The Social Collective Debuts at RubyNation

We’re very pleased to announce that, together with the organizers of RubyNation, we debuted our social application “The Social Collective” today as a means for RubyNation conference attendees and other Rubyists to meet and interact with their peers.

This is a very similar codebase to what we deployed at BEA Participate in May, but without ALI or ALBPM. These BEA (now Oracle) products provided a great, scalable and flexible architecture, but we didn’t feel it was a good use of our resources (i.e. $$$s) to continue to use these products and we didn’t want to pass this cost on to RubyNation, which, BTW, is only charging $175 for two jam-packed days of Ruby awesomeness.

So, for those of you who have been following all this social goodness coming from bdg, there are now two distinct versions of The Social Collective: one that uses BEA/Oracle products and one that does not. This affects pricing (obviously), so if you’re interested in either, please contact us to find out more.

And in the meantime, if you’re as gung ho about Ruby as we are, sign up for an account and help us grow the Ruby community here in DC and beyond!

This Just In — BEA Participate Social App Stats

I find this a little hard to believe, but the numbers don’t lie. We had a whopping 75,000 page views the week of the conference!

That’s more than 100 page views per registered attendee. This chart was from our hottest day, Tuesday, 5/13.

5-13-08(3)Thanks to everyone for using our application. I think we may be on to something here!

Announcing the Launch of the Social Applications for BEA Participate ’08

You’ve heard the phrase “social applications” being kicked around by BEA and bdg. But what exactly does that mean?

In a nutshell, it means that your experience at BEA.Participate.08 will be like that of no other conference you’ve ever attended. In fact, it may change the entire way you feel about technology conferences.

After registration, you’ll be directed to a web site where you can help us kick off this grand social experiment. During registration, you’ll be asked to fill out a corporate profile by selecting or adding your company, your department, your title and some biographical information. You’ll be asked what products (from BEA or elsewhere) you’re currently using and what products interest you. You’ll be able to “pimp” your profile with an avatar or photo, links, and RSS feeds. Finally, you’ll be asked to take a stab at registering for different Participate.08 breakout sessions. (Don’t worry, you can always come back later and make changes to your breakout session agenda.)

At this point, you’ll be directed to a highly-customized installation of BEA ALI 6.5 backed by a host of bdg-designed and engineered Ruby on Rails applications which form the core of this groundbreaking social system. Log in and you’ll be presented with a simple, elegant UI for:

  1. browsing and selecting tracks and sessions,
  2. viewing other people’s company and personal profile pages and adding them to your “mob,”
  3. sending “shout outs” other users (a playful way to get people’s attention),
  4. sending private (mail) or public (podmob) messages to other people,
  5. browsing and interacting with product pages,
  6. asking questions at a breakout session (through the session rumble),
  7. joining and leaving interest groups focused on industries, products or “whatever,”
  8. updating your status (to let others know where you are, what your mood is, etc.),
  9. browsing an aggregate feed (the observation deck) which allows you to see what others are doing prior to, at (and even after) the conference.

On top of all this social application goodness, everyone who attends Participate will receive an iPod Touch, with 802.11b/g wireless baked in. (Of course, the conference hotel will have lightening fast free wireless internet access.) In addition to a sleek full-sized browser experience, most of the applications will also be optimized for the iPod Touch (or iPhone) form factor. This means that wherever you are at the conference — sitting in a session, wandering the halls or the partner pavilion, even taking a bathroom break — you’ll be able to network, network, network with your fellow conference attendees.

Let’s face it: are you attending the conference to hear a talking head rattle off lists of features in ALUI or ALBPM? No! You’re going to Participate to learn from your peers. And not just in sessions, but in the halls, during the meals, at the evening events and of course, through these amazing social applications.

So, don’t waste any more time reading about this stuff — come on in and let’s get social!

Not resting on our laurels

Feedhaus_StickerTeam Feedhaus put out a new release tonight. This was primarily a bug-fix release. Here’s a run-down:

1) Speed up history detail pages — we’ve got more than 1.2 million stories stored up since our private alpha began in early September. Finding those records to show required some heavy lifting, but by adding some indexes to that table and making a few code changes, you can now play with the history slider all you want and pull up old stories almost instantaneously.

2) Speed up regular detail pages — some browsers were having trouble displaying some of the detail pages, mostly just because they were too big! We’ve capped the number of stories now at 20 per detail page. Eventually we’ll add pagination, but for now, there’s still plenty of news and blogs for you to read, with the latest and greatest stuff always bubbling to the top.

3) Detail page clipping — some tags returned feed content that was too wide for the detail page, which required you to scroll horizontally to see the full extent of the content — yuck! (We’ve had lots of complaints about this.) Using some CSS hacks, we fixed that for all the major offenders that we could find. If you find any other “wide loads” (i.e. detail pages that are too big for their britches), please let us know.

bdg welcomes Rémy Miralles!

remyI’m very pleased to announce our first hire of the year, Rémy Miralles!

Rémy hails from just outside Paris, France, so this marks the first time bdg has hired outside the US. He joins our team as part of the AIPT Trainee program, which granted Rémy a J-1 visa that allows him to work for us as an intern/trainee for 18 months.

During that time, he’ll be applying the web visual/graphic design to our Participate 2008 Social Applications and also porting them to the iTouch/iPhone. Given that no bdg-er is ever content to work on “just one thing,” I’m sure he’ll be involved in lots of other projects as well, including Feedhaus.

Rémy has already proven himself as an outstanding developer. In fact, he recently built a Facebook application that has 15,000+ users even though it’s only been out for a few months now.

Needless to say, all of us at bdg are very excited about working with the newest addition addition to our team.

Please join me in welcoming Rémy Miralles!