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The long awaited Facebook Developer Garage-Dhaka was held at Déjà Vu Café, Gulshan, on August 16th 2009. This was the first ever Facebook Developer Garage event to be held in Bangladesh hosted by Infrablue Technology Ltd, powered by Intel. Over two hundred enthusiastic attendees came to this grand event to learn the power of the Facebook platform, which included developers, entrepreneurs and marketing professionals.

The Developer Garage event began with an introductory speech about the Facebook Platform by Fazle Taher, CEO & Co-Founder of Infrablue Technology and the host of the event. He spoke about the Facebook Platform and the power of the platform. Following that, Md. Al Mamun of Trippert Labs shared his experience of integrating Facebook Connect with iphone. He showed the various games that can be played in iphone via Facebook using Facebook Connect and talked about the benefits of using Facebook Connect with iphone apps. This was followed by a live app demonstration of ‘GameSmack,’ a Facebook application developed by Mr. Zakir Hyder of Cybernetikz.

As the event continued, the audience got more involved by asking Mirza Asif, CTO and Co-Founder of Infrablue Technology, several tough and interesting questions. Mirza Asif shared his experience of ‘the making of StreetFootball’ He shared his memories of the tedious nights of developing and the joy of receiving the prestigious fbFund. He also talked about the servers IBT uses for hosting its applications like Twenty20 and StreetFootball. A very interesting and informative discussion of scalability was presented by Mr. Hasin Hyder of i2we Inc. He explained, the importance of scaling and also encouraged everyone to explore into cloud computing and explained its benefits. Mr. Fayaz Taher, CMO of IBT, summed up the event by giving a very interactive presentation on how to monetize on Facebook which was greatly appreciated and admired by the audience. He also showed a video presentation from Sometrics, about Virtual Currency. Sometrics had created the video just for Bangladeshi Developers.  Fazle Taher wrapped up the event with a vision to create a large interactive developer community in Bangladesh.

Overall, the event was very successful.  After the presentations, the developers and other professionals got to mingle with one another over dinner. The event was highly appreciated by everyone and everyone who attended is looking forward for more events like this in future. Through Facebook Developer Garage- Dhaka, Infrablue Technology started a revolution during an inspirational night for many, not only did they open the doors and eyes for the community but, but also added the name of Dhaka City amongst the cities enlisted for Facebook Developer Garage, giving Bangladesh and her developer community a brand new identity in the technology community. Cheers to Facebook! Cheers to IBT!!

Facebook Developers Garage-Dhaka; photos and videos: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/event.php?eid=105905633999&ref=ts

Facebook Developers Dhaka Group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=35988909469

Football, or soccer as its known in America, is a truly global sport. Countries and people are united by it and interest is monumental. With international football competitions, the whole world really is watching.

In 2006, 284 million people worldwide watched the World Cup final. That same year, an estimated 5.9 billion total viewers watched at least part of the month-long tournament for an average of 93 million viewers per match By comparison; America’s Superbowl had an estimated 94 million viewers in 2006.

Football fans are very enthusiastic about the sport and take it very seriously. On Facebook, the two FIFA 2009 fan pages have a combined 300,000 fans worldwide, with other football fan pages having numbers near or above one million. In the three weeks since April 15, 2009, the number of fans on these pages has grown between 0.2% and 8.2%.

In the United States alone, Facebook counts over 1.35 million of those users as having soccer (football) as one of their interests. The fans sites that these and other like minded people around the world join, turn what used to be a pastime relegated to individual matches into an around the clock marathon.

Social media enables football fanatics to post stories and videos, as well as submit additional stories or commentary. Football-related social media provides fans to keep up with news about teams in other cities or countries. In short, it allows for fans to become more engaged in a sport that previously relegated fans to a spectator role during selected periods of time.

IBT Games is helping football fans express their passion for the sport in an application that allows users to build teams and compete against other fans. IBT Game’s Street Football application has over 121,000 monthly active users. Their application reflects the international nature of the sport and the global enthusiasm for the game. While 14.7 average pages a day spent on Facebook as a whole per unique user. Users of IBT Games’ Street Football application spent a significantly larger 24.6 pages per day on the application.

My point to all these statistics is that football is a universal pastime. People across the world watch and discuss the games. Most of these people are quite passionate about the sport and want to be engaged in their pastime a lot more than just the periods in which games actually take place. Social media makes it possible to take that passion beyond the football stadium and this benefits football fans everywhere.

Sports is a topic that generates huge amounts of passion in people. Everyone has a favorite team or player. Sports fans love to discuss their teams or favorite players, brag about their performance, and make predictions about as to which team will beat which and by what score.

Social Media makes it easier to do this. With social media, fans can react to stories or videos, share them, as well as submit additional stories or commentary. Additionally, sports-related social media allows fans who don’t live in a team’s city to keep up with news related to their team and to connect with like-minded fans. In short, social media provides a means for sports fans to become more engaged with their teams, their players, and other fans.

In the United States, 74% of those aged from 18-34 have either a Facebook or a MySpace account. In America alone, Facebook counts 5.5 million people as having sports listed as an interest in their profile.  These fans have joined thousands of fan pages created by the teams or players themselves, third-party organizations, or simply by other loyal fans. Such fan pages include news, videos, and pictures, of the team or player, as well as commentary and general expressions of fandom. Several pages have over 1 million fans and many more number in the 100,000s.

The growth of sports in social media has been explosive. Just this past week, fan pages on facebook grew anywhere from 0.5% to 5.3% on the week. Cricket pages had grown even faster, with growth ranging from 6.4% to 31.1% in the same time period. To put that in more understandable terms, a 0.5% weekly increase sustained over the years is equal to a 29.6% annual increase. Likewise, a 1% weekly increase becomes a 67.7% yearly increase and a 1% weekly increase results in a 67.7% yearly increase.

On Facebook, gaming and sports account for the second and third most added type of application respectively. Games make up six of the top ten and four of the top five most addictive Facebook applications.  In early 2009, the average age of a gamer was 29, with over a third of gamers being female.

IBT Games has been a leader in sports-related gaming applications for social media. According to a recent study, average users spend an average of 2 minutes, 35 seconds interacting with applications in total. On IBT Games’ Applications, users spend 15 minutes DAILY interacting with each application; 6.5x greater than the total average application time. 85% of users who installed IBT Games applications returned for multiple interactions. Currently, dedicated users of IBT Games Applications produce over 1 million page views a day on average. 56% percent of users returned 9 or more times during the first month.

IBT Game’s Twenty Cricket application has nearly 99,000 monthly active users. IBT Game’s Street Football application has over 121,000 monthly active users. 50% of IBT Game’s titles have received accolades and recognition from prominent organizations in social media including the fBfund and Bebo. While an average of 14.7 pages a day are viewed on Facebook per unique user. Users of IBT Games’ Casino Empire application spent a whopping 40.4 pages per day on the application alone.

Marketers are taking notice of these exponential levels of growth. In a recent survey by Adology, 25% of small businesses surveyed indicated that they would increase spending on advertising in social media in 2009 versus in 2008. A 2009 survey of 880 marketers found the 88% of marketers use some form of social media in their advertising strategy. Today, sports-related companies like Adidas, Nike, Spalding, and Gatorade, all have fan pages or advertise on Facebook or other forms of social networking sites.

Social media allows companies like these to connect with the sports fans that use their products. More importantly, social media has given fans a chance to connect with their favorite teams and players, and share their passion with other fans. In doing so, a fan’s ability to express a love of sports is no longer relegated to just a ballpark.