Would anyone like to help me beta test Findme, my new Firefox extension? It uses Google’s Social Graph API to find other pages that belong to the same person as the page you’re currently viewing. For example from this blog’s main page it will provide you with a URL to my Pownce profile, my Myspace profile, my Last.fm profile etc. I was thinking of naming the extension “StalkMe” as it is possible to start at one profile on one social network and find most, if not all, of their web presence. StalkMe is a little bit creepy however I’d be willing to hear suggestions.
Once it’s installed and you have navigated to a suitable blog or social network profile you need to click the FindMe logo in the bottom right corner of your browser to toggle the sidebar that provides you with the URLs the extension has found.
It seems to work on Firefox 2 and the latest beta of Firefox 3 so please try it on either. I’ve only run it on Ubuntu so far so if you try it on XP, Vista or OS X it would be great if you could post some screenshots in the comments thread here so I can see how everything is working visually. It’s pretty basic at the moment, I’d like to tweak the UI a little bit and handle server errors a bit more gracefully, but apart from that the major functionality is there. A more customizable UI with a preferences page and some simple help explaining how the links are categorized will also be nice.
The Google Social Graph relies heavily on XFN (XHTML Friends Network) and FOAF (Friend of a Friend) mark up appearing within the pages it indexes with its web crawler. For this reason you’ll find better results if you include XFN markup in your blog and use social networks that feature decent support for these technologies. Pownce is by far the best social site I’ve come across for this, Myspace is getting there as well, Facebook will probably never get there. Also, if you make a change to your mark up on any of your sites, be aware that the data set the extension is querying is only as up to date as the Google crawler. This means that it may take up to a week for it to be reflected in your social graph.
When it is a little more mature I will be uploading the extension to the Firefox Add-ons site.