Daily Archives: February 21, 2011

The Facebook iPad app maker: Friendly

I shot this for my dad, who just got an iPad and just got on Facebook. I helped him yesterday get his account setup. It’s interesting bringing a new family member onto Facebook.

Things we take for granted, like adding a profile photo, are fairly difficult for new social network users. I keep a photo of myself on all my devices so I can get one up quickly, but he didn’t have a photo of himself on his iPad.

Other things I understand deeply that he doesn’t? What happens when you “friend” someone. He had never done it before and didn’t understand the consequences of doing that. He didn’t know his news feed would change, for instance, or that that person would be able to see everything he puts up on his profile.

Heck, we haven’t even started to cover what privacy settings he should change.

Anyway, one problem on the iPad is that there isn’t an official Facebook app. That doesn’t seem to be a problem, right, but because the web page isn’t designed for touch it can sometimes be frustrating.

In this interview I meet the developer behind Friendly, Cyril Moutran, co-founder of Oecoway, and we get a good demo of what Friendly does for iPad and we also talk about why he only develops apps for iPad and is skeptical about other platforms, like Android or WebOS.

You can get Friendly on iTunes here.

Can Yobongo avoid the “masses are asses” chat room problem?

Let’s say I invite you to a chat with me, you, and Bill Gates. Or Steve Jobs. Or Barack Obama. Or your closest personal friend. You pick one. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Now, lets say we invite in 1,000 random people. Wouldn’t your utility go down? Of course it would.

That’s the “masses are asses” problem that hit chat rooms.

So, when Caleb Elston, founder of Yobongo, told me he had a way to solve that problem, I was intrigued.

How does he solve it with his new service Yobongo?

1. He keeps the chat room size small. Only about 10 people. Others will be pushed into another chat room.

2. Yobongo’s chat rooms will be location-based, so you’ll have one thing in common, you’ll be chatting with other people near to you.

3. Yobongo is keeping track of who you actually chat with, who you like, who you private message with, etc, and will continually improve the room.

In the interview with Caleb you can hear my skepticism. But that was before I tried Yobongo.

Now I’m addicted, but still skeptical about how they grow over time.

See, it put me into a room with people who all have something in common: we’re early adopter crazy people.

But will this work when normal everyday people join the service?

Will it still be interesting when we get drunk at SXSW? Techcrunch thinks it could be one of the hot services there.

Will it solve the “masses are asses” problem?

We will see. For now I’m in a cool chat with 10 people arguing about which winery in Napa is best and we’re discussing Zagat‘s new design (if you’re a foodie that’s a site you should watch). Gotta run!

A better way to run your business with Bill.com

Do you run a business? If you do you need to pay bills, keep books, take in cash, track bank accounts, send out invoices. All of which is a pain in the behind. I know, I did that for Dave Winer’s company for a while.

Intuit’s QuickBooks is how most of these companies do just that, but Bill.com has a better idea. Here CEO RenĂ© Lacerte shows me why.

But, listen between the lines. He’s building a business graph that will be very high quality. Could he be the future Mark Zuckerberg of businesses?