One student in our Stanford Facebook class, “Persuasive Apps & Metrics,” started this week’s paper with a confession:

“My favorite app is, well, none. I have totally stopped using apps.”

This student is not alone. If you’ve been swamped in apps lately, you may feel the same way. He continues,

“Apps are like shiny new toys to try out, but I have yet to find one that keeps me coming back. “

He wraps his paper:

“So, I am sitting here waiting for the next gen of FB apps. I suspect that these apps will only come when there is a) a built-in ad network on FB and b) a built-in billing system for micropayments and other transactions. Until then, I am looking forward to seeing more shiny toys.”

Well, I hope this student isn’t completely serious. I hope he’s not just “sitting there waiting” (Hey! . . . you gotta ship FB App #1 for this course 9 days from now!). We want our students to learn how to create engaging apps. They know that. This student knows that.

Learning a process for making compelling apps is the big challenge for our course (note that this is a thinking process, not a coding process). We hope that the process we develop will apply beyond Facebook, transforming “shiny new toys” on any platform into “favorite toys” we can all enjoy for years.

BJ Fogg