The Social Apps on MetaFilter profile pages are a way for you to show where you're contributing at social networks on the Web. We have a list of 98 sites you can list including Flickr, Twitter, and Last.fm. (Full list here
.) We're making a couple changes to Social Apps today including opening up the rules for what services are included and changing the way we include content from those services on profile pages.
posted by pb to Feature Requests at 11:45 AM (117 comments total)
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First up, we're changing rules for service inclusion. In the past we required all services to have a profile page to be included in the list, with some notable early exceptions before we had the rules formulated. Today the rules will be tweaked a bit to account for sites that don't have profile pages:
1.) The service must be a social network where other MetaFilter members can join and connect with you.
2.) The service must have a page that is a close approximation of "you" in the system. A profile page or a stream of your output is required.
3.) The service and linked page must be human-readable (no RSS) and available to the public without a login.
This means some previously denied social networks will be included. In fact, the list of services we just added are: Tumblr, Blogger, Posterous, Crazy Guy on a Bike, Urban Spoon, Rateyourmusic.com, Fitbit.com, Amazon, and MLKSHK.
Next, we're changing how we bring in content from services. You might have seen Twitter, Last.fm, and Flickr content on profile pages. These widgets were created here by gathering content from these service locally. We were reinventing the wheel a bit because many of these services offer widgets. As Social Apps have become more popular to include on your profile page, we have been gathering millions of discrete bits of info: every song played, every photo uploaded, every tweet tweeted. We've decided to use the official widgets from these services instead, and stop aggregating the content.
A side effect of this change will be the loss of our aggregate Twitter, Last.fm, and Flickr pages. We took a look at how many people were using these pages and decided that the amount of data we were gathering and managing wasn't worth their utility. We know some folks will be disappointed losing these but we'll be saving millions of records in the database—gigabytes of data—and will make the site more reliable going forward.
We're adding widgets for Vimeo and LibraryThing today, and we have widgets for Twitter, Last.fm, and Flickr. We also added the ability to exclude widgets from profile pages if you'd rather not have content from these services included.
If there's a service you'd like to see added to the list you can make your suggestion at the MetaFilter Wiki