OpenSocial Dev Garage recap

Last Saturday I attended the OpenSocial Dev Garage held at the new Cohabitat location near downtown Dallas. Being the first time I visit a co-working location, I was pretty impressed by the atmosphere. In some way it’s like a busy coffee-shop with a bunch of developers, each one working either individually or a team on their own project yet collaborating with the other guys on interesting issues, discussions, presentations, and so on. It’s a neat way of getting a lot of talented individuals together, each one helping the other with really good ideas.

After Blake Burris, Cohabitat’s founder, gave us a tour of the 3-story, 100 year old building we started with the presentation, given by Christopher St John from Praxis Bridge. We walked through the development of a couple “hello world” type apps, using all the profiles created by everyone on Orkut to pull friend’s profile information. Setting up a developer account on Orkut is really straightforward and it’s a great place to test your app’s functionality. Orkut is only one of dozens of OpenSocial containers, which all combined cater to about 350 million users. With this wide audience, it’s certainly one of the best platforms to develop for when you’re trying to reach as many users as possible.