links for 2009-04-21

  • Last year I wrote about the potential of applications – or widgets – on the Facebook platform. At the time Facebook was one of the only social media entities that had an open platform for anyone to build and share applications. Widgets are popular because users can customize their pages to their needs and desires with those widgets. 
Ecommerce sites can use them to brand themselves, drive traffic to their corporate site, and even generate direct sales from the widget. It used to be that a knowledgeable programmer was the most reliable way to go in creating a widget, but secondary services are making it easier to create applications and widgets without deep programming knowledge.

    One such company that is getting very good reviews is The company allows users to create “sprouts,” which are multimedia Flash interfaces that can be created without knowing how to program in either Macromedia Flash or HTML.
    (tags: facebook)
  • Despite the many tools already available for collaborative word processing, most people would still rather e-mail different versions of a document to each other. TextFlow, a new Web-based word processor from Swedish company Nordic River, hopes to change that by making collaboration easier and letting users benefit from its features even if their collaborators use other word-processing software.
    TextFlow is just the latest Web-based word processor to arrive on the scene in recent years. Others contenders include Writely (later Google Docs), Adobe’s Buzzword, and the Zoho suite from AdventNet. But Tomer Shalit, CEO of Nordic River, hopes that TextFlow’s powerful approach to online collaboration will set it apart.

  • Using Facebook to sell your wares is a fairly new trend, but with more than 1,900,000 users accessing the Facebook Marketplace application it is obviously a trend that is catching on in a big way.
    Facebook Marketplace
    Facebook Marketplace
    (Click for larger image).
    As Facebook’s popularity grows so does the number of third-party applications (called apps for short) that people can add to their profile. Some Facebook revenue-generating apps let sellers advertise their items to Facebook friends and other people who use the application. These types of buying and selling apps tend to be used less frequently as many people don’t want to sell items to Facebook friends.
    Apps that help sellers connect with buyers from outside their own friend list continue to fuel money-making opportunities on Facebook. Also, if you don’t have your own items to sell, you can still make money on Facebook using third-party apps to generate commission-based sales via referral programs.
  • eBay is considering a “certified seller” program according to a reader who took a survey from eBay. (We have also read another report of the same survey.) He wrote, “Basically they showed me a made up listing page for a digital camera, had me look at everything, than answer a couple questions about whether I would buy the listing.”
    (tags: eBay)

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