.. and connect with your Facebook account, grant extended permissions, signup for a Wolfram account, go to your mail inbox, validate your Wolfram ID, hit a dead end, sign into Wolfram with your Wolfram account, type "facebook report" in the searchbox again, wait 10 minutes for the page to load and finally.. get to see the report (which is nice by the way).
I guess I think it's fair to claim its a simple process by assuming you have a login with Wolfram Alpha and Facebook.
I just had to type “facebook report”, connect with my Facebook account, grant extended permissions, signup for a Wolfram account and then wait for the report to load.
The rest you don't have to do (go to your mail inbox and validate the Wolfram ID). Actually, I haven't YET validated the Wolfram ID I got in the mail. It let's you login and use it without validating.
Well I do now. I'm not sure if I should be excited, or listen to the sick feeling in my stomach.
Edit: Thanks for the positive support! I'll keep working on the project.
This is the first time they've done something with W|A that I could see taking off since it's narcissistic, interesting, and custom for each person who uses it. But, the signup workflow is horrible (it requires a magic incantation of "facebook report"), it's a non-actionable, giant information dump that gives me no reason to come back and nothing to do with it. The blog post linked in this is basically a giant manual. I couldn't even read the whole thing. If your product needs a manual, you are doing it wrong. (I didn't even get this far, I am going on screenshots since the sign up didn't even work.)
Mine their product for ideas, and then design one that doesn't suck and that people will rave about. They've done a lot of the heavy lifting of figuring out all the ways to slice the data, now pick out the best that people will care about and aren't meaningless nerd-trivia. You can execute a million times better than this. They are shackled by their thinking both from the fact they are scientists and engineers and they are using this as a way to funnel people into Wolfram|Alpha, which most normal people have no real use for.(They seem to think we live in a world where an average person, when discussing geopolitics over coffee, gets into an argument over the ratio of GDP between Chile and Ecuador, and needs to know STAT, and pulls up W|A for the answer. Except for those whose lives are like The Big Bang Theory, its a small market.)
Build a standalone product that's well designed, curates the data to the most important parts (and doesn't call it "data"), gives them a reason to keep coming back, and is viral and easy to share and sign up for and you will be light years ahead of this thing. Oh, and if it really has something special that people want, even just one thing, guess what, you can probably charge for it too.
As for Wolfram, if he could manage to hire some creative designers and product people, and could cede his ego to their ideas a bit, it's hard to understate how much insane shit they could be building over there.
Edit: For example, it's truly amazing to me that I can still get to a page like this: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=akljdfalksjdf -- since there is a certain domain W|A can compute that is much, much smaller than the space of all queries, the user should not be able to press enter until they have a valid query. Ugh.
Just curious, why'd you say to not call it "data"?
Because it sounds too cold/impersonal or something? One thing I could also see such a product work well for is awareness, so that people realize not just how much private data they actively put into FB (people are slowly realizing this), but additionally how much, much more information can be extracted that was not intentionally added, but inferred from it with clever algorithms (which is kind of like a side-channel attack, I always thought).
Creating a tool that is an expose' of how you are having your privacy violated by Facebook is a noble idea but you run the risk of creating a site that is creepy and discomforting. You run the risk, basically, of people shooting the messenger. So, tread carefully :) For example, if you're going to go that route, make sure people can only see their own results, not other peoples' (and, most importantly, they realize this is the case), and that you provide overt and helpful information on how to lock down their privacy. (Nobody likes to feel helpless, especially immediately after realizing they've been exposed.)
To me a much more attractive proposition is to figure out what parts of the W|A project (or things you've done) are non-obvious but valuable applications of non-trivial data analysis of the Facebook graph that many people would enjoy. Building an experience like this would avoid the creepy "I'm just telling it like it is" factor as well as open up the possibility to sharing each others' results which takes the experience to another level.
On the positive side, there is a sense in which it is still overall a good thing. You might have had your thunder stolen, but at least more people are now looking up at the sky, and you've had the opportunity to think deeply about where the winds are blowing.
If you create a tool that saves devs 1 hour a week, you're saving a 10 man shop 25k/year.
I had been working on basically the exact same concept for several months. Mine was named GeoHello. I was building mine as a web app, meant to be used by mobile devices. I felt that a native app would be better, but I didn't have any iOS experience at that point in time, so I went with web. I had the demo finished and even began trying to get people to try it out. In general, everybody thought it was neat. Then, a few days later, word of Yobongo started to show up on TechCrunch as a project that was being started by a team with somebody that was well known in the Valley. They were also building it as a native iOS app.
I was pretty depressed for a little while, but it actually played to my advantage because I got to see how Yobongo tackled many of the chicken and egg problems that a real time location based app faces. There were a few other apps that appeared shortly after Yobongo that were doing the same thing. I'm pretty sure that none of them are around anymore because that's a pretty difficult problem to overcome.
Also, don't let this stop you. If you really feel like giving up though, consider open sourcing it, I suspect some people (myself included) are interested in this, but hesitant to give our info away to some untrusted 3rd party.
I don't know what's causing the failures (whether it's a problem at wolfram's end or facebook) but I've seen multiple errors every time I've tried this and judging from the comments here in hn, many others are, too. Maybe you'll be first to announce a reliably working implementation?
It would be nice to make a batrillion dollars I suppose, but I already have a day job and a growing list of books that I haven't read, and as much as I like coding in the case of my main idea I'm kicking around it's a means to an end, and I would be a happy chap if that end already existed.
It's pretty good inspiration though.
But that's fine. It's okay for people to compete with you. However if you want to chat with someone else working on similar stuff pre-launch, always love to talk to people working on stuff we're working on - tends to make us all better.
Then again when for my actual GCSE project, I designed a electric car in a Lotus Elise inspired body.
That's life though, suffice to say I'm buying a tesla roadster when they're next available and I have the cash.
The answers will give you an idea how useful this is and whether to pursue it or not.
As someone with a long history of incomplete self-tracking projects, this kind of automated collection and analysis is great. (If only I could get the rest of my data in the same place!) What I'd really like to see is a tool like IFTTT for self-trackers.
If anyone knows of anything along these lines, I'd be interested to hear about it, but I suspect it doesn't exist. Probably the difficulty of doing cool things with the resulting data is one of the main reasons such a product doesn't exist.
Some of these services are completely siloed, some of them export data as .csv or XML, and some of them actively interact with one another (e.g. Fitocracy imports Runkeeper data, CRONometer can connect to a Withings scale). Each tool works well in its niche, but there's no easy way (yet!) to get all the data in one machine-readable place.
I could only imagine what they could do with celebrity gossip. Or product comparisons.
I can imagine split testing Tom Cruise vs George Clooney to see who generates more revenue.
You could call it quantitative gossip.
Just take a look at http://www.celebrityperformance.com/
I'm imagining they must be like the Spanish inquisition of tech companies.
The concept reminds me a bit of this chrome extension: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/nangghhladpnhlllol...
I can see this extending to Twitter, Linked in and so on, combining everything into a dynamic scorecard. This is what Klout should have been.
(Personal blog post showing clustering: http://lancewiggs.com/2012/08/31/mapping-your-social-network...)
P.S. You should try out Mathematica sometime, it is a better fit for doing cool things with rich data than C or even Python (disclosure: I work at Wolfram).
I love what Wolfram Alpha is doing with data-based search results. So innovative and a natural search space that Google is only dipping their toes into.
Maybe Google+ was onto something after all...
Sorry to broaden the scope, but this made me think...
In stock markets, you have the concept of "noise traders", less well-informed traders. They sort of create their own dynamics, sometimes even generating good return on investments, where better informed traders stay out of the market.
Social dynamics... not sure if it's possible to derive some new fundamental laws, because human behavior is too fluid. Maybe in the end (after years of "big data" number crunching) all we get is some empirical observations and weak correlations.
On the whole, it is more user-friendly than Facebook itself for telling me about my activity and connections on Facebook, so I'm glad I signed up for the Facebook report on Wolfram Alpha.
Put aside for a moment the fact that you're giving your personal data to (yet another) third party. Imagine you tie all your social online stuff to a service that's good at aggregating/displaying the data from each one. Now I could have a 'dashboard' of my online life as well as being able to query it (e.g when/how did I last interact with Alice or Bob?).
I don't know how good Alpha actually is but if I take the visualisations on faith, then I'm interested to know where they're headed. If I were a startup in the personal data/aggregation space, I'd be paying very close attention.
I just wish I could have that without having to sacrifice my privacy. Why not have a standalone app like the days of old?
You mean something like this? (or at least enabled by it). http://perscon.net/overview/dataware.html
It's one of the research topics I'm involved with. Any feedback/opinions appreciated (I can pass it on to the folks actually working on it).
Strangely, it gets my place of residence wrong.
(At least they deal with the "hide my birth year" people correctly instead of saying they are 1-year-old.)