Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Tag

Sync Calendar with Facebook Events

Facebook does not run my life. As much as it may want to, I keep track of my schedule on crumpled pieces of paper and in iCal. Like anyone else in college, it does have a bearing on a lot of social interactions, so for some parties, I’ll get the invitation on Facebook. But Facebook doesn’t ring an alarm to remind me of events, so I’ll sometimes forget all about upcoming events.

Facebook lets you export events to your calendar, but it doesn’t let you subscribe to an XML calendar of your events that can be updated automatically. This would save me a lot of time manually entering events into iCal, and would ensure that I don’t forget about staff meetings or a friend’s birthday party.

The ability to export your current list of events is available, and while it’s helpful, it still means you need to constantly go back to Facebook and manually export your events. I assume Facebook hasn’t included the auto-sync feature simply because founder Mark Zuckerberg would rather you spend more time on the site. I suppose Facebook could internally revenue the problem by offering its own user-editable calendar, but until that time, why not accommodate the users?

Discovering Old Friends on Facebook

As more and more people jump onboard social networking sites, they are increasingly becoming ideal ways to rediscover old acquaintances. With the rapidly improving person search engines, one should easily be able to rediscover old friends or teachers.

But networks like Facebook and MySpace are having to make sacrifices in usefulness to accommodate users’ privacy. For example, for the default Facebook profile, only a person’s name is searchable. As you can imagine, finding a specific Tom Smith isn’t so easy.

You might know you’re looking for someone named Fred Jones, born around 1965 and graduated from FDR High. Brad Templeton has a great idea for how Facebook could improve this system:

What would be nice would be a way to specify you are looking for a person with a given name, and to provide other data like their age and perhaps school. Then, all the people who match that would get a notification with the brief query. This would not be a full blown e-mail, they would just see a notice that somebody is looking for “the Fred Jones born around 1965 who went to Comdex.” and if they were that Jones they could follow-up on it (or ignore) and if they weren’t they would not see it again and could block seeing any further notes like this.

Apple Not Showing Students the Love

The Mac OS X Leopard announcement wasn’t all good news. The software is up on the Apple Store web site, and apparently Apple Inc. has stopped showing students the love. Whereas all previous OS X updates cost students $79, reduced from the $129 retail price, Leopard’s education discount is now a measly $13–a price tag of $116 for students.

There has been a disturbing trend in the past few years–along the timeline of the company’s rebirth success story–of Apple giving fewer and fewer perks to students. Apple’s summer hardware program, where it gives a free outdated iPod to students who purchase a new computer, still seems to be in place. But software discounts–iLife and iWork ’08 saw price increases as well–and discounts on less expensive hardware–forget about discounted iPods anymore– are over.

Students are an incredibly important demographic for Apple, a company that prides itself on making hardware for artists. What group has incredible ambitions but little money to act on them? College kids. So when your company’s Facebook group has more than 400,000 members, it’s probably a good idea to keep that demographic happy.

Facebook Friend Grouping on the Way

The success of Facebook may have been something of a surprise, but by now, it’s certainly no secret. I can barely go a single day without popping on the Book and seeing what my friends are up to. I’m just glad I don’t have an iPhone (see: the sleek Facebook for iPhone design).

So when the Facebook developers clued us in to what’s on the way in future versions of the site, it’s hard not to take notice. One new feature is a daily email digest with your social notifications. This is much improved over the nearly dozen emails per day I used to get before I turned off email notifications.

But the big feature is friend grouping. Friends are already grouped by network (schools, work, region), but soon you’ll be able to better manage your list of friends by creating groups like “english class,” “roommate,” “intramural football” and “random hookup.”

While I certainly welcome the new feature, I have to agree with Stowe Boyd, who suggests the technology should be based on the tagging philosophy, not folders. Like a message in Gmail, a friend should be able to hold multiple tags, like “drinker,” “math class” and “fraternity.” I’m a big proponent of tagging for organizational purposes, so I would definitely encourage Facebook to go that route.

The grouping feature brings Facebook one step closer to its ultimate goal: taking over the world. Come on! It’s already begun its war to replace email.

How Facebook Kept Its Users Coming Back

Facebook is by far one of the most fascinating web phenomena of the past few years. It came in with a service that fulfilled the exact same purpose as Friendster and MySpace were already offering millions of users. And not everybody could use it for the first few years!

So how did the site go from obscurity to being one of the top used web services? Aside from a clean, user-friendly design, and an isolated network system, there are two distinct trends that seem to be very successful.

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Social Network Site that Reconnects Teachers with Former Students

Have you ever wondered how your favorite high school teacher is doing?  How about someone makes a website where kindergarten through high school teachers, retired or still teaching, can create a Facebook-like profile, listing the school where they taught, their subject and contact information such as email address or phone number. – submitted by sokimatsu

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Hire a Facebook app developer

Facebook applications are the hottest new platform for web entrepreneurs right now. It took only days for launch applications to garner the attention of millions of users. That’s an awesome prospect for someone trying to jump-start their new service.

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