Saturday, December 22, 2007

Orkut Applications !!

Hey,

OpenSocial has not arrived yet, the charm of FaceBook applications is fading, most Indians are on Okrut, and the holiday season rushing past. This is one time of the year where people send scraps to friends greeting them for christmas and new year. I have seen many sites trying to capatilize on it by offering flash content that can be posted as scraps. However, the flash is invariable all glitters and no logic. That is when I though of getting something similar done, that would appeal to people.
An old friend of mine had once challenged me to write an application that people will use, that does not use any backend code or database. He dared me to hack only with Javascript, HTML, CSS and may be flash.
Well, this was the time, and I started writing this page. You can check the page out at http://scraps.geekstimeout.com. The basic idea of the site is to allow people to send gifts as orkut scraps. The addition is that the gifts can be hidden inside a gift wrapper that can be opened only at a specified time. It is the last part of the story that adds that "suspense" and "surprise" element to the story.

Without a timer

Send this to your friends


With a timer


Send this to your friends




Here is how the gift looks like, when embedded on a page.
The technical details now, the site was written entirely in HTML, CSS and Javascript. I know that this is not the best Javascript that I have written, but it is all I complete in one night. The scraps that are sent are in Flash, the code written in Laszlo and Swish. As there is no real backend code, hacking this stuff is simple, and people can cheat to see the gifts sent to them even before the timer expires. There are atleast two ways of doing that, and I don't want to put them down here as it may spoil the fun.
After a little of viral marketing, the traffic to the site was good, but it was more because people were fetching the swf files. I hope to see a surge in traffic if people like the idea. In the meanwhile, if you like the idea of gifting stuff on orkut, and adding the surprise element, please use the application. As always, I would be glad to hear suggestions and feedback on the idea. To follow updates on this, you can check out the "scrapstimeout" tag

P.S. The environment that triggered the implementation of this idea is at my non-technical blog. Would make an interesting read.