“Connect my social accounts? Sure, why not!”
Cobook had support for the usual suspects like Facebook and LinkedIn, and also two odd ones as well, Twitter and Google Voice. I suppose connecting to your Google Voice would sync phone numbers to your contacts?
Anyhow, when I decided to connect my Twitter account to Cobook, I did not anticipate what would happen next: Cobook imported all of the people I followed on Twitter into my Address Book. Yes, all one thousand of them. Suddenly, Ellen Degeneres and Stephen Colbert were my contacts.
Dismayed, I tried hopelessly to revert this horrifying situation. Alas, I waved the white flag, swearing to never spar with the likes of Cobook again.
This happened before I wrote my glowing review of Cobook in case you’re wondering.
Assessing the damage
The situation wasn’t that bad I thought, trying reassure myself. I already had a group of favorite contacts so that in the event of a major disaster, I would be fine keeping just those contacts. Kind of like a Noah’s Arc.
Ok, not really.
Anyways, I exported a copy of this contact group in Address Book. The first thing I wanted to do was to recover my Facebook contacts. Diligently following this awesome blog post on the equally awesome blog, Digital Inspiration, I attempted to export my Facebook friends from Yahoo mail after having successfully importing them, per the instructions.
Only thing is, Yahoo kept spitting out a blank CSV file containing only contact headers. Searching Google, I came across this Quora thread, confirming that this was in fact a bug.
One of the top answers explained as follows:
The problem happens when you are trying to export contacts that have been imported from Facebook or another system. You can either open each contact, make a small change and save it, or you can choose to print them. This will give you a pdf that can be copied and pasted into a spreadsheet. It takes a little while to reformat it, but ultimately a lot faster than opening each contact and resaving it.
Come on Facebook and Yahoo! Can’t the two of you just get along nicely?
The hated one becomes the hero?
Realizing that exporting contacts from Yahoo wouldn’t be working for me anytime soon, I pondered what to do next. Then, the light bulb moment.
Setting aside our differences, I relaunched my ‘ol pal and revisited the treacherous road known as the preferences. There it was, the Facebook connect option. Seeing it, I connected my Facebook account once again and watched as the magic worked as advertised.
Within a minute, all my Facebook friends was imported into my Address book. I then added a generic #friends tag to all the #Facebook:friends-tagged contacts that Cobook had just imported so that it shows up as a group in my Address Book.
And then I noticed that only the profile picture, birthdays, and link to a Facebook profile were added to the contacts.
Palm hits face.
To be continued…perhaps?