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

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How to build desktop apps that help your web app succeed Matthew Ogle (matt@last.fm) 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 a