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.)
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.
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!
- http://oranlooney.com/json-round-trip/ – Only sane explanation of getting/sending JSON with node.js
- https://github.com/broofa/node-uuid – Great little node.js library to generate UUIDs
- http://icalvalid.cloudapp.net/ – Fantastic iCal file verifier, like W3C’s HTML validators. Thank you internets.
- http://arguments.callee.info/2010/04/20/running-apache-and-node-js-together/ – Simple explanation and code for doing small proxying from Apache to node.js
- http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5545 – The official RFC (whew!) on the iCal file format.
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:
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?