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Everyone wants to get the inside scoop of the future. What exactly is the future of social media applications? We started seeing simple applications where you can do quizzes, rate friends, have top friends, poke people, super poke people but now we are starting to see more complex applications, which constitutes of sports games with complicated game engines, flash based casual games, or a mix of both.

The most important thing you need to know is that, this is a young industry that is going to grow very rapidly. More and more developers are making applications, social networks are opening up their platforms to outside developers, and everyone is talking about social media and Web 2.0. Competition will increase in time. Therefore, you need to continuously stay at the forefront and stay updated with how the platforms are evolving, if it is you want to compete in this industry.

One thing people do forget is that, users are going to get savvy as well and their expectations are going to grow faster in time. That means they will get irritated with errors, slow applications, applications that are spammy and applications that do not protect user privacy. They will expect much more than what is available now.

So what are we doing at ibtgames.com? We follow three guiding principles

1) Focus on what users want

2) Focus on making engaging applications

3) Redefine the user experience

Now what does all this mean?

Focus on things that users want, not what you think they want. It is important to make sure they are getting a value or satisfaction. Otherwise, they will probably not stay long thus not make your application engaging. So this brings to the next point, making engaging applications. You do not want to make an application where they will come and leave in 2 mins or just use it once or twice. Engage them with more options and features that will interest the users. Provide some depth by going to the next level. Think of it as providing long-term value rather than short term so this means you constantly need to redefine the user experience on your application. This involves continuously improving your application, trying to make it as error free as possible, making it faster and using current technology to improve their experience while they are on your application. Also it involves listening to the users and providing new features in a timely manner that will satisfy the user.

Check out our sports application on facebook.

Twenty20 Cricket http://apps.facebook.com/twentycricket/

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The trend is in web 2.0. Everyone is looking to startup their on web2.0 company. There are so many posts on craigslist, e-lance, rent a coder etc to develop web2.0 sites It’s crazy out there. I, myself started a new website called www.goSwoop.com with a group of people and it was tough. So here is my advice for the newbies looking to start up your own web2.0 or social networking and dealing with developers. Think of this as a basic 101.

First get your concept and idea down on paper. Once you have finalized that, you need to start thinking about what features you want for your website. Now here is an important advice: DON’T JUST PUT DOWN ON PAPER, I WANT EVERYTHING FACEBOOK HAS! That is not the best thing to do. Seriously think through the objective and goals you want to accomplish with your site. Then make a list of the features you want for example, messaging is a feature, personal profile, registration, photo alumbs are other features. Another term for “feature” is module.

Once you know what you want you need to think through everything that you want on the website that means all the features you could possibly think of in the next 3 years. The reason why it is important to layout everything is so that when the developers start designing (not graphical) database mainly they will know to keep things open so that in the future, features can be incorporated easily.

Then once you have completed that. Prioritize each feature and start writing out the objectives for each feature. So go through them write down the objective or goal you would like to accomplish with the feature, the expected output and the benefit or value the feature will create for the user. This will help you understand how the feature will help accomplish your overall goal or objective of the site and help you prioritize what you need.

Once you have done that, pick the features you want for a version 1 release. For each Version 1 feature, write down as much detail as possible as how you want the feature to work. Describe how you envision it to work and also if it will some how connect with other features as well. Then the rest of the features that are not on version 1 can be part of your version 2 release.

This will take time, but once you have this it will be a good start. It is important to clearly write down on paper or on a computer document. The more information you provide the easier it will be for the developer or outsourcing company to give you an accurate estimate. The worst thing to do is, “hey i want a site just like facebook please give me a quote.” That is the worst nightmare for a web development company because it is hard to accurately provide estimates because they don’t know what exactly you want. Facebook or other social networking websites are huge.

stay tuned for more on this topic got to go now!

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