Tag Archives: Facebook

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Thoughts on Google+

A couple of days ago, one of my developers got me on Google+ (or do you write it Google Plus?) Anyways, it is pretty cool. New social network, yay. Kind of like Facebook, but not. More granularity on sharing to “groups” or circles out of the gate. Integrates nicely with some Google offerings.

Do I see it taking off? Well, if history repeats itself, I could say .. it depends.

First off, Google has bombed on social in recent years. Buzz? Wave? yeah, not too good. But they are adding all the pieces that other social networks have and now trying to integrate them (location, micro blogging, sharing, photos, etc, etc).

Second, Myspace is dead. Friendster is long gone. No one though Myspace would topple, but Facebook dethroned them. Can Google do the same thing to Facebook?

Hard to say, but at the current moment they have the best chance.

Windows Phone – Samsung Focus

Picked up a Samsung Focus yesterday, device only, no contract. Testing it out. Going to do some development and what not. More to come on this front, but after using it for the first few hours..

1. Can’t connect to hidden wifi networks.

If you have your wireless network hidden, you are out of luck, you need to have the SSID broadcast

2. Facebook Sync doesn’t work (or work well) when you have Facebook account settings set to HTTPS

I can see this happening right now as Facebook just turned that on recently and the phone doesn’t know how to handle, but it should.

3. It’s light.

Can hardly feel it in my pocket

4. I like the UI but seems very “jumpy”

seems like you bounce around a lot.

Other than that, still getting to know it. I haven’t moved my SIM card over yet (btw, the iPhone 4 is a mini SIM, so you need an adapter), but I might, we will see.


The New Hipster: Going Appless

Love the iPhone, really do. But I am pretty hardcode when it comes to apps and loading things and making it “work” hard. Every once in a while some rogue app goes off the wall and starts draining battery like crazy. Usually the only thing to do is restore phone. I have had to do this, and a few other people I know have see it as well. I don’t blame the iPhone, I blame the apps. Just like windows mobile, the apps were the problem :)

Anyways, this time, instead of restoring my phone from backup, I just let it stay “clean”. I decided to not install any apps for as long as I can. It has been 24 hours, so that says something :)

But what I am doing is going back to the iPhone roots, back to 2007. Web apps. Steve Jobs himself says it is their “other”, open, unrestricted platform they support, so let’s see what it can offer.

Facebook? touch.facebook.com
Twitter? m.twitter.com
Flickr? m.flickr.com
YouTube (the HTML5 version is better than the native app!) m.youtube.com
FourSquare/Gowalla? check.in
Reeder/Google Reader? google’s mobile formatted reader site works.
Other apps? openappmkt.com
IM? meebo has a pretty good web app.

Just like regular hipsters, that drink PBR, and lose the flavor and other added benefits of drinking a less “hip” beer, you have to give some things up.. such as..

Push Notifications – not sure yet if this is a good or bad thing to give up. The current implementation just seems to annoy anyways

Background/Streaming music (Pandora/Last.fm, etc) – I did find dance.fm has a HTML5 version or something that streams directly from a web page, so I could almost say others might follow suit. I also have iPod on the device so not to worried, I don’t listen to a helluva lot of music anyways.

What else? Not sure yet, we will see how long I last. One thing I can say, there are some games that are web apps that are pretty cool, but don’t come close to the native games … yet.

Of course I will probably start installing some apps eventually, and after a while I will be back to my old app going ways :)

Facebook Graph API – Getting Friends and Gender in C#

I recently blogged about the Facebook Graph API and if you have the Facebook C# SDK you can start making applications.

After I had my Facebook app set up, I started making a C# Console application to just get my friends and see what I could do. Here is a snippet to get my friends and their gender.

       string token = ;

            Facebook.FacebookAPI api = new Facebook.FacebookAPI(token);

            JSONObject f = api.Get("/me/friends");

            KeyValuePair friends = f.Dictionary.ElementAt(0);


            for (int i = 0; i < friends.Value.Array.Count(); i++)
            {
   
                Console.WriteLine("Friend #" + i.ToString());

                JSONObject friend = api.Get("/" + friends.Value.Array[i].Dictionary["id"].String);

                Console.WriteLine(friend.Dictionary["name"].String);

                try
                {
                    Console.WriteLine(friend.Dictionary["gender"].String);
                }
                catch(System.Collections.Generic.KeyNotFoundException knfe)
                {
                    Console.WriteLine("No Gender Specified");
                }

                Console.WriteLine();
            }


            Console.ReadLine();

There is a probably a better way to do this, but getting the JSONObject back and then getting the values you get back from that, I just kind of brute forced it. Also, handling friends that don’t have information set, the quick and dirty way was to just catch the exception. I know there has to be a better way but for now it works.

Fun with the Facebook Graph API

Lazy Sunday afternoon, so I decided to dig a bit into the Facebook Graph API. What is the FB Graph API? Well it allows you to create an application and use OAuth to connect and then get information about yourself and your friends and do things in Facebook using JSON objects and requests. Easy way to read/write from Facebook.

But, the kicker seems to be getting things started. To start, Facebook has documentation and links and wikis all over the place, so it is hard to get a handle on what you want or need to do.

First you need to create an application. Once you do that you need to set up some things so you can actually use Facebook data.

Once you have that done, you can see your apps here

You will want to take note of a few things and change some settings..First might be to put your app in “sandbox” mode:

Also, under “Authentication” you might want to change Authentication Callback URLs.. and then under “Connect” change your “Connect URL”, and you want it in form http://blah.com/

So to test your app and see what you can do, you need to know your

ApplicationId
API Key
Secret

now, you can make unauthenticated calls to the Graph API, try it..

https://graph.facebook.com/56011561

That’s me. You should be able to see public info on me (don’t try it in IE, it pukes.. Chrome it was working. You might need to be logged into FB)

Anyways, if you want your app to be able to get more than the “public” unauthorized view, you need to make some calls and get some access tokens..

First you need to get an “access code”


https://graph.facebook.com/oauth/authorize?client_id=&redirect_uri=&scope=user_photos,email,user_birthday,user_online_presence,offline_access,friends_birthday,friends_education_history,friends_hometown,friends_location,friends_relationships,friends_religion_politics,friends_likes,friends_interests,friends_groups

You can see in that URL, you have to supply your app id, and your redirect url. Keep it simple, your redirect url should be something like http://blah.com/ .. don’t have querystring params..

If you have things set up, facebook should authenticate you, and ask you to allow your app to have permissions to pretty much “EVERYTHING” on your profile and friends info. To see what “extended permissions” you can use, see here: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/authentication/permissions

You *should* get redirect to your redirect_url with a param in the url called code=

Grab that code, you will need it.

Now to get the access_token


https://graph.facebook.com/oauth/access_token?client_id=&redirect_uri=&client_secret=&code=

once you hit the above URL, with the code from step one you will get an access token

take that token, and then try


https://graph.facebook.com/me?access_token=

you can also get your friends ids


https://graph.facebook.com/me/friends?access_token=

Once you get your friends list, you can use their id’s and get info back from the graph.

If you get errors or did something wrong, you might have screwed up your first requests. There are sites and forums saying to add type=client_cred – don’t do that, it doesn’t work. It will give you a shorter access token, which doesn’t work.

Once you have all that working *MANUALLY*, then check out Facebook’s officall C# sdk for the graph – http://github.com/facebook/csharp-sdk

Basically then you can replace the access token there with your token and test things.

Then just tie it all together in an app so you can do it programatically, but that is for another blog post :)

Foursquare in Your Business

I don’t own a business. So let’s just get that out of the way. But as a Foursquare user, and someone who frequents many businesses.. how could you use Foursquare as a business owner?

First, above all, you can know what the heck foursquare is… check it out.. http://www.foursquare.com .. ok, did you find your business on there?

Anyways, some places give discounts for mayors.. awesome. 15% at the local coffee shop for me, yet an employee is the mayor. Against the rules for places that give deals.

What else can you do? Well, you can know who is coming to your place. You can say “shout blahhhhhh” for a cool new badge

You can do other cool deals, like, the 100th checkin gets this, or the 10th checkin today gets this. Sky is the limit.

Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, etc. If you own your local business, you should be on there and know WTF is going on. Facebook – you should already be there. If not, for shame. It is 2010.

Engage your customers. Give them something, even if it is recognition, if they are utilizing these location based social apps with your business.

Your patrons will thank you and spread the word for you. Through twitter/facebook, or just word of mouth, for you.


Bookmark Bar – Uber Micro Sharing

I use pretty much every browser. I switch between them depending on mood, system I am on, phase of the moon, etc. But there are some essential “bookmarklets” that I always want to use/set up.


There are a few things I wish I could tweak though. Like with Yammer, the ability to choose a group before it hits the page. Also with the Yammer bookmarklet there is about a 50/50 chance the URL/title wont come through so you have to do it manually.

With the Gmail This one, on Safari, it opens in a tab instead of a popup, and loading Gmail is kind of slow (IMHO) when you want to just write a mail from out of no where.

What bookmarklets do you use? Are you a share-a-holic?