Tips for beginning Facebook developers.

I am starting to see more and more novice developers on the Facebook forums as well as the IRC channel asking fewer and fewer "development" questions and more and more "product" questions. I find this incredibly interesting because it means one of two things: either everybody has figured out how to use the Facebook platform or an increasing number of people are putting the proverbial cart before the horse when it comes to developing Facebook applications.

Call me cynical about the first option, but I find it highly unlikely that everybody figured out how to use the Facebook Platform; despite its low entry barrier many people are over-thinking it or simply trying to develop a Facebook application before they figure out how to build a web application in general.

The second option is far more likely, Facebook applications have reached such a level of ubiquity that "everybody and their mother" wants to write a Facebook application these days. Right now at a small consulting firm in Omaha, Nebraska some middle manager is asking his lead developer if the firm can reinvigorate their collaborative synergies and utilize the social graph to further meet their clients needs.

Facebook is the new Windows, and the Facebook Platform is the new Visual Basic and I feel as if there is a burden on "us" (the existing "top developers" on the platform) to start to cultivate a community that will encourage stylish, functional and ultimately useful applications on the Facebook platform, to ensure that there will never be a "Facebook 98" or a "Facebook ME".

Here's a couple of the best tips I can offer, and maybe Zach (developer of Free Gifts) can help expand.

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