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Cheers to the barnacle app: a useful new entry in the Web 2.0 lexicon

November 16, 2007

Last week I reported on a fun little social lubricant called Foamee. It is a third party trifle completely reliant (at least as of this writing) on Twitter. The objective: If you’re a member of Twitter, you pledge to buy someone a beer. Foamee keeps tabs on these declarations.

Anatomy of a Barnacle AppAs I pointed out in my post, this application is part of a larger trend. Namely, that of launching a shoestring site that is financially independent of a larger site, but completely dependent on it for survival. It’s an interesting paradox, and all but cries out for a new piece of jargon. You know, something to toss out casually during your next new media PowerPoint presentation.

Enter Joshua Porter of Bokardo Design. In his blog, Joshua dubbed this type of site a barnacle app. I think the term has legs (and the graphic above backs me up on this — at least, a barnacle has “feeding legs”).

Do you agree? Is this a term worthy of surviving past its inevitable 15 minutes of fame in Wired‘s Jargon Watch listing (a recent example)?

Also: What is your favorite barnacle app, and why?


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Posted in Social Networks, Web Marketing | 3 Comments »

3 Comments to “Cheers to the barnacle app: a useful new entry in the Web 2.0 lexicon”

  1. Ron Shevlin Says:

    I thought it was called Leechware

  2. Niamh Kiernan Says:

    Interesting idea and I’m now wracking my brains to work out how I could do something similar.

  3. Matt Says:

    I dunno barnacles aren’t dependent on the specific thing they attach themselves to. They can attach to all sort of things, right? Parasite comes to mind, though it implies malignancy, but could be close. Symbiotic implies that both apps rely on each other which isn’t the case. Stalker app could work as a name, but again implies malignancy.

    Why isn’t it just called an addon or extension? I use tons of them for firefox, how is foamee any different? I mean this app wouldn’t exist without Twitter, right? I’d say it’s a twitter extension.

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