So long to the Facebook app change.org

It’s been a long time since I’ve published my list of Facebook apps. The new Facebook interface (rolled out over the last few months) seems to have thrown a number of apps into never never land — and some of the backends of the apps have changed in ways that aren’t compatible with Facebook and may need work to bring them back.

There are other apps that seem to have floundered  – in particular ones that use RSS or other integration with outside sites (del.icio.us), but I’d like to write here about change.org.

I just found out that the redesign of change.org means that the Facebook links are broken. The new site looks good, and it sounds as if they are working on the integration — but the Facebook integration (ability, say, to invite Facebook friends to join the change) was a key factor for me. I doubt that I’ll be an active member of a completely separate change.org social network.

It also appears that they’ve backed away completely from organizing things around “what do you want to change?” I understand that might have left an enormous amount of “cruft” in the database, so the motivation to set up certain broad “causes” with paid staff to manage them must have very strong. But I now can’t find how to find my smaller “pay equity” change in the broader “women’s rights” cause. Once I login to the change.org site I can find my list of Facebook friends and invite them — but to what? I went there trying to post a link to a paper I’d found on the specific topic of Pay Equity — and the only way I could dope out to do that was to make “read the paper” an action for the Women’s Rights cause.

Ah, well. Nice idea while it lasted. A second warning to be careful about fundraising-type applications in Facebook (the demise of Charifree earlier this year was the first).

Status of my Facebook Applications

Here’s a quick look at the Facebook applications I’ve tried on my profile, the ones I’ve kept and the ones I’ve disabled.

Applications

  • Facebook Basics
    • Friends
    • Groups
    • Ads and Pages
    • I am a Fan of (like groups for pages)
    • Mini-Feed
    • Information
    • Education
    • The Wall
  • Information I provide
    • Command Post – an easy way to post info to multiple places. I use it to post to Twitter — the interface is actually easier to use.
    • Profile HTML, Profile Box – allow posting of arbitrary HTML on the profile. I’m using it on the AAUW NC page to show info from AAUWNC.org’s sidebar. It’s not dynamic, just pulling things statically.
    • Simply RSS – reposts a configurable RSS feed. I’m using it on the AAUW NC page to repost a yahoo pipe that combines the various AAUW RSS feeds.
    • Notes – miniblog items and imports of this information stream
    • Posted Items – links that I want to highlight
    • Flickr Badge – photos I post on Flickr rather than Facebook
    • Wordbook – import of the branch news
    • Where I’ve Been – not used very much
  • Information I find that might be of interest to others
    • Podcasts – I was hoping to use this on the AAUW NC page, but for now it’s on my profile. Links to NPR rebroadcasts and such.
    • Swarthmore College News – Cool. But actually more interesting for the architecture. Thee are several “news” apps around — it’d be good to find out how they work.tt
    • Feed Friend RSS – primarily AAUW related RSS feeds; has changed in the last month to put info in my mini-feed
    • del.icio.us – primarily items tagged aauwtech
    • SlideShare (for slide shows written by others; I tend to post my own slides elsewhere)
  • Fundraising applications
    • Change.org – campaign based. Useful for linking nonprofits to a “change” to educate the change supporters about the mission and capacities of the nonprofit.
    • Changing the Present – campaigns linked to a specific nonprofit. Good for micro-payments to honor a friend or for a group to collaborate to raise a specific (usually not very large) sum. Seems well matched as a substitute for secret Santa gatherings — at least for groups that are just too serious for such frivolity as Dollar Store gifts.
    • Causes – campaigns linked to specific nonprofit. There’s no AAUW presence, and it’s not clear the volunteers are empowered to create one.
  • Social Networking applications
    • Blog Friends – I’m not sure I get this one. It appears to recommend blogs based on your interests.
    • Introductions – allows me to introduce one friend to another
    • Top Groups – provides quick links to my most used groups (but has even less information about recent updates than the standard Groups application)
    • Interactive Friends Graph – works with Introductions to visualize friends who don’t yet connect
    • Bumper sticker – allows for sharing “badges.” The app, though, has some serious problems and is too flakey for a general recommendation.
    • My links – links to me on other social networking sites

Concerns

  • Very few apps work on pages. How to find good ones there is a challenge. In particular would like to use the notes feature, particularly if enabled to import a blog.
  • A simple training app like Flashcards would be helpful
  • I’m still looking for a way to integrate Twitter with a page. See twitter.com/aauw07. If I find a good app that integrates “status” with a page, I’ll create a Flickr account to post those updates for AAUW NC.

Disabled or Deleted

  • Virtual bookshelf — may reactivate once I have time to read
  • Word-A-Day, Zoho Online Office, – just didn’t use
  • Questions — would more likely use this on LinkedIn, not Facebook (?)
  • Flashcards and FC Test – developer seems to be off on other things, and until there’s a search function it seems minimally useful
  • Circle of friends – public or private “circles”. This functionality (like address lists in your e-mail) is now built in to the Facebook Friends interface. It’s more flexible and easier to use there.
  • Entourage – panel of friends’ pictures, can be easier to find them there. I just don’t use this.
  • Hotlists – I’m not into the ranking here.
  • My Cookbook – Okay. I posted one recipe. But if I think of saving one, I’ll post it at member.acm.org/~shoemaker And if I need one, I go to epicurious.com
  • Top Friends – not used.
  • Advanced Wall – not used. Let’s keep it simple, people.

Facebook pages – update

Sometime in the last month or so, Facebook seems to have put some effort into cleaning up the problems with their initial release of the “pages” function. Things still aren’t perfect, but two big problems I’d bumped into seem to be working now:

  1. Events can now be edited.
  2. There are additional applications that can be added to pages, and there doesn’t seem to be as much confusion about adding an application to a page getting confused with adding an application to a profile.
  3. The “notes” application which can be used to pull in an RSS feed/blog is now available for pages.
  4. The “simply rss” application to republish a feed can also be added to pages. [Maybe Facebook is finally getting the idea of how important this is?]

Check out the AAUW NC page (and  consider becoming a fan) to see what I mean …

Status of my Facebook Applications

Here’s a quick look at the Facebook applications I’ve tried on my profile, the ones I’ve kept and the ones I’ve disabled.

Applications

  • Facebook Basics
    • Friends
    • Groups
    • Ads and Pages
    • I am a Fan of (like groups for pages)
    • Mini-Feed
    • Information
    • Education
    • The Wall
  • Information I provide
    • Notes – miniblog items and imports of this information stream
    • Posted Items – links that I want to highlight
    • Flickr Badge – photos I post on Flickr rather than Facebook
    • Wordbook – import of the branch news
    • Where I’ve Been – not used very much
  • Information I find that might be of interest to others
    • Feed Friend RSS – primarily AAUW related RSS feeds; has changed in the last month to put info in my mini-feed
    • del.icio.us – primarily items tagged aauwtech
    • SlideShare (for slide shows written by others; I tend to post my own slides elsewhere)
  • Fundraising applications
    • Change.org – campaign based. Useful for linking nonprofits to a “change” to educate the change supporters about the mission and capacities of the nonprofit.
    • Changing the Present – campaigns linked to a specific nonprofit. Good for micro-payments to honor a friend or for a group to collaborate to raise a specific (usually not very large) sum. Seems well matched as a substitute for secret Santa gatherings — at least for groups that are just too serious for such frivolity as Dollar Store gifts.
    • Causes – campaigns linked to specific nonprofit. There’s no AAUW presence, and it’s not clear the volunteers are empowered to create one.
  • Social Networking applications
    • Introductions – allows me to introduce one friend to another
    • Top Groups – provides quick links to my most used groups (but has even less information about recent updates than the standard Groups application)
    • Interactive Friends Graph – works with Introductions to visualize friends who don’t yet connect
    • Entourage – panel of friends’ pictures, can be easier to find them there
    • Circle of friends – public or private “circles”. Allows for messaging groups of friends in an ad hoc way (i.e without setting up a group). Compare address lists you keep in your address book vs. e-mail lists hosted on the server.
    • Bumper sticker – allows for sharing “badges.” The app, though, has some serious problems and is too flakey for a general recommendation.
    • My links – links to me on other social networking sites

Concerns

  • Very few apps work on pages. How to find good ones there is a challenge. In particular would like to use the notes feature, particularly if enabled to import a blog.
  • A simple training app like Flashcards would be helpful

Disabled

  • Virtual bookshelf — may reactivate once I have time to read
  • Word-A-Day, Zoho Online Office, – just didn’t use
  • Questions — would more likely use this on LinkedIn, not Facebook (?)
  • Flashcards and FC Test – developer seems to be off on other things, and until there’s a search function it seems minimally useful

Quick update on FB Apps and FB Pages

Just a note to update earlier postings about the use of Facebook Pages, and my list of active Facebook Apps.

I found “Profile Box” on the list of recent applications, and that led me to “Profile HTML”, by the same developer. Each of these

  • allows entry of HTML
  • adds to both pages and individual profiles
  • has an option to tell friends about the app, but doesn’t do that by default.

The only difference between the two seems to be the name — if you use them both, you can then put two HTML containers on the profile or page.

I’m using them on the AAUW NC Facebook page to show the links to new content on both the AAUW NC and AAUW sites. It’d be better, of course, to republish the content itself, but I haven’t found an app that displays the contents of RSS feeds that works on pages.

I also tried to use the code that would associate the page with the main AAUW NC RSS feed — i.e. make the orange RSS icons show up in Firefox and IE 7. I may have done something wrong — but it looks as if Facebook stripped out that HTML code.