Shortly after the Iranian election, we worked with our design partners at EyeLevel to create a generic template for our Facebook community application that could be quickly optimized and launched in response to a major news event. This week, we decided to do a test run launching VanishTeam.com in just one day in response to the growing Web excitement around the pursuit of writer Evan Ratliff in Wired's Vanish competition (locate Evan by September 15th, win $5,000).
The Vanish Team application is an example of what can be accomplished quickly to rise to meet current events in a social networking environment such as Facebook:
- The front page features the latest news about Evan's whereabouts, recent tweets from leading participants and operatives, an embedded Google map with information about Evan's past steps, photos from Evan's Flickr feed, updates from related RSS feeds and an embeded podcast.
- The Twitter room aggregates tweets from leading participants (so you don't get lost in the clutter of the #vanish hashtag free for all).
- The Answers page provides a knowledge base driven by contest participants who can ask questions or provide answers and comments.
- The Talk page provides a Facebook wall for a variety of discussion topics.
- The Resources page provides a directory of helpful links to contest participants.
Essentially, the NewsCloud Facebook application provides a templated, ready to go publishing solution for emerging communities that want to harness the power of Facebook's 250 million member base. More background on our approach to building news communities is available here.
If you're interested in learning more, please email jeff at newscloud dot com.
If you're looking for Evan, you better head over to the Vanish Team Twitter Room and pay close attention to what @runningratliff says next!