Unfortunately, SixDegrees was too advanced for its time and eventually closed in Interestingly the most popular social networking service in Korea, CyWorld, was started around this time in The original intention for CyWorld was to develop an online dating service similar to Match and provide an open public meeting place for users to meet online. In , CyWorld launched the minihompy service, a feature that allows each user to create a virtual homepage.
This was highly successful as celebrities and politicians took to this platform to reach out to their fans and audience. Between and , a few social networking services became highly popular. Friendster, started by Jon Abraham in to compete with Match. However due to platform and scalability issues, its popularity plummeted as newer social networking services were launched.
MySpace , launched in , was started as a Friendster alternative and became popular with independent rock bands from Los Angeles as promoters used the platform to advertise VIP passes for popular clubs. Subsequently, MySpac e facilitated a two-way conversation between bands and their fans, and music became the growth engine of MySpace. MySpace also introduced the concept of allowing users to personalize their pages and to generate unique layouts and backgrounds. Eventually MySpace became the most dominant social networking service in U.
Mixiis the largest online social networking service in Japan with a total of 20 million users to date and over ninety percent of users being Japanese.
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Launched in February by founder KenjiKasahara, the focus of Mixiis to enable users to meet new people who share common interests. This feature is only found in niche and private social networks such as http: This invitation-based model holds the user responsible for who they invite, and thus reduces unwanted behavior within the network, refl ecting Japanese culture itself.
Cloning Internet Applications With Ruby 2010
Social networking began to emerge as a part of business Internet strategy at around when Yahoo! It was around this time as well that the first mainland Chinese social networks started. The three most notable examples in chronological order are On the other hand, Xiaoneihas a user interface that follows Facebook, though it also offers the user flexibility to change the look and feel, similar to MySpace.
Kaixin, the latest social networking platform in China with the fastest growing number of users, started in and the platform and user interface are remarkably similar to Facebook. It was also around this time that more niche social networking services focusing on specific demographics sprang up, with the most successful example being LinkedIn, which focused on business professionals.
At the same time media content sharing sites began slowly incorporated social networking service features and became social networking services themselves. As mentioned earlier, as of early social networking services are the dominant service and purpose for many users on the Internet, with Internet traffic in US surpassing the previous giant of the Internet.
Facebook Facebook is the most dominant social networking service till date, with million active users, 5 billion pieces of content shared each week, and more than million active users concurrently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices. It is also the most widespread, with 70 percent of its users from outside of US, its home market.
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Mark Zuckerberg and some of his Harvard college roommates launched Facebook in February Initially intended as an online directory for college students the initial membership was limited to Harvard College students it was later expanded to include other colleges, then high schools, and finally anyone around the world who is 13 years old and above.
Facebook features are typically that of many social networks that were created around that time. Over time, Facebook included features to form virtual groups, to blog, to start events, chat with instant messaging, and even send virtual gifts to friends. Facebook launched Facebook Platform in May , providing a framework for software developers to create applications that interact with Facebook. It soon became wildly popular, and within a year , developers have registered for the platform, and built 33, applications. As of writing date there are more than , active applications in Facebook, developed by more than 1 million developers and there are more than applications with more than 1 million monthly active users!
In this chapter we will be cloning Facebook and creating an application called Colony, which has the basic but essential features of Facebook. Online social networking services are complex applications with a large number of features. However, these features can be roughly grouped into a few common categories:. User features are features that relate directly to and with the user.
For example, the ability to create and share their own profiles, and the ability to share status and activities are user features. Community features are features that connect users with each other. An example of this is the friends list feature, which shows the number of friends a user has connected with in the social network. Content sharing features are quite easy to understand. These are features that allow a user to share his self-created content with other users, for example photo sharing or blogging. Social bookmarking features are those features that allow users to share content they have discovered with other users, such as sharing links and tagging items with labels.
Finally, developer features are features that allow external developers to access the services and data in the social networks. While the social networking services out in the market often try to differentiate themselves from each other in order to gain an edge over their competition, in this chapter we will be building a stereotypical online social networking service. We will be choosing only a few of the more common features in each category, except for developer features, which for practical reasons will not be implemented here. User User features are features that relate directly to users:.
Content sharing Content sharing features allow users to share content, either self-generated or discovered, with other users:. You might notice that some of the features in the previous chapters are similar to those here. This should not be surprising. Online social networking services grew from existing communications and community services, often evolving and incorporating features and capabilities from those services.
The approach adopted in this book is no different. We will be using some of the features we have built in the previous chapter and adapt them accordingly for Colony. For the observant reader you might notice that the previous chapters have clones that end with clone. The original name of this clone during writing was Faceclone , but apparently Facebook has trademarked Face for many of its applications. In order to avoid any potential trademark issues, ichose Colony instead.
The design and implementation of this clone will be described over this and the next chapter. We will start with the data model in this chapter and move on to describing the application flow and deployment with the next chapter. Authentication, access control, and user management Authentication, access control, and user management are handled much the same as in previous chapters. As with the other clones, authentication is done through RPX, which means we delegate authentication to a third party provider such as Google, Yahoo! Access control however is still done by Colony, while user management functions are shared between the a uthentication provider and Colony.
Access control in Colony is done on all data, which prevents user from accessing data that they are not allowed to. This is done through control of the user account, to which all other data for a user belongs. In some cases though access is implicit; for example, an event is accessible to be viewed only if you are the organizer of the event. Note that unlike Photoclone, which has public pages, there are no public pages in Colony.
As before, user management is a shared responsibility between the third party provider and the clone. The provider handles password management and general security while Colony stores a simple set of profile information for the user. Status updates Allowing you to send status updates about yourself is a major feature of all social networking services. This feature allows the user, a member of the social networking service, to announce and define his presence as well as state of mind to his network.
If you have gone through the Twitter clone chapter, you might notice that this feature is almost the same as the one in Tweetclone. The major difference in the features is in who can read the statuses, which can be quite subtle yet obvious to someone who has read the previous chapters. This include public actions like posting to a wall, uploading photos, and commenting on content, but not private actions like sending messages to individuals.
Activity feeds are a subset of news feeds that is an aggregate of activity feeds of the user and his network. This design is quite common to many social networking services. Friends list and inviting users to join One of the reasons why social networking services are so wildly successful is the ability to reach out to old friends or colleagues, and also to see friends of your friends. To clone this feature we provide a standard friends list and an option to search for friends.
Searching for friends allows you to find other users in the system by their nicknames or their full names. Another critical feature in social networking services is the ability to invite friends and spread the word around. In Colony we tap on the capabilities of Facebook and invite friends who are already on Facebook to use Colony. While there is a certain amount of irony using another social networking service to implement a feature of your social networking service , it makes a lot of practical sense, as Facebook is already one of the most popular social networking services on the planet.
To implement this, we will use Facebook Connect. However, this means if the user wants to reach out and get others to join him in Colony he will need to log into Facebook to do so. As with most features, the implementation can be done in many ways and Facebook Connect or any other type of third-party integration for that matter is only one of them.
Another popular strategy is to use web mail clients such as Yahoo! Mail or Gmail, and extract user contacts with the permission of the user. The e-mails extracted this way can be used as a mailing list to send to potential users. This is in fact a strategy used by Facebook. Posting to the wall A wall is a place where users can post messages. Walls are meant to be publicly read by all visitors. In a way it is like a virtual cork bulletin board that users can pin their messages on to be read by anyone. Wall posts are meant to be short public messages.
The Messages feature can be used to send private messages. A wall can belong to a user, an event, or a group and each of these owning entities can have only one wall. This means any post sent to a user, event, or group is automatically placed on its one and only wall. Posts can be remarked on and are not threaded. Posts are placed on the wall in a reverse chronological order in a way that the latest post remains at the top of the wall. Sending messages The messaging feature of Colony is a private messaging mechanism. Messages are sent by senders and received by recipients.
Messages that are received by a user are placed into an inbox while messages that the user sent are placed into a sent box. For Colony we will not be implementing folders so these are the only two message folders that every user has. Messages sent to and received from users are threaded and ordered by time. We thread the messages in order to group different messages sent back and forth as part of an ongoing conversation. Threaded messages are sorted in chronological order, where the last received message is at the bottom of the message thread.
Attending events Events can be thought of as locations in time where people can come together for an activity. Social networking services often act as a nexus for a community so organizing and attending events is a natural extension of the features of a social networking service. Events have a wall, venue, date, and time where the event is happening, and can have event-specific pages that allow users to customize and market their event.
In Colony we categorize users who attend events by their attendance status. Confirmed users are users who have confirmed their attendance. Declined users are users who have declined to attend the event after they have been invited. Declinations are explicit; there is an invisible group of users who are in none of the above three types.
Attracting users to events or simply keeping them informed is a critical part of making this or any feature successful. All events are public, as with content created within events like wall posts and pages. Forming groups Social networking services are made of people and people have a tendency to form groups or categories based on common characteristics or interests. The idea of groups in Colony is to facilitate such grouping of people with a simple set of features. Groups have members, a wall, and can have specific pages created by the group.
Colony only suggests groups in the groups page rather than the landing page. However, groups also allow discovery through activity feeds and through user pages. Colony has only public groups and no restriction on who can join these public groups. Commenting on and liking content Two popular and common features in many consumer focused web applications are reviews and ratings. Reviews and ratings allow users to provide reviews or comments or ratings to editorial or user-generated content.
The stereotypical review and ratings feature is Amazon. Comments are applicable to all usergenerated content such as status updates, wall posts, photos, and pages. Comments provide a means for users to review the content and give critique or encouragement to the content creator. While many rating features provide a range of one to five stars for the users to choose, Colony and Facebook asks the user to indicate if he likes the content.
There is no dislike though, so the fewer number of likes a piece of content, the less popular it is. The photo-sharing feature in Colony is similar to the one in Photoclone. The basic concept of photo sharing in Colony is that each user can have one or more albums and each album can have one or more photos. Photos can be commented, liked, and annotated. Unlike in Photoclone, photos in Colony cannot be edited.
A user, event, or group can own one or more pages. Pages are meant to be user-generated content so the entire content of the page is written by the user. To do this we only allow users to enter Markdown, a lightweight markup language that takes many cues from existing conventions for marking up plain text in e-mail. We use it here in Colony to let users write content easily without worrying about layout or creating a consistent look and feel.
Technologies and platforms used We use a number of technologies in this chapter, mainly revolving around the Ruby programming language and its various libraries. Most of them have been described in Chapter 1. I Love NY Mug 11 oz. New York Jets 2 oz Shot Glass. Crk ', ' ': Facebook Audience Network does you to offer your discrete hours with page clusters.
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