5 Sep 2009 pjf   » (Journeyer)

BarCampMelbourne and Social 2.0
In a week's time I'll be attending BarCampMelbourne. Registrations close on September 7th, so if you want to attend, now's the time to register.

Now, BarCamps are pretty cool, but I'm particularly excited about this one because I'm going to be doing a talk on something I've been playing with for a while, which is having an Augmented Social Life, or just Social 2.0.

In the last few years, social networks have flourished, and an unprecedented amount of private data is available on-line. I'll be demonstrating how to use modern social networks to improve your social life. That includes techniques on turning Facebook into beer.

However what I find most fascinating is from a privacy standpoint. Whenever I find a social network, I go looking for an API, and some APIs are more revealing than others. In particular, Facebook provides Facebook Query Language (FQL), which allows for some incredibly powerful queries. What makes it particularly scary is that with the default privacy settings, one can mine a huge amount of private information by having a friend who has installed an ethically bankrupt application.

I'll be giving some rather real-world examples of using and abusing facebook. Some are good, like reminding you which friends are in a city you're visiting, or which friends share a particular hobby. However many are more scary. I can demonstrate how to find people you've met at events, based purely on their first name. How to look into other people's past, and see what they were doing years ago. How to find out what applications your friends have installed.

Of course, I'll be doing all my examples in Perl, many using the excellent WWW::Facebook::API module.

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