Gray's Matter
Justice Gray - North America's favorite metrosexual software consultant

I Wish These People Updated More Than Once a Year

Facebook RSS Feeds - How to write your own

As you can see from the above picture, I have been busy coding something that will change the lives of EVERYONE IT TOUCHES.  We'll get to that, but first I want to talk a little bit about the Facebook phenomenon.

For those of you who don't know what Facebook is, my wife has written an excellent primer on the subject, and so has Mack Male.  It seems to have taken off in a big way thanks to its slick UI and social networking features.  For the time being, Facebook is the place to be for geeks and non-geeks alike.  My wife, Mack Male, Steven Rockarts, Ridley Thunder, and Catherine Silzer are only a *few* of the names you can find hanging out on Facebook.    Even Kyle Baley is there, despite being notoriously anti-social to the point of barricading himself in the Bahamas so he can "just be away from all those filthy plebes".   Today the Facebook community recieved another newbie in the form of D'Arcy Lussier, who claimed that he was just signing up because "all of my non-geek friends are doing it".  *PLEASE*.   I think we all know why D'Arcy all of a sudden felt the driving need to be on Facebook:

John Bristowe is in Facebook - D'Arcy Lussier is orgasmic

Some things never change.  Can a restraining order be far away?

Anyway, I like Facebook as it allows me to keep in touch with some of my friends who are less technical, and reunite with some old friends who I never thought I'd see or hear from again.  If the price of this is to refuse the same message of "Can you confirm you and Steve Rockarts hooked up?" 25 times, then so be it.   However, there are two things that I dislike about Facebook:

a) I have to login every time someone takes an action towards me
b) The "news feed" on their main page that updates you on your friend's activities, messages, wall posts is not exposed as an RSS feed, so you constantly have to login to get that as well.

I, my friends, have solved this problem by writing my own Facebook RSS feed.    So can you - all you need is the .NET Framework 2.0 and some familiarity with C# !!   I need to say that Nemik's efforts in PHP were a huge help in my figuring out what needed to be done here and he deserves a large amount of credit.   Also thanks to David Woods and Steven Rockarts for helping piece together a nagging issue and to Kyle Baley for being a huge show-off!  

The files are attached here, including a small readme with what you need to do to get this going.  Please note you will need to change the E-mail and password from "YOUR_EMAIL" and "YOUR_PASSWORD" if you want this to work.  If there are any *other* issues with the code, please feel free to contact me either via E-mail or preferably via blog comment on this post and let me know!  

At last I can get my news updates without logging in!  Although when you have stuff like this in your updates:

"Mack Male is looking for random play, ladies!"
"Mack Male is *still* looking for random play, ladies!"
"Mack Male is getting ANGRY, ladies"
"D'Arcy is wondering why John Bristowe needs to involve the police"

maybe it's better to just not login to Facebook at all?

Saturday, 07 April 2007 #