Sure, trivial and time-guzzling Facebook Apps abound (Farmville, anyone?), but—believe it or not— other applications can add a hint of professionalism to your profile. You can include your LinkedIn profile, add your blog feed, include a Twitter tab and more.
Each of these applications requires that you allow it access to your profile. To edit each application's individual settings, choose "Application Settings" from the "Account" drop-down menu. From here, you can control who is able to see the application from your profile, if you want to bookmark it and whether you give the application permission to publish recent activity to your wall.
You may also choose to add the application to the tabs on your profile for easy access. Note that some applications may not support tabs, and some may automatically add the tab to your profile as part of the setup. To add an app to a tab, click the "+" tab on your profile page's navigation and select the application.
Here are my four picks for professionally-focused Facebook Apps.
[For more on Facebook, check out CIO.com's Facebook Bible.]
1. Extended Info.
This application won the 2007 Red Bull Flight Experience award for the most users since the Facebook Platform Launch in May, 2007. Instead of just having you fill out the usual fields such as activities, interests and favorite music, Extended Info lets you think up additional fields for your profile. Add a professional spin to your profile and include fields such as: currently reading, career goals or proudest workplace accomplishment. You can check out a list of the most popular field titles here.
2. My LinkedIn.
To add the My LinkedIn app to your profile, the site asks you to enter your LinkedIn Public Profile URL. You can find this by logging into your LinkedIn account, choosing "view profile" and looking for the URL next to "public profile." This application does not automatically add a tab to your profile, so follow the directions above to do so.
NetworkedBlogs lets you do two things: You can search for and add favorite or new blogs to rollout RSS-style stories, or you can import your blog feed to your profile, which lets your blog appear in a Facebook search so others can follow it.
After you allow the application access to your profile, you'll be asked to select five or more blogs from a list to follow, if you'd like the application to act like an RSS feed. If you only want to feature your blog, just click "next" at the bottom to bypass this step. The next page will list blogs from your Facebook friends; choose to follow some, or click next to continue. The final screen will bring you to NetworkedBlogs' homepage where you can choose to register your own blog, which will require an additional step to verify it. Follow the steps listed above to add the blog to a tab on your profile.
The TwitterTab adds your Twitter feed to a tab on your profile and gives you three viewing options: a running list of your tweets, filtering out retweets only or viewing who you follow in a block of icons.
There are a number of other Twitter applications available on Facebook—some let you Tweet from Facebook and include additional features—but many are buggy. TwitterTab appears to have the simplest interface and is easy to set up. This app is free, but for $1.00/year you can upgrade your account to include a custom background.