Life360 Is Getting Its Shindig On

By Matthew Russell
February 9, 2009

My consulting firm, Zaffra, has the pleasure of working alongside of a really interesting startup based out of Berkeley called Life360. One of their bylines is "taking care of your family's what-ifs" but instead of just developing yet another web app to take care of your family's what-ifs, they're applying some good Web 2.0 strategy and building out a developer platform for taking care of your family's what-ifs. And as we all know, a platform almost always beats an application, so it's really neat to see things come together in true startup fashion. You really should take a moment to go look at their site and rate some of their ideas to really get a better understanding of where they're heading with the platform. It's interesting

Although Life360's technologies involve a lot of moving parts, Zaffra has primarily been involved in the front end. One of the big things we're working on right now is a dashboard similar to iGoogle that houses various gadgets. We use Shindig for the gadget rendering services and OpenSocial aspects, but unfortunately, Shindig doesn't come with a snazzy iGoogle-like drag-and-drop interface with custom title bars, maximized views, etc.

So, we built our own...and then open sourced it with the intent of soon merging it back into Shindig as soon as we can coordinate those details. There's absolutely nothing proprietary about it, so it's one of those great win-win situations that comes up often in the open source community: you create something that provides a spark of innovation and marginal value to the community, and it hopefully saves a lot of other people some hassle -- and you get to benefit from their improvements over time. It seemed like a no brainer.
You can read about more of the details and watch some screencasts on A more technical discussion is on my book's compendium site, Dojo: The Definitive Guide.

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