Facebook. I’m not a huge fan-boy for many reasons. A few are: –
Their proprietary attitude to owning our life data.
Their desire to be a digital country but without any enforcement of standards of acceptable free speech or not.
No I didn’t want you to go wild and tag me in all your photos – approval process DOH!
However, Facebook is only growing and has become the common platform for many of our communications both personal and business.
There is a lot going for Facebook beyond ubiquity and a huge market share. Ease of use, a wealth of applications and tools for doing all sorts of things.
Events. Events are neat, easy to use, robust, scalable and you get to choose which of your contacts are invited.
Yesterday one of the folks I follow on Twitter asked if anyone knew how to auto-sync Facebook Events with Google Calendar. I don’t know what surprised me more: that I hadn’t thought of that the hundreds of times I used the Events or that this wasn’t built into Facebook.
Is it good business sense for Facebook to allow Google, Hotmail, Yahoo Calendars etc to sync on the fly automatically for each of your events? Does this diminish the usability of Events within Facebook or my claim to “their proprietary attitude to owning our life data”?
The fact is that giving users what they want can be good and bad: where do you draw the line?
To be fair, Facebook allows the export of individual events to Calendars but if you are a Calendar/ Event driven person then who needs the repetitive strain?
Anyhow, I searched for an easy solution finding a 3rd Party Application fbcal and a Greasemonkey script for Firefox. However, let me state I do not use Firefox. I test with it but will not keep it installed on my PC. I just don’t like it.
The cool folks at fbcal tweeted after seeing my link to them to me and my tweep offering an alternate host in case the original one was buggy.
Following this I decided to go back to the search engines and keep tweaking my search terms to see what I could find. I like the way that doing this can trigger all sorts of ideas in my head and I got to thinking about,
Wouldn’t it be nice if the Office Smart Tags worked for Web Page content via Internet Explorer?
Why don’t they? IE8 could have a neat accelerator for right-clicking recognized date and time data ADD TO OUTLOOK / LIVE CALENDAR.
Now this too is not auto-synchronization; the idea is that the user define which state of events in Facebook are on the fly transferred to their respective Web Calendar. Subsequent changes to content therein should be reviewed at any sync and changed according to user selection of options.
At the end of the day you have to ask yourself, why isn’t this a feature on Facebook?
At this time there is no indication that Facebook events will send SMS reminders to our mobiles as Google Calendar does.
So ask yourself these questions: –
Can I get on-the-go, Real Time reminders to my cellular phone about appointments/ events?
Can I sync to the calendar on my cellular phone?