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When Facebook and geekiness collide - Soundtrack to Larry
The San Diego Years: 2006–?
When Facebook and geekiness collide

I've been pretty obsessed with Facebook lately. Don't ask me why.

They have new options for pulling in posts from other sites like Flickr, Pandora, etc., which I think is swell. I like the idea of a central place to show off all of my activity, which is scattered far and wide across a number of Web sites (some well-known, some more obscure). Other sites like Profilactic, iStalkr, and that one Red Hat thing (Mugshot?) have attempted to be the place for people to do this, but they haven't grabbed me. Someday I'd like to roll my own and put it on my personal Web site (now gathering dust bunnies), but I have been alternately too lazy and too scatter-brained to do this.

So Facebook is doing its feed-inclusion thing, and they have an option for adding your own custom RSS feed. Great, I thought, I can just load it up with a bunch of feeds. Nuh-uh. Facebook only gives me one slot for that.

Hmmm, okay. I decided to attack it by mixing all of my feeds together into one. And, again, I found a number of sites that want to make themselves the place to do this. But, again, I prefer having something that gives me a little more personal control.

So I'm revisiting something I haven't looked at in a while: Yahoo! Pipes, the Swiss-army knife of RSS feeds (or, if you prefer a less masculine metaphor, the KitchenAid of RSS feeds). I'm at a loss for words to describe it, other than to say that Mac OS X geeks who have used Quartz Composer will find some strong similarities. In any case, I'm finding it just powerful enough to do the kinds of things I need to do to blend my feeds together. I can add on the name of each feed to the title of each item so they are easily identified on my Facebook page. I should be able to do some fine-tuning on each feed, too, where the formatting as rendered by Facebook is lacking.

Wait, why am I doing this, again?

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6 comments or Leave a comment
sararainmaker From: sararainmaker Date: September 7th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am on facebook as well, as Kelly Adams Wood, of you are interested in finding me ^_^
jope From: jope Date: September 7th, 2008 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
whirlingdervish From: whirlingdervish Date: September 9th, 2008 09:39 am (UTC) (Link)
you know what's kind of creepy? some developers have printed some postcards at my work offering services for blogging your current location so that your friends may be able to see you on a google map to find you. it's supposed to be privacy enabled but still...
l2g From: l2g Date: September 9th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well, I presume that users would have to give their location info voluntarily, wouldn't they? I mean, you can't really expect privacy of info that you willingly make public...

I was thinking of doing something like that for myself, but it would be initiated by me explicitly sending a text message from my phone (which has the ability to tag messages with an approximate street address depending on GPS location). And I'd be keeping the application to myself. So if there were privacy issues, I really would have no one to blame but myself. :-) It did get me thinking about how I would attack the privacy problem, like defining geographic bubbles within which my location would not be shown (such as at home).

From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)
yes you are right. people making things public cannot expect to retain the utmost privacy. ;>

the geographic bubbles of private locations is a good addition!
whirlingdervish From: whirlingdervish Date: September 12th, 2008 04:27 am (UTC) (Link)
eep. that was me making that anonymous comment. erm yes! quite right you are about people making public things they'd rather keep private. it doesn't go hand in hand. it is a good idea, the idea of yours for geographic bubbles that retain privacy of specific locations!
6 comments or Leave a comment