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.

I removed links below the profile for, Feed friend, and Where I’ve been.


  • 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

Remaining 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
    • Virtual Bookshelf – not used very much
    • 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
    • – primarily items tagged aauwtech
    • SlideShare (for slide shows written by others; I tend to post my own slides elsewhere)
  • Fundraising applications
    • – 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

Current 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

Review of Facebook RSS applications

I’ve been an RSS “evangelist” for a couple of years now ( goes back to June 2005) — expecting that IE 7’s support for RSS would make it more and more important for all websites to produce RSS feeds for their content. Well, the sea change in user behavior hasn’t happened yet — and I’m still encountering folks who give me a blank stare when I say RSS, though there have been articles in the popular press and videos like “RSS in plain English” from are helping to get the word out. There are, of course, more web sites producing RSS feeds (including, yay!), but the info-sharing hasn’t yet “taken over the world”.

I took my bias towards RSS to Facebook. Even if information on Facebook can’t be posted outside its “walled garden,” it would seem useful to pull some of that syndicated information from the outside world into Facebook.

On my Facebook profile, I include information from this blog That’s a basic feature of the Facebook “notes” application. You can add the address of a single blog and the items you (presumably) post there will be pulled into your Facebook notes. [There are, I think, then two separate streams of comments — your blog’s and Facebook’s.]

I’m importing another blog to Facebook using the Wordbook application. This requires installing a plugin on a WordPress blog, then “connecting” that blog to the Facebook account. New posts on the blog show up in the account’s mini feed, news feed, etc.

I tried the MyRSS application for general purpose importing of feed data to my Facebook profile — but it didn’t seem to refresh automatically, and that is, of course, the whole point. It seemed designed more as an RSS reader than as a “reposting” application — but since I read my feeds outside of Facebook, it wasn’t what I was looking for.

I’m currently using the Feed Friend RSS application to import the AAUW and AAUW NC news feeds to my profile, It seems to be working fine. One quibble is that I’m actually importing the STEM subfeed of the AAUW NC blog — but there doesn’t seem to be a way to label the feed correctly.

There are, of course, major hangups here –

  1. There’s no way to put RSS feeds on a group’s page. [This is just one of many applications that would be good to make available to groups, but, to my mind, it’s the most critical.] While my friends (and others, I think) can “see” the feeds on my profile and as an “available feed” if they add the Feed Friend RSS application, being able to put the feed on the group page would require much less effort for the same number of eyeballs/headline. [See, e.g., with the embedded RSS feed from] It would seem that providing a functionality at least like the “import notes” that’s available to individuals would recognized as valuable by the Facebook powers.
  2. There’s only limited info from Facebook that’s available to an external RSS reader. Yes, I can see notifications (someone sent me a message, replied to a post, etc.), but there are lots of other changes that are invisible. It’s very hard to tell when, say, a new discussion has been started in one of the groups you’ve joined. Not all “changes” to a group bump the group up in your list of recently modified groups, so we’re back to having to click through a number of groups just to see if something’s changed — shades of the awful “Please check back often” on early web sites. There’s a Facebook group looking at this issue, but it’s not clear if they’re making progress.

So… Do you have other techniques, suggestions, or applications? If so, please post here ( or on my Facebook profile under Notes.

Update on fundraising

Just a few quick notes about fundraising on Facebook.

The application with the most acceptance is “causes”. But the one that seems most interesting to me is “change”. The first, despite its name, starts with the selection of a nonprofit. The second starts with the end “Empower Youth,” “Achieve Pay Equity” and then allows the network of nonprofits that work on that change to “connect” to those who support the goal.

There are still bugs/holes in the system. The Facebook change application ties back to a completely separate “social networking for good” site at, and there’s an extra step to connect a Facebook profile to a profile. The folks at haven’t yet figured out how to connect their “actions” (come to an event, do something on this day) to Facebook so that they show up there. For now the “discussion board” options may be the best way to get the word out about recommended actions. On the other hand, one action that I created as a “once in a lifetime” commitment with no specific time did come through to Facebook. Note that you cannot create the actions in Facebook – you must login to your profile on to do that.

One other piece that’s not so obvious is that the Change application in Facebook allows you to “vote” for a nonprofit tied to a particular change. So, for AAUW members, it’s suggested that you look for the EF, LAF and LTI as the “nonprofits” assigned to a change and add your vote when you “join” the change.