Facebook Plan

June 11th, 2007, 3:29 pm PDT by Greg

As I was looking into the new Facebook application interface, I found myself thinking “what could I do with this that would be cool?” I figure a good Facebook application should contain information that people want to share with their friends and would help them connect with others.

What I quickly realized: students want to know what courses their friends are in, and what friends are in their courses. Thus the “SFU Courses” application was born.

My plan (and it’s still a plan) is to get nightly data from goSFU and push it to Facebook so students (who have added the application and authorized the data release) can have something like this in their profile, automatically updated when they register/drop courses:


Step 2 would be to display a list of people (who have added the application) who are in a particular course. I want to get the basic course list working first.

I know Facebook has a “Courses” section in the profile already, but nobody bothers updating it because it must be done manually. This would eliminate all of the upkeep, and just automatically display the current and registration semesters.

I have started working with it, and I’m starting to understand the Facebook API. Publishing regularly-updating data is a bit of a hassle, but it will work out.

I’m still working on getting the goSFU data. I have permission from the Director of Records and Registration to do it. We’re now working on doing the technical part: actually getting the right data to me every night. That is being slowed by what I will call “interdepartmental politics”.

I’m hoping the whole thing will be working by mid-July for the fall course registration period.

One Response to “Facebook Plan”

  1. Facebook Application Update-- Greg and Kat’s blog Says:

    […] bee up and running for about two semesters now. It ended up working just about like I imagined in my original plan: data comes from the goSFU database, and student can publish an automatically-updated list of their […]