(Edit: As Jaedon notes in his comment below, this actually works for the pages of an organization, not proper Facebook groups. It still works for all the organizations listed below, but I should have been clearer. Thanks, Jaedon!)
In a previous post, I alluded to subscribing to a Facebook group’s feed via RSS. When a group updates its feed frequently, this trick ensures I don’t miss any posts (and keeps me off Facebook and actually doing work.) I just tentatively switched from the soon-to-be-obsolete Google Reader to Feedly, and I think I’ll mark the occasion with a short tutorial.
To illustrate, let me use as an example the Facebook group for biological anthropologists: BANDIT – Biological Anthropology Developing Investigators Troop. As a young monkey scientist, this new group’s posts are on my “must-read” list, making this a perfect case for RSS.
1. Super Easy Case Study
First navigate to the main page of BANDIT’s group and check out the URL:
See that number at the end? 270345732991556. That’s the group page’s ID. (If your group of choice doesn’t have a number in its URL, scroll on down to the second case study below.) Once you know your group ID, you can easily infer the URL of the group’s RSS feed. It’ll be something like this:
We just replace the GROUP_ID_HERE bit with the actually number, giving us:
Pop over to Feedly or your preferred RSS reader of choice, click on “add content” or “subscribe” or “add feed,” and paste in our shiny new URL.
There you have it! Now whenever content is added to the Facebook group feed, it’ll show up in my Feedly reader.
2. Slightly Harder but Still Quite Simple Case Study
Not all group URLs will have the group ID embedded in them, like BANDIT’s did. Check out the format of the URL for another Facebook group, I Fucking Love Science:
No group ID (or profanity) to be found. We do get the official name of the group though, which is “IFeakingLoveScience.” To translate group name to group ID number, we can navigate to a URL of this format:
Similar to before, we replace the GROUP_NAME_HERE bit with the group name, giving us:
Pop that URL in your browser and you get a bunch of info about the group, including the coveted group ID:
Now you can follow the same steps above. Insert the group ID, 367116489976035, into the RSS feed URL:
And add it to your RSS reader. Super easy!
3. Pre-Made RSS Feed URLs for the Lazy Biological Anthropologist
To get you started, here are a few Facebook groups’ URLs that might be useful for people whose interests are similar to mine.
- Conservation International
- Center for the Study of Human Origins
- I Fucking Love Science
- Leakey Foundation
- NYU Anthropology Department
- Wildlife Conservation Society
- Wenner-Gren Foundation
If you’re feeling generous, leave a comment with any others you think might be handy. Happy reading!
(Here, by the way, is another succinct tutorial with similar information.)