FindMe Firefox extension

FindMe IconWould 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 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.

FindMe Firefox extension screenshot

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.

Another FindMe Firefox extension screenshot

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.

Firefox extensions are written in XUL which is a user interface definition language and use JavaScript for the event logic. It’s my first major foray into either of these technologies so I am quite pleased with the results although I found JavaScript to be quite unwieldy at times. Thankfully most of the code could be easily adapted (read stolen) from Google’s “My Connections” demo on the Social Graph site. Installing JSEclipse from Adobe Labs and using that as an editor certainly helped a lot as well. Can anyone recommend any other JavaScript editors with similar feature sets? I understand Venkman, another Firefox extension, is a pretty useful debugger although I haven’t tried it. I’ve also been recommended Firebug but I’m not sure if that can be configured for debugging extensions.

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.

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5 Responses to FindMe Firefox extension

  1. Chris says:


    Make for safari please.

  2. admin says:

    It seems that, just I posted this, Google’s API went down. If you’ve installed the extension and are experiencing difficulties, this is likely the reason. Bear with it, I’m sure Google will fix the issue soon.

    @Chris – I don’t know much about Safari plug-in development and there doesn’t seem to much info on the web. Is it done in Objective-C? Could be interesting.

  3. Jason says:

    not finding anything on me :(

    p.s. fuck safari :P

  4. Jim says:

    Seems fine on OS X / Firefox 2. My dataset will not be pushing it to its limits though.

  5. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Socialtio - Visually browse your Social Graph

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