this application, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to find their friend lists.

Facebook - Mutual FriendsI really like this idea. Facebook already does it to an extent, but only shows you friends you have directly in common when you view a particular person’s profile (see picture). If you have tons of friends, this could be tedious and you may never realize that some of your friends are mutual. More over, if many of your friends share a common friend, there’s a good chance you might know that common friend too. Unfortunately, More Friends is limited by Facebook’s FBQL restrictions on pulling friend lists only of those that have the application installed. This is awesome for More Friends (since it forces you to invite everyone you know), but too bad for me, because I can’t go about inviting my friends to install every application I test. And mind you, I test a lot of apps! I compliment them for being so up front about this from the get go, even before installing the application. To kick the wheels, I invite a few of my close friends that are used to my Facebook request spam.

I wait a few minutes for the app to update, as it appears that it does not get updated in real-time.. When it does update, I have new results under the “More Friends” tab.

Facebook - More Friends Found

Sure enough, it found a friend Rusty that I haven’t yet added to my contacts. Caveats aside, I think this is a great tool for finding lost contacts. I am tempted to invite spam everyone, to see who’s on Facebook that I haven’t yet befriended.

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Spotlight

Nov 29, 2007 in 4 Stars, Facebook

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Facebook - Spotlight Logo

Spotlight by Peopleized enables you to conduct interviews of your friends on Facebook. The idea is intriguing to me, because I rarely get around to interviewing my friends. After thinking for a few minutes, all sorts of questions and interview topics came to mind. I thought it would be interesting to interview some of my close friends in order to get to know them little better and to see if we share any common ground.

After installing the application, you’re prompted to enter the names of up to 5 friends to interview, the title of your interview, and the ability to ask as many questions as you like.
Facebook - Spotlight Create Interview

After entering the first question, click “Add Question”. Each question you add is appended to a list below.

Facebook - Spotlight Question List

I like how easy it is to add, edit, delete, and sort your questions. It just worked. My only recommendation would be some sort of preview mode to see what the interview will look like to the recipient.

When proceeding from this step, you’re prompted to send an email to your friends asking them to be interviewed. This step is optional. If you decline, they will just be notified via Facebook requests.

Facebook - Spotlight Completed Interview

When they complete your interview, you’re notified via email. Personally, I don’t like this because I already get spammed by so much automated mail, I don’t need anymore; it should be a feature when I setup the interview to be notified via email. Interviews are displayed in a clear fashion with speech bubbles. Once you’re done interviewing your friends, you can ask them to interview you. I expected to be able to specify the topic of the interview, but didn’t see the option. There are some more features of the application that I invite you to explore.

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the Bar|Book

Nov 28, 2007 in 4 Stars, Events, Facebook, Food and Drink

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Social Networking before Social Networks

the Bar|Book About

Before there were social networks like Facebook, MySpace, and Friendster we had to network the old fashion way. You know the one I’m talking about, it’s the sole reason you have (or had) a liver. That’s right — it’s time to get our booze on. Now someone pour me another Dark and Stormy!

The Bar|Book for Facebook tries to bring back the good old days by getting us offline and back into the scene. Created by a team of four alcoholic developers, Erik Ober, Will Chu, Paul Kowssari, and Mike Weber, the Bar|Book helps you connect with other Facebook members who are self described regulars at your favorite local bars and clubs.

The Bar|Book has a clean interface that is simple to use and more refined than most Facebook apps. The first thing you do once you install the Bar|Book is set your location if it hasn’t already detected it for you. For me it immediately knew I was in Los Angeles, CA. Once your location is set you can begin browsing bars and clubs in your area. Each listing has a photo and description that you can click for more information or add it to your scenes.

Each scene lets you browse a list of regulars by photo, leave comments, and receive events. It is a great way to keep up with what is happening at your local favorite hot spot. There is also a central news feed that keeps you up to date on other things happening on the Bar|Book, including your friends and what’s hot.

The Result

the Bar|Book Drinks

If you’re heavy into the nightlife the Bar|Book is a great addition to Facebook. You can connect with the regulars from your favorite spots. They’ve recently added a new feature for friend spotting that allows you to keep a history of all the times and places you’ve run into your friends at local watering holes. Just for fun you can send friends virtual drinks, which is similar to some of the other Facebook apps like Booze Mail. The difference being that this is just a feature of the Bar|Book rather than the entire application.

A weakness of the Bar|Book is that there doesn’t seem to be a way to easily track your friends. It would be a lot more useful if they provided a tab with your Facebook friends so you can browse their favorite scenes and coordinate your bar hopping. It is probably less useful for those who don’t live in major metropolitan areas though as the ratio of regulars to population is fairly low. Luckily for me there were already over 3,000 in Los Angeles, and 4,000 in Hollywood at of the time of this review.

Overall I think the Bar|Book is a great application for Facebook because it helps people with a common interest connect both online and offline. That should be the ultimate goal of any social application, to facilitate and enhance human connections.

the Bar|Book Scenes

Installed, see you at The Father’s Office in Santa Monica!

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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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