I immediately broke the Internet. Intentionally. The new phone makes it WAY too easy to leave stuff running that pings the Internet, and I don’t have a data plan. I’ve heard horror stories about data bills running up like crazy.
Anyhow, I really wanted to make this post about keeping things up to date thanks to marvelous Facebook. There are two applications I downloaded this morning and just started using in an attempt to update my Outlook on my desktop. This is nice because Outlook is the easiest thing for my new phone to sync to. I’ve already had the calendar taken care of with Google Calendar Sync, though I may update this entry later after I tweak that a little more (we’ll see).
Application 1: OutSync
OutSync’s singular purpose in existence is to take the most recent photo on your contacts’ profiles and attach them to their Outlook Contacts entry. It does this with great speed, comparing and matching the names of your Facebook friends with your already-existing Outlook contacts. It gives you the option not to update certain people’s photos, and show you all the people you don’t have in Outlook yet.
The one problem I had (my own fault) was people I had named differently. I have a friend on Facebook who’s first name is Rebecca. But I call her Becky, so that’s the name I put in Outlook. Now there’s a chance that still would’ve worked, had she not also recently gotten married. In my phone, to help myself with the transition (or to avoid it), I had her name as ‘Becky NOT (maiden name) ANYMORE’. In Outlook she was still simply ‘Becky (maiden name)’. And on her Facebook account, she was ‘Rebecca (new last name)’. Start to understand the problem??
Now in a perfect world, here’s the future expansion of OutSync into what I’ll refer to as OutSyncAWESOME (patent not pending). OutSyncAWESOME would get your login information. It would then find all your contacts’ information that was visible to you. So if they had privacy settings that differ for you and the public and other people, you’ll get all the info they’ve decided you’re privy to. Then it asks you whose information you’d want. All those you choose get their profile brought up with a check box next to all the types of information Outlook Contacts is capable of holding. So you could potentially get their (assuming Facebook is up to date) current address, phone numbers, title (Mr or Ms by default, then checks Relationship Status to see if Ms should be Mrs), company, birthday, email addresses, websites, profile pic, etc. Now be honest, does that sound thorough or what? Now if the software really wanted to get awesomer, it would save your login info and selections, and the next time you boot it up it asks if you want to redo the whole thing, or simply UPDATE the same fields you checked last time. AWESOMEST IDEA OF THE DAY.
Application 2: FbCal
FbCal takes your contacts’ birthdays and events and puts them in an online calendar file for you. You can then link to this using Google Calendar or Outlook 2007. Very nice, and always up to date on event changes (assuming your friends put every event of Facebook).
Problem for me? I’m using Outlook 2003. I attached FbCal to my Google Calendar. Easy and awesome. But I can’t get that info to Outlook 2003. Well, I could, but one of two things have to happen. Well, only two if we bar the creation of OutSyncAWESOME, which would obviously solve all my syncing problems, make dinner for me, walk the dog, and cure the stupidity of all liberals.
1)They update the previously mentioned Google Calendar Sync to sync not just the main calendar on the Google account, but ALL of the calendars. This really makes sense to me. Sure you can dump all of your stuff into one calendar. But that automatically leaves out linking to your friends’ Google calendars, the weather calendar, US Holidays, Harry Potter birthdays, or FBCAL!!!! So if they threw all calendars in, that’d work great.
2) I find another solution. I may have done so already, but can’t test it until I get home. If it works, I’ll be sure to update this entry. If not, this is adios for now. Pleasant days to all.
*Note: both images stolen from the website that is linked to right above the picture.