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Social Media

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= Introduction to Social Media and CellarTracker =
Five years ago no one knew what a social network was. Now there are quite 
literally hundreds of millions of people sharing their daily experiences with 
friends, colleagues and the world at large via sites like Facebook and Twitter.
As with so many things, my goal is to provide you with integration, choice and 
control. Over the past couple of years (starting in January, 2009) 
CellarTracker has had integration with Twitter and more recently (November, 
2010) with Facebook as well. If you use Facebook and like to share the 
occasional wine or tasting note with friends or family, well now you have the 
opportunity to let CellarTracker place a nicely formatted and linked label 
image on your Facebook news feed to let your friends know what you are buying, 
drinking or tasting. Likewise for Twitter, whether you maintain public or 
private lists of followers, if you so choose you can broadcast similar 
information (within the constraints of a 140 character textual limit). All 
postings to Facebook and Twitter can be easily suppressed with simple 
checkboxes during the aforementioned actions on CellarTracker.
The topic of Social Media is a controversial one and certainly does not appeal 
to all users of CellarTracker. If you find the whole concept silly, 
narcissistic, or annoying, no problem, stop reading. These integration features 
are optional. If you are just a bit worried what your friends might think of 
your wine habit, well either get some new friends (that's supposed to be a 
joke) or just use the features to only send out occasional notices on favorite 
or special bottles.
= Activation: Granting a Valet Key =
Two years ago the application architectures of these social media platforms 
were less secure, in some case requiring you to trust your username and 
password to sites like CellarTracker. More recently however there has been some 
degree of standardization around mechanisms that are more secure and give users 
much more control over what applications and websites can access or post to 
your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The key concept here is one of a valet key with a remote controlled 
self-destruct. CellarTracker has pre-registered applications on each platform. 
When you go to turn on these applications you are asked by Facebook or Twitter 
whether to grant this application permission to post on your behalf. If you say 
yes, then Facebook and Twitter fashion completely custom 'valet keys' that are 
only designed to allow access to your account via CellarTracker. The beauty of 
this system though is that the keys are centrally managed. Within Facebook and 
Twitter you can see a list of all apps and websites that have been granted 
permission. YOU have the power to revoke permission at any point and invalidate 
the valet key. In Twitter you can change your password and the key is 
unaffected. (Facebook chooses to invalidate all keys on password change.)
The specific user-interface entry points are discussed in more detail below.
= Facebook Specifics =
== Permission Levels ==
In the Facebook application model applications ask for specific levels of 
permission. The CellarTracker applications (I have a separate application for 
signup from the beta) requires three specific permissions:
  1. **Basic Profile Data**: Actually ALL Facebook applications are required to 
have access to your profile. In the case of this application the only data 
actually read from your profile is the link to your actual Facebook profile.
  1. **Posting Permissions**: This is by design, but since the whole point of 
the CellarTracker application is to post data to your profile, well it of 
course needs posting permissions.
  1. **Offline Access**: This last one is perhaps the most controversial. The 
posting to Facebook does not happen from the user's actual machine where they 
are logged into Facebook but rather from the CellarTracker servers. Adding to 
the integration challenges, posting happens typically while you are in the 
middle of adding or removing bottles or adding a tasting note. In this context, 
posting to Facebook is a "nice to have" feature, but requiring access 
to your Facebook profile (whether or not you are logged in) is necessary for 
simplicity and robustness.
If any of these permissions are controversial for you, then my advice is not to 
use the integration.
== Throttling ==
One important limitation of Facebook is that it does limit/throttle the total 
number of posts a user can make from CellarTracker to their profile in a 
24-hour period. The good news is that as more users exercise the integration 
the more that Facebook raises this limit. If the application ever stops 
working, just wait 24 hours and then try again.<br>
== Facebook Visuals ==
Pictured below is the Facebook signup dialog.<br><br><br><br>
Within Facebook if you ever want to revoke posting permissions for 
CellarTracker you can navigate to the Facebook privacy options and then the 
Application Settings as shown below.<br>
= Twitter Specifics =
== Twitter Visuals ==
Pictured below is the Twitter signup dialog.<br><br><br><br>
Within Twitter if you ever want to revoke posting permissions for CellarTracker 
you can navigate to the Twitter Settings and then Connections to **revoke 
access** as shown below.<br>

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Edited December 5, 2011 (hide diff)