Saturday, August 11, 2007

Searching for gold in them, thar online networks – and finding it

The race to `monetize' sites like Facebook is on. A Toronto conference for developers this week showed e-prospectors are already cashing in."People here have a fascination with crabs," shrugs Greg Thomson.

How else to explain the dizzying popularity of a program that allows people to collect virtual cartoon fish and crustaceans? Perhaps it's because those people inhabit the cartoonish world of Facebook.

A month ago, Thomson wrote software on contract for the Ontario Ministry of Education. In May, Facebook announced it would give access to outside developers who wanted to build tiny applications the site's users could add to their profiles. Thomson decided to take a shot at making one.

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