tasty morsels of goodness on open platforms, developer relations and motherhood 2.0

Monday, May 21, 2007

Virgin Airlines lets Boing Boing users name a plane

Another fun sponsorship opportunity harnessing social media sites: Virgin Airlines held a name our planes contest for their soon-to-be-launched US airline (which will have a major hub in San Francisco, btw)

One of the planes was up for grabs by readers of the popular blog, Boing Boing. The winner? Unicorn Chaser. Makes a little more sense when you read the comment on the Boing Boing blog. Another unconventional sponsorship idea from Federated Media.
I don't know if this is already obvious information, but the name "Unicorn Chaser" is also appropriate for an airline called "Virgin" because of traditional medieval beliefs about unicorns--that they could only be caught or tamed by a virgin. Wikipedia mentions this in the article on unicorns: Link.

I don't know if their are a lot of art majors who read boing boing, but that's the sort of thing that's useful to know for art history.

Chas notes reports that it had its own Wikipedia mention under the Boing Boing entry within an hour of the results being announced.

digg gets sponsor for Digg Arc beta

Last week, Digg Labs rolled out the latest in its suite of tools that help Digg readers “visualize” the movement of news stories through the Digg ecosystem — a Flash visualization called Digg Arc — with Intel as the exclusive launch sponsor. (Chas from FM Publishing brokered the sponsorship deal.)

Cool way to match up advertising sponsor with a beta project from an innovation labs group within a company.

From Daniel Burka’s post at Digg the Blog:
“Exciting new update to Digg Labs today. Thanks to the hard work of stamen design and support from Intel, we’re launching a new animation, Digg Arc. While the other animations in Labs are at the story level, Arc is the first app that provides a view of Digging activity at the topic and subtopic-level. Presented as a circle, Arc shows the most recently Dugg stories on the outside of the circle, with width indicating the relative popularity of that story against its peers. The middle ring is the sub-topic for the stories and the inner ring represents the topic. As new stories are Dugg, the story, sub-topic, and topic are highlighted with a quick flash….
“We’re excited to have Intel as our first partner in Labs and want to thank them and stamen design for helping us develop Arc.”

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

eBay Flash widget launches: eBay To Go

In case you haven't already read the news on Scobleizer or TechCrunch, eBay has just launched a slick Flash-based widget named eBay To Go. It takes about 20 seconds to create your own custom widget for your blog or personal webpage. This widget is built on eBay Web Services, the same open platform of API calls for interacting with eBay that we make available to the eBay developer community.

My favorite is the search widget, where you can add a widget to your blog or site that displays all the items for sale on eBay by keyword. Here is the widget for "pez dispensers":

Make sure you check out the video podcast of Stephen Chang from eBay's Buyer Engagement team giving a demo to Robert Scoble for his Podtech show. It is a nice tour of the features and functionality of eBay To Go. Looking good, Stephen! :-)