How to use Facebook with a feed reader

I almost never actually visit the Facebook web site: I follow it through a feed reader (in my case, NetNewsWire) along with all of my other feeds.

Besides the obvious benefits to this, one great side effect is that you never, ever see the output of applications (e.g., quiz results) or the other useless noise like "so-and-so is now friends with someone else you already know". The only drawback I've found is that you also don't see notifications about photos that your friends have uploaded. (You do see links that they post, however: just not Facebook-hosted photos. It's a bizarre omission.)

Anyway, I just had to explain to someone how to accomplish this feat, which made me realize how completely non-obvious Facebook has made this. Finding these feeds is a complete pain in the ass. They've really gone out of their way to hide the URLs you need to use.

So. You have to subscribe to three or four different feeds.

  1. Posts: Find the Posts feed by going to On the upper right of the page is a gray box, and at the bottom of that box is a link entitled "My Friends' Links" with the RSS logo next to it. Copy that URL. Subscribe to it in your feed reader. This is the RSS URL for any links and (external) images that your friends post.
  2. Notes: Find the Notes feed by going to and repeating the above. This is the RSS URL for things that your friends post via the "Notes" app, which is (I guess) the more blog-like way of posting long things to Facebook.

  3. Notifications: Find the Notifications feed by going to and repeating the above. This is the RSS URL for things like "so-and-so commented on your status". You might not care to subscribe to this one because you can get all of these kind of notifications in email.

  4. Status Updates: This is the RSS URL for the "What are you doing?" Twitter-like part of Facebook. This is the one you probably care about, and it is trickier, because Facebook no longer links to the feed URL! Nice one guys. You have to construct this URL by editing one of the above URLs. E.g., take the "Notes" URL and change the part of the URL that says "friends_notes" to "friends_status". Keep the parts of the URL before and after that, including the magic numbers at the end.

There. Wasn't that SIMPLE?

Update, Jan 2013: Yeah, so, I guess none of that works at all any more. These days I do this with my script, which requires you to create your own "app" first and is a giant pain in the ass. But it mostly works. Mostly.

Previously: How to use Livejournal with a feed reader.
See also: Facebook Connect comments RSS feed, finally.
And: Mirroring Twitter onto Facebook, plus bells, whistles.
And: How to block Facebook event invitations.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein the holiday cheer continues apace.

Lots of photos!

Galleries are up of Bootie, Meat's Santa Pig, Hubba Hubba Revue's Chrismanukkah, and Trannyshack's 11th Annual Star Search Competition.

And after the upcoming Death Guild this Friday, you can finally throw that fuzzy red hat in the wash. It's time.

Counting tonight, there are only seven events left before we are forced to close down for most of January... So come get your DNA fix in now!

Remember: if you're planning on coming to Bootie at DNA Lounge on New Year's Eve, order your tickets soon! We are doing pre-sales only this year, and the price goes up from $50 to $60 on Monday (or as soon as this batch of $50 tickets sells out).

Current Music: Ab Ovo -- Egregore ♬

"Little things hitting each other! That is what I like!" -- Napoleon

Kick Ass: Hit Girl

Scene missing! A video in this post has disappeared. If you know of an accessible version of this video (search), please mail me so that I can update this post.
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A Day in the Life of a Turret

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fixed with.



Today in Bug Sodomy news

Bug powder causes male bedbugs to stab each other to death with their penises
Male bedbugs will schtup anything, and when they do, their stabby little penises can do great damage to one another. Female bedbugs have some "down there" armor that absorbs the punishing blows of the bedbug's love-spear, but males lack this protection. A pheromone discovered by a Swedish researcher can cause male bedbugs to kill each other with their penises through uncontrolled shagging.

Previous torture phalluses.

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Today in Sodomy news

Eighth Graders In Oral Plea
A pair of Georgia eighth graders this week copped to public indecency charges after they engaged in oral sex while a substitute teacher was helping other students at the front of the classroom. [...] As part of the plea, sodomy charges against both students were dropped, and a probation violation count leveled against the boy was dismissed. After being held at a youth detention facility, the girl was released to her parents's custody. The boy, however, remains locked up, according to a law enforcement official.
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Playstation and Facebook: unclear on the concept.

I saw that in the latest PS3 OS update, they added Facebook integration. Now, there's one and exactly one thing that could possibly be useful for, right? You've already thought of it in the time it took you to read that sentence. The one useful thing would be to unify your friends lists, so that your PS3 can automatically know which of your Facebook friends are online without you having to search for and then manually enter all of their Playstaion Network IDs.

Guess what, it doesn't do that. All it does is make it so that the PS3 can spam your Facebook Status every time you buy a game, and every time you upload a trophy. Who would ever, ever want it to do either of these things?

I'll bet a "Social Media Consultant" was involved.

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Previously, previously, previously.

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  • Previously