Scripting News for 8/14/07

Facebook *is* opening up 

And it’s starting to happen right now, today in fact. šŸ™‚

I reported earlier on a new feed in Facebook, allowing notifications to be visible outside the wall.

It’s getting reallll interesting — I’ve found some more RSS feeds in Facebook’s UI.

1. Friends Status Updates. Look for the subscription link in the lower right corner.

2. Friends Posted Items. Again, look in the lower right corner.

These are new, and I’m pretty sure more are coming.

Of course the big question is How Far Will They Go?

Do you all think that the apps we’re building on top of Twitter will be able to run on the Facebook platform? I think there are a lot more users “over there.” (I’m still very much centered in TwitterLand as I’m sure is obvious to anyone who’s rooted in FaceBook.)

TechCrunch coverage of this story.

Jeff Sandquist: “I suspect this will allow me to send my Facebook status updates to Twitter.”

Paul Thompson: “The ‘friends status updates’ feed has been available for a while now.”

Geekspeaker says RSS may be the new HTML.

Many people report (see above, and on TechCrunch) the Facebook feeds are not new. Maybe so, but… If they’re not new, their significance hasn’t penetrated the thinking in the tech community. According to convention wisdom, Facebook was, until today, considered a sandbox, a walled garden, a silo. Now that we know that the feeds are being implemented (many are still needed to make it really open) it’s possible for Facebook-generated data to percolate into other Internet applications. As Fred Wilson has wisely pointed out, there is no winner-take-all outcome possible, and closed sandboxes just encourage route-arounds, so what Facebook is doing is smart and necessary. (Wilson is a backer of Twitter.)

If Jason were a mensch 

He’d apologize as follows.

“Dave, I’m sorry I made it sound like you were the only person at Gnomedex talking back during my speech. In fact, the chatroom and Twitter were erupting, and people were talking in the audience, and you weren’t even the first person to speak out loud. I’m also sorry for all the personal things I said about you, I have no insight into your personality, I’m still trying to figure myself out. At age 37, I haven’t even had my mid-life crisis yet!”

And he’d also apologize to Nick Denton.

“Nick, I’m sorry I called you a ‘fucking liar’ on stage at Gnomedex. I think sometimes you stretch the truth, and maybe you actually lie, but I lie too, and I wouldn’t like it if someone talked about me that way.”

And to Google.

“To our friends at Google I’d like to apologize for saying that your search engine is filled with spam.”

And finally, he’d apologize to the people at Gnomedex.

“To the people who came to Gnomedex, I realize that you took time off from work, and paid to attend the conference, and in many cases paid for your travel and hotel, in some cases thousands of dollars, only to hear an advertisement. That might have been okay if my talk weren’t about the evils of advertising and how it was destroying the Internet we know and love. Boy was that ironic and I am really sorry for wasting so much of your time and money.”

Bonus 1: Wikipedia page and Google search for mensch.

Bonus 2: Wired report on the Calacanis speech, just after it happened.

Bonus 3: Dave W as viewed by Tim O and Jason C. šŸ™‚

Has Facebook opened up? 

Josh Bancroft: “Is the RSS feed for ‘Your Notifications’ in Facebook a new feature?”

We’re going to check it out Josh.

Here’s my notifications feed. I was able to subscribe to it in my aggregator, no problems.

It’s definitely getting my notifications out of the Facebook silo (assuming you can see it).

Here’s where you can find the feed.

Tim O’Reilly’s reasons 

Wired quoted Calacanis quoting TIm O’Reilly saying some pretty nasty stuff, explaining why I’m not invited to his conferences. He wrote this piece in 2000.

The problem with the O’Reilly piece is that is isn’t true.

After he wrote the piece I was invited to speak at E-Tech and OSCON and to participate in an Open Source Summit. I accepted all the invites. Nothing disruptive happened at any of them. You can ask the people who were there. I think Doc Searls was at all of the events.

And Wired might want to check these things out before repeating such damaging attacks as fact. I think that’s covered in Journalism 101.

These mob attacks are fun for you guys, but they’re not fun for the people who get ganged up on. Some people take advantage of that, and use it to build flow and page rank, and distract people from issues they don’t want to talk about. Publications like Wired should be counted on to slow things down and check the facts. If we have more of that, we’ll have less of the bad stuff.

Today’s links 

Jay Rosen on Karl Rove and Washington politics.

Xeni Jardin reviews (new!) Virgin America airline.

18 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Raw Bob on August 14, 2007 at 7:43 am

    And what if you were a mensch?


  2. Raw Bob…

    I’d apologize to Jason, even though he treated me like garbage.


  3. I need to tinker with this but I suspect this will allow me to send my Facebook status updates to twitter.


  4. The “friend’s status updates” feed has been available for a while now – I subscribed to mine sometime last month.


  5. doh! unfortunately I can only subscribe via RSS to my friend’s status updates, not my own. weird.


  6. Posted by Nick on August 14, 2007 at 11:22 am

    Dave, check out your wikipedia page.


  7. The facebook RSS feed’s definitly aren’t new, I’ve had a feed of friends status updates and notes for what seems like ages.

    The notification itself is fairly new so I’m not sure how long it’s had feeds.


  8. Posted by jtyost2 on August 14, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Yeah, I’ve been able to subscribe to all three of these feeds for a while now, around a month or so.


  9. Reckon yer onto something wrto RSS and FaceBook. I have been following this idea for a while and made a goose of myself by suggesting more RSS to open up the silo (then learning that 700,000 users revolted against openness back in Sept 07). Debated this in (nauseating 2hr ramble) depth on my podcast – extraordinary dot thepodcastnetwork – episode 31 if interested.


  10. make that facebook revolt Sept 06 (not 07)


  11. Facebook feeds are a good step forward, but it’s not there yet. I get feed items that tell me “So-and-so has posted on your wall”… why not just tell me what they posted? They want to keep forcing me to come back to them for my information.



  12. Create a fake facebook account, add yourself as it’s only friend, use it’s friend feed and you have your own status update feed to forward to twitter via twitterfeed. I haven’t done it, but it seems feasible. Enough people do that, they may put in the simple rss feed to stop them.


  13. I had such a hard time locating the feed of my own status updates back in April that I put in a help request to Facebook.

    Here’s what you do:
    Go to your profile page.
    Expand your mini-feed and click “See All.”
    Now click “status stories” and you will see the link to your feed in the bottom right!


  14. Bizzle!

    Thank you, I found it. One additional tricks was that I had to reset my profile notification settings to their default levels to get my mini feedback.

    Once I had completed that I then had a mini-feed. Facebook does have it completely buried.

    My status feed is at

    I just configured to grab those feeds and push the latest status update to twitter at a 30 minute refresh rate.

    Let’s see if it works. šŸ™‚

    Thanks again!



  15. Excellent! Thanks Bizzle. Its too bad Facebook has to bury the feature.


  16. One other thing, I think the feed from Facebook includes your name appended to the beginning of your status. So each update will start with “Ryan is” or whatever.


  17. Here’s instructions on how to get facebook data to twiiter and a requst for the ability to do it in the opposite direction.


  18. Posted by Greg on September 30, 2007 at 8:08 am

    Has anyone learned if there is a way to feed your facebook “Edit Profile Stories”? much like what bizzle showed for “Status Stories”, I was hoping to use that to post somewhere else where I know some people would see but might not know to go to facebook unless reminded.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: