How to build desktop apps that help your web app succeed

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The Carsonified gang suggested a slightly different spin on a "Lessons from Last.fm" talk, focused around the desktop. Here are the slides that came out of it, along with an unveiling of the Last.fm Boffin tech demo.Presented at FOWA Dublin, 6 March 2009

Transcript of How to build desktop apps that help your web app succeed

How to build desktop apps that help your web app succeed Matthew Ogle ([email protected]) FOWA Dublin, 6 March 2009 Wait, desktop? Wait, desktop? Web 2.0 has (arguably) eroded the importance of desktop apps Wait, desktop? Web 2.0 has (arguably) eroded the importance of desktop apps How many of you use Gmail as a primary email client? Desktop, really? Desktop, really? Its a good, familiar pitch. Web apps Desktop, really? Its a good, familiar pitch. Web apps are cross-platform Desktop, really? Its a good, familiar pitch. Web apps are cross-platform no install process Desktop, really? Its a good, familiar pitch. Web apps are cross-platform no install process available anywhere Desktop, really? Its a good, familiar pitch. Web apps are cross-platform no install process available anywhere taste like cloud Yes, desktop. Yes, desktop. Its 2009, no desktop is an island Yes, desktop. Its 2009, no desktop is an island At Last.fm, our desktop strategy was key to our crazy growth Yes, desktop. Its 2009, no desktop is an island At Last.fm, our desktop strategy was key to our crazy growth Along the way, discovered some useful models for desktop-web interaction Yes, desktop. Its 2009, no desktop is an island At Last.fm, our desktop strategy was key to our crazy growth Along the way, discovered some useful models for desktop-web interaction Hints that desktop might be even more important in future In the beginning In the beginning Last.fm began in 2002 as two separate projects In the beginning Last.fm began in 2002 as two separate projects : personal online radio that learns what you like and gets better over time In the beginning Last.fm began in 2002 as two separate projects : personal online radio that learns what you like and gets better over time Fig. 1-a In the beginning Last.fm began in 2002 as two separate projects : personal online radio that learns what you like and gets better over time Fig. 1-a In the beginning Last.fm began in 2002 as two separate projects : personal online radio that learns what you like and gets better over time Fig. 1-a In the beginning Last.fm began in 2002 as two separate projects : personal online radio that learns what you like and gets better over time Fig. 1-a In the beginning Last.fm began in 2002 as two separate projects : personal online radio that learns what you like and gets better over time Fig. 1-a In the beginning In the beginning : desktop media player plugins that track (scrobble) what you listen to, build up detailed personal music prole In the beginning : desktop media player plugins that track (scrobble) what you listen to, build up detailed personal music prole Fig. 1-b In the beginning : desktop media player plugins that track (scrobble) what you listen to, build up detailed personal music prole Fig. 1-b In the beginning : desktop media player plugins that track (scrobble) what you listen to, build up detailed personal music prole Fig. 1-b In the beginning : desktop media player plugins that track (scrobble) what you listen to, build up detailed personal music prole om nom nom Fig. 1-b Last.fm in 2003 Audioscrobbler in 2003 Last.fm Last.fm Combining the two = ideal feedback loop for crowdsourced music recommendation Last.fm Combining the two = ideal feedback loop for crowdsourced music recommendation Last.fm and Audioscrobbler gradually merged over 20042006 Last.fm Combining the two = ideal feedback loop for crowdsourced music recommendation Last.fm and Audioscrobbler gradually merged over 20042006 Online radio and music recommendation have become primary user-facing services of Last.fm Last.fm Combining the two = ideal feedback loop for crowdsourced music recommendation Last.fm and Audioscrobbler gradually merged over 20042006 Online radio and music recommendation have become primary user-facing services of Last.fm But the fuel comes from the desktop via scrobbling Last.fm Last.fm Whats in a scrobble? Last.fm Whats in a scrobble? Made from very basic metadata: user name track name artist name timestamp Last.fm Last.fm The API for sending this data to our servers has been public since our inception Last.fm The API for sending this data to our servers has been public since our inception Last.fm only added an ocial scrobbling app in mid-2006 Last.fm The API for sending this data to our servers has been public since our inception Last.fm only added an ocial scrobbling app in mid-2006 More than 100 media players, devices, and platforms can scrobble, and we currently handle up to 800 / second at peak World o scrobbles World o scrobbles World o scrobbles World o scrobbles World o scrobbles World o scrobbles World o scrobbles World o scrobbles Emacs World o scrobbles World o scrobbles My names Matt and Ive just listened to Edmonton by the Rural Alberta Advantagetimes 30 billion World o scrobbles My names Matt and Ive just listened to Edmonton by the Rural Alberta Advantagetimes 30 billion (Thats a lot of music taste data) World o scrobbles My names Matt and Ive just listened to Edmonton by the Rural Alberta Advantagetimes 30 billion (Thats a lot of music taste data) But why all this scrobbling, especially with desktop barriers-to-entry? And how did it drive growth? Scrobbling and growth Scrobbling and growth Scrobbling helps the scrobbler rst: their prole pages show o their awesome music taste in real-time Scrobbling and growth Scrobbling helps the scrobbler rst: their prole pages show o their awesome music taste in real-time Scrobbling helps the network next: every time we dont recognize an artist or track, we add it to our database Desktop growth fuel (among other things, this creates a page for it) Desktop growth fuel (among other things, this creates a page for it) Desktop growth fuel Desktop growth fuel Ambient page creation via desktop app Desktop growth fuel Ambient page creation via desktop app Tons of incoming links to personal music proles + long tail of pages built by scrobbles = great free Google juice Desktop growth fuel Ambient page creation via desktop app Tons of incoming links to personal music proles + long tail of pages built by scrobbles = great free Google juice 12 million artist pages 43 million track pages 25+ million unique active users per month Desktop growth fuel Desktop growth fuel Kept desktop app unobtrusive and simple during successive website updates Desktop growth fuel Kept desktop app unobtrusive and simple during successive website updates Only a few major additions since 2006 Desktop growth fuel Kept desktop app unobtrusive and simple during successive website updates Only a few major additions since 2006 iTunes bootstrapping Desktop growth fuel Kept desktop app unobtrusive and simple during successive website updates Only a few major additions since 2006 iTunes bootstrapping Audio ngerprinting Enough about music Enough about music Were pretty lucky to be running a music service Enough about music Were pretty lucky to be running a music service Are the concepts behind scrobbling useful for anything else? Scrobbles = attention data Scrobbles = attention data Attention data is a digital recordthat describes the time spent interacting with someone or something. - Jim Meyer, http://www.usingattention.com/2006/08/19/ what-is-attention-data/ Scrobbles = attention data Attention data is a digital recordthat describes the time spent interacting with someone or something. - Jim Meyer, http://www.usingattention.com/2006/08/19/ what-is-attention-data/ Scrobbling doesnt ask a user to change or develop new behaviours; it asks permission to record existing ones Attention data Attention data Tons of these interactions are happening every minute on the desktop Attention data Tons of these interactions are happening every minute on the desktop downloading / browsing photos from a camera Attention data Tons of these interactions are happening every minute on the desktop downloading / browsing photos from a camera chatting to friends on IM Attention data Tons of these interactions are happening every minute on the desktop downloading / browsing photos from a camera chatting to friends on IM annotating a research paper Attention data Tons of these interactions are happening every minute on the desktop downloading / browsing photos from a camera chatting to friends on IM annotating a research paper watching videos Attention data Tons of these interactions are happening every minute on the desktop downloading / browsing photos from a camera chatting to friends on IM annotating a research paper watching videos (your desktop interaction here) Working with attention Working with attention Your service should seek to amplify + add value to attention data Working with attention Your service should seek to amplify + add value to attention data In doing so, you ideally give it... Working with attention Your service should seek to amplify + add value to attention data In doing so, you ideally give it... more personal value (this comes rst, dont neglect it) Working with attention Your service should seek to amplify + add value to attention data In doing so, you ideally give it... more personal value (this comes rst, dont neglect it) network value (this is where your service can really shine) More desktop principles More desktop principles Expose a good API from the start (good != elaborate) More desktop principles Expose a good API from the start (good != elaborate) Dont force users to change habits; use desktop to give them an on-ramp More desktop principles Expose a good API from the start (good != elaborate) Dont force users to change habits; use desktop to give them an on-ramp Works for more than just music or attention data (Tripit/Dopplr itinerary parsing, photo uploaders) More desktop principles Expose a good API from the start (good != elaborate) Dont force users to change habits; use desktop to give them an on-ramp Works for more than just music or attention data (Tripit/Dopplr itinerary parsing, photo uploaders) Desktop + privacy balance = hard but essential (being open source and oering data export helps) So what about... The Future? The Future? Bernal Sphere, 1970s (Apologies to Matt Jones, Dopplr) The Future? Bernal Sphere, 1970s (Apologies to Matt Jones, Dopplr) The thinking here seems to be: People like planned garden communities, and space is the future, so lets just put one in space! Yeah! Thats much better! Utopian desktop futures Utopian desktop futures AIR Utopian desktop futures AIR Prism Utopian desktop futures AIR Prism Google Gears Utopian desktop futures AIR Prism Google Gears Songbird Utopian desktop futures AIR Prism Google Gears Songbird These let us web developers build desktop apps, potentially for the rst time, ZOMG Utopian desktop futures Utopian desktop futures All these projects are interesting and exciting and you should look them up Utopian desktop futures All these projects are interesting and exciting and you should look them up cause Im not going to talk about them. Utopian desktop futures All these projects are interesting and exciting and you should look them up cause Im not going to talk about them. (Im not yet convinced they signicantly change the web OR the desktop. They just move it around a bit.) An alternate vision from the Last.fm labs Turn it inside out Turn it inside out Instead of sending local content TO the web (the on-ramp) or putting the web inside a desktop experience (Songbird, AIR)... Turn it inside out Instead of sending local content TO the web (the on-ramp) or putting the web inside a desktop experience (Songbird, AIR)... ...why cant the web make local content better? And leave it there? Turn it inside out Instead of sending local content TO the web (the on-ramp) or putting the web inside a desktop experience (Songbird, AIR)... ...why cant the web make local content better? And leave it there? using proven desktop conventions and programming languages? Introducing Bon Introducing Bon Last.fms crowdsourced music intelligence meets your local music collection Introducing Bon Last.fms crowdsourced music intelligence meets your local music collection [Demo] Introducing Bon Last.fms crowdsourced music intelligence meets your local music collection [Demo] Download Mac, Windows, or source: http://is.gd/lDLG Parting tips Parting tips Make it selsh Parting tips Make it selsh Make it open Parting tips Make it selsh Make it open Amplify user attention Parting tips Make it selsh Make it open Amplify user attention Create on-ramps to your web experience Parting tips Make it selsh Make it open Amplify user attention Create on-ramps to your web experience Be wary of uptopian futures that involve platform lock-in Parting tips Make it selsh Make it open Amplify user attention Create on-ramps to your web experience Be wary of uptopian futures that involve platform lock-in Befriend local desktop developers, trade notes, learn from each other Parting tips Make it selsh Make it open Amplify user attention Create on-ramps to your web experience Be wary of uptopian futures that involve platform lock-in Befriend local desktop developers, trade notes, learn from each other Use your web smarts to make the desktop exciting again Any questions? See you online: www.last.fm/user/aneur www.twitter.com/aneur irc.audioscrobbler.com [email protected]