Now accepting subscribers

At this point, I have a rather small audience following my posts.  I’d love to grow that number and create some more interactions between my posts.  This is why, today, I have added the ability to subscribe to my blog by email and through Facebook Subscriptions, a new feature which they released this week.

My posts are often written in such a way to entice feedback and create a discussion.  I am hoping to expand on that with subscribers as I move forward with my work / research.


Scaling – boy I’ve matured

Sometimes I like to think of the past as a good example of how much I have learned.  Scaling is a particular domain that I have learned a lot over the past year.  2 years ago, I had always assumed that scaling merely consisted of upgrading servers.  The concept of putting servers together to work side by side was baffling to me.

I do like to poke some fun at my past, only because today I am proud of my accomplishments, proud to say I have scaled a product that can easily handle hundreds of thousands / millions of users with a very small pool of servers.

However, the point of this post is not so much to poke fun at myself, but to teach some of the places I have made mistakes and how to get around them.  Of course, without giving some of my secrets or the key to making extremely responsive APIs, like igapi.

Continue reading…

Evolution of Facebook Apps

I must admit, building Facebook apps is certainly not what I had envisioned I would be doing some 5-10 years ago.  What surprises me even more is how much such a platform has evolved. Nowadays, it seems that you need a degree in social behavior, be a marketing genius, along with a PHD in software engineering.  Nothing is as easy as it was, but I do like challenges.

Back when the platform just came out, I could bang an app out within a day, send some invites to friends and put links up on various websites, next thing you know I had thousands of people in my app.  One at it’s peak reaching 800,000 Daily Active Users.  Whatever happened to those days?  I miss them!   Getting those kinds of numbers on new apps will likely run you a few hundreds of thousands of dollars.   It is a shame, because now the smaller guys have absolutely no chance to compete with the bigger guys.

The complexities and the level of detail required to make a game or app function are also astonishing. Thankfully for me, I grew up with the platform and consider myself to know many of the dos and don’ts (there are a lot).  Apps and Games that you want to be successful require the love one mother would give to any child (Happy Mother’s Day Mom).   You want success?  Well you need to focus on user messaging, social behavior, providing value to your content and giving continuity to your game.  Don’t try to silo those 4, because there is a LOT of overlap between them. Continue reading…

Meeting some Leaf Legends!

Had the great opportunity today to meet some of the greatest Leafs Legends tonight at the Air Canada Centre all thanks to Nathon.  The event was by Project Engagement, with the goal of raising money to feed those families in need during the holidays.  Great event for a great cause.

Auto Mania is an fbFund finalist!

Auto Mania was created in the peak of the problems for the automotive industry.  It served the purpose of helping people discover new vehicles, understand and see the benefits of fuel economy, and also put them in touch with local dealerships.

After purchasing their first car, users had the ability to challenge friends, modify their car, perform local tasks, or travel to nearby cities to discover more events and challengers.  Each time the user travels or does an event, they must be conscious of their fuel economy and distance, as it may mean they will run out of fuel, although users had the option of visiting a fueling station along the way.  If the vehicle was not maintained, things like fuel economy or speed in which the event is completed would be affected negatively.

Due to the level of realism in the game, very interesting research was possible that helped automakers decide the popular of certain options, colours, vehicle models, etc.  These stats were previously not possible unless the automaker pays to perform a focus group.

See my Auto Mania Presentation

Facebook announcement:

Auto Mania: cy-Designer is a Canadian social media company fuelled by its communities. Auto Mania, App Broker and App Bookmark highlight the strategic focus to provide entertainment, utility to its user group and unique value proposition to global enterprises.

As announced here: