This week I have been polishing, polishing, polishing the site getting ready for the release of a lot of new stuff. Iam also thinking of the best way to time the releases so you, my loyal readers, are frothing at the mouth, champing at the bit for it. (I think I just described a rabid horse. Can horses catch rabies? Why, yes they can.) Until then there is not much tangible so I will not carry on about it.

Meanwhile there is a new colour scheme for each of the Albatros D.III and Fokker Dr.I.

When not polishing things I have been looking at Facebook integration. Facebook is obviously a huge market and I have quite a few friends whose primary form of online communication is through status updates and comments rather then email. I am not going to recode Blue Max to be a Facebook application, but I would like to integrate it to some extent. My first thought is a Facebook application that lists all your current games on Hexcell (basically the My Games page) and allows you to link to them. The other thought is to have some of the game notices currently sent as email published to the user’s Facebook newsfeed. I feel that this is less intrusive than email as Facebook takes care of cleaning up your newsfeed, where you have to manage your inbox yourself. The advantage for me of course is that items published to your newsfeed can appear in your friends feeds – its the social web baby, yeah.

The trouble I am finding with Facebook is that none of the documentation is written with my goal in mind – that is a separate site with a few hooks into Facebook. I know it can be done, I can see all the parts of the puzzle laid out in the documentation, but I have no master plan of how to put those bits together.

What I have managed to get working is the ability to retrieve and store a user’s Facebook user ID in my database. That sounds more sinister than it really is. I cannot do it unless you explicitly give the Hexcell Facebook application access to your details – Facebook will not share your data otherwise. Theoretically once I have linked a Facebook user ID to a Hexcell user account I will be able to publish to that user’s newsfeed. That’s the next goal…

Do you have any thoughts on Facebook integration? What more should I do? Or should I just forget it and spend my effort else where?