Facebook plans DC event for application developers

Facebook engineers will assist developers with creating apps to deliver government services

To help developers create government-specific applications for Facebook, the company will hold the Facebook Developer Garage on Dec. 14 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the D.C. Bar Conference Center.

The Developer Garage will focus on government applications such as finding better ways to deliver government services, according to Tim Sparapani, director of public policy for Facebook. Sparapani expects federal spending on social media will increase in fiscal 2011.

According to a post on Facebook, the Developer Garage is "a place to explore, get gritty, tinker, experiment, and test out ideas for Facebook platform. Being in the Garage is all about participating, getting your hands dirty, and exploring fresh ideas and solutions.” The last Developer Garage held in Washington occurred in 2007.

A handful of California-based Facebook engineers will attend the event to talk about planned changes to the social networking platform, Sparapani said today at a Northern Virginia Technology Council event on social media.

“Already there have been a lot of application built for business but what don’t see yet — but we are starting to see the early stages of — are applications built for the government sector,” Sparapani said.

Washington-based technology companies are well positioned to build these new applications because of their experience and relationship with federal agencies, he added.

"Last year’s FY 2010 budget had only $35 million in it directed for social media; I suspect we are going to see a rather large increase in FY 2011,” he said. There really has been a direction given by political folks to the agencies to use social media. So there is an opportunity for companies in this area to do apps that are government specific.”

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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