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Flickr and Dopplr: the Right Way to Import GMail Contacts [en]

Flickr and Dopplr: the Right Way to Import GMail Contacts [en]

[fr] Il est maintenant possible d'importer des contacts depuis GMail (ou Hotmail) sans devoir divulguer son mot de passe, aussi bien chez Flickr que chez Dopplr. Génial!

A few days ago, I saw this ( soar by:

> Impressed by passwordless import at… – does anyone know if that’s a *public* yahoo API they use? want!

I immediately went to investigate. You see, I have an interest in [social network portability]( (also called [“make holes in my buckets”]( — I gave a [talk on SPSNs from a user point of view at WebCamp SNP in Cork]( recently — and I am also concerned that in many cases, implementations in that direction make generous use of the [password anti-pattern]( (ie, asking people for the password to their e-mail). It’s high time for [design to encourage responsible behaviour]( instead. As the [discussion at WebCamp shows](, we all agree that solutions need to be found.

So, what [Matt]( said sounded sweet, but I had to check for myself. (Oh, and Matt builds [Dopplr](, in case you weren’t sure who he was.) Let me share with you what I saw. It was nice.

Go to [the Flickr contact import page]( if you want to follow live. First, I clicked on the GMail icon and got this message.

Flickr: Find your friends

I clicked OK.

Flickr and Google

This is a GMail page (note the logged in information upper right), asking me if Flickr can access my Google Contacts, just this one time. I say “yes, sure”.

Flickr: Finding my friends

Flickr goes through my GMail contacts, and presents me with a list:

Flickr: Found your friends

There is of course an “add all” option (don’t use it unless you have very few contacts), and as you can see, next to each contact there is a little drop down which I can use to add them.

Flickr: Contacts

When I’m done adding them, Flickr asks me if I want to send e-mail invites — which I don’t.

Neat, isn’t it?

Well, the best news about this is that Flickr isn’t alone. Dopplr (remember Matt?) [does the same thing]( — and also [for Windows Live Hotmail]( now.

DOPPLR: Passwordless GMail contact import

*Note and question mark: I just saw [Dopplr announced GMail password-free import back in March](, before [Matt’s tweet]( Did Dopplr do it before Flickr? Then, what was the tweet about? Thoroughly chronologically confused. Anyway, passwordless import of GMail contacts rocks. Thanks, guys.*

**Update:** Thanks for the chronology, Matt (see his comment below). So basically, Matt’s tweet was about the fact that though GMail and Hotmail allows services like Dopplr and Flickr to access contacts without requiring a password, Yahoo doesn’t. Flickr does it from your Yahoo account because they have special access. So, Yahoo, when do we get a public API for that?

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BlogTalk 2008: Rejection [en]

BlogTalk 2008: Rejection [en]

[fr] Ma proposition de conférence pour BlogTalk 2008 a été rejetée. Du coup, il est possible que je n'aille pas en Irlande, pour finir.

So, bummer. My [talk proposal for BlogTalk 2008]( was rejected. As it is a peer-reviewed process, I got the detail of the reasons for being rejected.

Here’s what the first reviewer said, rating me 1 (weak accept):

> The proposal touches on an interesting issue influencing individual blogging practices as well as structural aspects of blogospheres (linguistic boundaries).

I have no beef with that. Reviewer number two, however, rates me 0 (borderline paper) with the following comment:

> This appears to be an interesting topic .. however I cant find anyone
actually doing this on a large scale with respect to blogging. Its
implementation would be complex for bloggers(and probably expensive).
More importantly, there is an attempt now towards localization as
opposed to translation i.e. there is a move toward local social
networking as opposed to trnslating one experinece in many languages.

What bothers me here is the person reviewing my proposal doesn’t seem to have understood what it was about. “Multilingual blogging”, in the sense I’m interested in, has nothing to do with “translation” — quite the opposite. Granted, “nothing to do” is maybe a little strong, but I don’t view multilingual blogging as “translation blogging”.

I’ll admit I’m disappointed. Colour me naive, but I honestly didn’t expect a rejection. Did [the fact I didn’t provide an academic-like 2-page proposal]( have an influence, here? If it did, I think it’s a shame. Blogtalk aims to bridge the academic and social media worlds (at least, this is my understanding after some discussions with the organisers about the proposal format). It seems to me to be pretty skewed towards the academic.

Following the rejection of my talk, I’m actually wondering how much sense it makes for me to take the trip to Blogtalk. Not in a spirit of retaliation, of course, but from a basic business point of view. It’s an expensive trip for me (compute flights, bed-and-breakfast or hotel for 4 nights, eating out, registration fees). If I’m not talking, I don’t gain much in terms of exposure. I was looking forward to seeing a couple of friends there, but it turns out they won’t be coming. I signed up to give a presentation at the social network portability workshop — but really, this is turning out to be a really expensive investment to go and give a talk at a workshop. (And this, even though I really do care about the topic and welcome the opportunity to express myself on it.)

Now, I’ve got a couple of hours to decide if I’m going to Cork or not, finally. Ironically, the e-mail announcing that my talk was rejected came in literally minutes after I’d finally managed to secure the long-suffering booking for my Cork-Texas flight. Damn.

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