Live From f8Con

I am hanging out here at the Facebook developer conference, just generally taking in the sights and sounds. The venue is getting crowded, even though we’ve still got over an hour to go before the Facebook executives take the stage. You can check out my preview on what to expect, and also enjoy some of these photos I grabbed with my iPhone. Apologies in advance for the not-so-great quality.

Update: 1.11 p.m.: The room is filling up, though not as much as I would have thought. Facebook has an army of people, including its senior management team, hanging around.

Update: 1.35 pm: Mark is on stage talking about the year, recaps the year, admits that there have been mistakes. He points out things that are going to be different. Clear sense of mission is what we are all about. I think it was difficult for us to write down what our core mission was. I was traveling through Istanbul, and I got a chance to put down my devices and clear my mind, and think about what what we were doing. Talks about the dinner with a Turkish entrepreneur and points out that is when the light went off.

So all engineers are doing is helping make the world a more open place. Facebook’s mission is to make world more open and make it share. (Om says: saving widows and orphans at the same time.) He is talking about the world, connections and Facebook ecosystems.

Giving a recap of the Facebook. Points out that Facebook has 90 million users today, up from 24 million users. Lot of growth from the international markets. We are 2/3rd international. Lot of their users are in English-speaking countries.

Opening up translation tool for application developers so the apps can be developed in other languages Audience is thrilled. Points out there are 400,000 developers and points to a world wide hackathon and how app developers are making new apps right now worldwide. Compares Causes and Al Gore. Funny quip. Zynga vs. Las Vegas. Zynga has more people than rooms in Las Vegas playing poker.

$200 million invested in the ecosystem. Talks about social graph and shows it off and points out massive interconnected graph.

Talking about the Newsfeed and why they redesigned it and what they are trying to do: get people to be more engaged with the content. (Seriously good point and making people increase their Facebook time – Om)

Reward good apps and punish bad apps. Wants to push high-quality, successful apps. Wants to reign in the clutter and deal with the information slow. Making some good points and says learned a lot and that is the next evolution of Facebook platform.

  • Engaging and sharing of information.
  • Reward developers who help do that and are good Facebook citizens.
  • The new feed.

So the new platform’s focus is the WALL and basically quick way to interact with people, and also figure out what is going on with the a special person. The full story – it is new, full-time of feed story so people can surface their content and do a better job of it. Aggregating shorter posts in one place. Lots of cosmetic changes. Demoing the new home page.

Mark really needs to work on his presentation skills – needs to engage us better. I am falling asleep. He needs to watch Steve in action. Still, I am loving this new feed and wondering how much more computing resources they need to make this work. I bet a lot…this is too much stuff for real-time processing.

Now moves on to the world outside of Facebook. Talking about decentralization of the social networks. First step was social platforms, and social apps built on them. Next step will be to decentralize the apps. We are at the beginning of a movement, and a shift in the industry. Compares this with PC and how the move away from vertical stacks. I think the social apps are going to decentralize like that. We want to push that forward.

Wants to focus on news feed, the core platform and communications components. It will be less about and more about app connections. New type of sharing, he is getting to Facebook Connect. Our vision of the platform for rest of the web. Partners are now Six Apart and bunch of others.

Basic log-in information, advanced information and also privacy control. So there will a lot more information than just the ID. One thing that’s pretty interesting is that you can allow people to connect via your site as long as they are on Facebook.

Digg coming up to demo the integration. (As predicted 😉 90 million Facebook users can now join Digg Nation. You can Digg using FC. Nice. Six Apart is next. Created a plugin to use FC and use photos/names to be used in comments. Facebook as yet another authentication service for comments. That is pretty sweet.

More presentations – I am skipping. Thievery Corp has now been totally bastardized and is showing up as background music at tech events. I am trashing my entire digital collection. Need to find a new movement – the new new music. Citysearch sales pitch…yawn…yawn again. Something which looks like a lame rip off of LinkedIn. CitySearch is seriously lame – like L.A.M.E. Don’t bother. It’s like a 65-year-old with a paunch getting hairplugs. Not working! Where is Seesmic? They were in the press release.

New profile is rolling out today and Mark talks about FC which will roll out soon as a beta and develop on that. It is back to “we have got a lot done.” Next year when we come together, we can point to a good number of good social apps using FC in and out of Facebook.

We are done folks – now all sort of corny, cute things being said. Later folks!