Get all your LinkedIn contacts’ birthdays in iCal format

Update: I recently reworked this tool and added some more options, and moved it to its own domain: http://www.linkedinbirthdays.com/ Enjoy!

Presenting a little tool to the world that others may find handy: my LinkedIn Birthday Reminders web app. It hooks into the LinkedIn API, grabs a list of your contacts, and generates an iCal file that you can import into your calendaring program and receive reminders throughout the year. (Can be imported into Outlook, Google Calendar, OS X’s iCal, etc.)

Screenshot of LinkedIn Birthday Reminders

The motivation behind creating this? First, LinkedIn gives you no easy way of exporting the data yourself. Second, I needed an excuse to learn Node.js. A few hours and an entire RFC later, I had a nice working prototype.

How does it work? It begins with the official LinkedIn API, and the ability to do an OAuth sign-in from any site. When you click on the sign in button (and don’t worry, I never gain access to your credentials), LinkedIn authorizes the request, and then some Javascript extracts a list of your contacts’ names and birthdays. This is then sent to my Node server and script via AJAX, and for everyone that has a usable birth date, the Node script cycles through them and generates a .ics file to download. The link to the file is passed back to the browser and presented as a download button, and after the download is complete, the file is then scrubbed from the server. Fairly simple stuff, and when I get around to it, I’ll put the source on GitHub. If you spot any bugs, be sure to let me know!

I invite you to try it out and grab the downloadable .ics for your contacts, and then make everyone’s birthday a little bit brighter by sending them some special day wishes!

Resources used:

Small Aside

Want a reason why I think the OS X operating system is fantastic? Check out the icon for this .ics file that I downloaded using my app:

iCal Parsed icon on OS X showing the date and title of the first event

The fact that the date shown is Oct 7 and the text says “Christian’s Birthday” is no coincidence—that is the first event in the .ics file! Now how cool is that? :)

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4 thoughts on “Get all your LinkedIn contacts’ birthdays in iCal format

  1. jm

    Man! This works really well. It’s great, I won’t be seen as the bad friend anymore :) Just a suggestion:it would be even better if you could click on the man of the birthday person and it would direct you directly to the Send message to Mr X box in Linkedin

    Reply
  2. Miguel

    Joshua, just discovered your app. It is great!!!!!!

    I exported the birthdays of all my LinkedIn contacts, imported in my Google Calendar, and it works!!!!

    I want to use your app not ping my business contacts, so that I can be positioned in their heads.

    Keep the app updated, and I will definitely recommend it.

    Greetings from Spain.

    Reply

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