I’m in the process of closing my Facebook account. I never really used it: I’m just not that sold on the idea of a fake social network that rules your life. There are three use cases for me, though, and I need to port the relevant data (or service) elsewhere: the birthday calendar; the instant messaging service, and the photos that are already there.
The birthday calendar
I don’t want to lose track of the birthdays that people have published on Facebook. Going forward, I’ll have to maintain the calendar myself, and that’s fine; but I need to port those birthdays to something more standardized. (That is, likely a regular calendar with iCalendar support.)
Much to my surprise, Facebook makes an iCalendar file available
explicitly for birthdays. It’s under Events→Birthdays→Export
Birthdays. This link provides a
webcal: url, which wikipedia
tells me is an unofficial
url for serving iCalendar files. In OS X 1.6, this url was
automatically parsed by iCal, which wasn’t precisely what I wanted, so
I just addressed the same path over
http: and got a standard
.ics file in my
I already have a ‘Birthdays’ calendar in Google Calendar (which I’ll
probably be trying to move away from at some point, too) so I just
.ics file and merged it into the existing calendar.
There’s definitely birthdays in there that I don’t really care about
(sorry, peoples!), but I can filter those down as they come up.