'i twitter from my fridge' … Still waiting…
Two months ago, I had no use for Twitter. Now it seems it’s everywhere, on everything and no device can survive without that talkative little bird. So I thought I’d gather together all the different applications I’ve managed to dig out and install so far.
- TwitterFeed – Update Twitter automatically from this blog – both the posts and currently reading RSS feeds.
- Twit4Live (MSN Live Messenger Plus!) – Update your status from within any messenger chat window with /twitter <tweet>.
- rss2psm Nutz (MSN Live Messenger Plus!) – A slightly modified version of this script updates my MSN Personal Message whenever I post to Twitter.
- Twitula (Windows Mobile enabled iPAQ 4150)
- Shozu (Symbian Nokia N95)
- Twitux (GNOME Linux / Ebuntu Eee PC 701)
- TwitterFox (Firefox) – Update and view status from within the browser.
- RSS2IMAP – My RSS feed reader of choice, read the Twitter RSS and convert into emails, for viewing in Thunderbird.
- Facebook Twitter – Updates my Facebook status whenever I post to twitter (from anywhere).
- BeTwittered (iGoogle)
And because of all of this, I never need to visit twitter.com any more. That’s progress
It was a year ago today that I signed up to Facebook, so I felt I should commemorate that fact with a post like that one. At the time, I worried about the fact that a huge number of groups across the world were gaining more and more data about me – and that I was freely giving it away. Beacon, ‘stalkers’, a million new users each week, uncloseable accounts, email 2.0, evil universities down with the kids, the never-ending list goes on… Actually, that particular list ends at 233,000,000 – but my point is that Facebook’s had more than its fair share of publicity.
So with all that new information out there, companies are struggling to keep up. Poor marketing agencies across the world are inundated with too much data to cope with, and their servers are smoking with every 150,000 new users every day. My heart goes out to them.
So I’ll make it easier, with a year of Facebook in summary…
- 127 foolish people have decided or agreed to call me their friend. 59 recognised as people from or at my current company, 9 from university, and 14 fellow college alcoholics.
- Added 116 photos across 8 albums, 8 of which include me. A further 22 pictures of me have been added by other people.
- I’ve developed two applications both for my own use on my own profile, one of which remarkably still maintains 58 users, 1 fan, and a total install count of 129. I can only imagine it’s even remotely usable by about 10.
- Received 88 private messages.
- Written 64 notes (imported and otherwise… This will make it 65).
- Joined 18 different groups, including “that punch the slow walkers” one.
- Updated my status 15 times in the past 3 months.
- A total count of 27 events, 3 created by me including one that unknowingly spawned into 320 mostly unknown invitees.
- I’ve played 20 games of scrabble on-line, completed 14 and won 11, with a top score of ‘utopias’ for 65.
So if you’re on Facebook – all that information and a whole more will be out there too (as well as all the specifics). Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Now, where’s that tin hat?
Basically some geezer who went to Harvard with the Facebook bloke is claiming he had a bunch of source code stolen. Alarmists everywhere are pretty sure the site will be shut down any day now and encourage you to backup your friends before you forget who they all are. Again. Still, it’s sure to return as a paid-for-20-quid-an-hour subscription site run by the evil new owners. Who also originally come from Mars, so I hear.
It’s been a while since I’ve written very much code just for myself, rather than everyone else. So this weekend I’ve decided to jump onto the Facebook API and learn a little bit more about the Gallery2 API in the process.
I have thousands of photos on Blakepics, and Facebook comes along and wants me to upload them all over again. Well, sure, I can do that – or, it makes a lot more sense to combine the power of the two systems.
Wanting to keep this initial trial run extremely simple – I’ve gone for just adding a link below my profile picture. That way I can keep very clear of the Gallery API for the time being effectively reducing my problems by half
- User adds the Blakepics application on Facebook
- Setting the Callback URL on Facebook, a request is made to Blakepics.com
- Blakepics.com makes use of the Facebook API to check the currently logged in user
// the facebook client library
// some basic library functions
// this defines some of your basic setup
$facebook = new Facebook($api_key, $secret);
$user = $facebook->require_login();
- Using this user ID, Blakepics requests the first and last name of that user from Facebook
$user_info = $facebook->api_client->users_getInfo ($user, 'first_name,last_name');
- Generate a URL that links to the tagged album, e.g. http://www.blakepics.com/key/kevin+blake. Using the rather cool FBML (FaceBook Markup Language), the link can be sent to Facebook with the instruction that this should be applied as a profile action (fb:profile-action).
$fbml="<fb:profile-action url=\"http://www.blakepics.com/key/" . $user_info['first_name'] . "+".$user_info['last_name']."\">View more Photos of me at Blakepics</fb:profile-action>";
- And display a message back to the user, to let them know what’s happened
print "Blakepics profile link has been added";
And that’s it really. Obviously there’s a lot more that can be done, but the simple application works and is on its way to approval from the Facebook team. All being well, you should be able to add your own links to tagged albums very shortly.