This is Marco

marco_play‘Being an event manager is easy. It’s like riding a bike. Except the bike is on fire. You’re on fire. Everything is on fire and you’re in hell’.

I discovered this colourful quote on a T-shirt being advertised in my side bar, when I was searching visa requirements and flights to Mongolia, 48 hours before I was expected to touch down in Ulaan Baatar. (Side note: Yes, Poken has been to Mongolia).

One of the defining characteristics of our industry, is how quickly best-laid plans can be shattered by small, last minute changes. And in turn, how quickly event professionals need to be able to evaluate and react. This is the stuff that drives real professionals and event companies. There is a large price though Read More

Poken France merges with Tech-Event, paving the way for enterprise sales in France

cartes 5Poken France and Tech-Event, a leading service provider for exhibitions and events, are happy to announce they have joined forces to provide advanced ‘touch-to-collect’ technology to the French events market.

The merger will allow a complete product and service proposition to be presented to clients, with additional synergies such as combined sales and marketing efforts, as well as technical support. Poken’s event management dashboard, as well as its mobile apps and NFC-based devices, will be Read More

Our Strategy for Adding Social Networks to Poken

Currently when someone adds a social network to their card we verify the account details are correct.
We do this using Facebook connect for Facebook and a site scraping solution for all the other social networks. The scraping is quite fragile as it can break when sites are updated (and often this updating is done for some users first so it breaks for some people first). We end up needing to fix the scraping logic each month on several of the 30 networks we support. By sticking to this verification for all networks has meant that for manageability reasons we’ve had to restrict the number of networks that we support.

On our new site (due out in a few weeks) we will have a new strategy:

  1. We will expand the networks supported, first to 50 and then to 100 and more.
  2. We will verify only networks which support Open Authentication (oAuth) which is a standard for connecting without scraping and without asking the user for his/her password. This also includes Facebook with Facebook connect.
  3. For sites which don’t support oAuth we’ll ask just for a user name or profile name.