One day, in the not too distant future, I fully expect my grandmother to ask me about Facebook. She’s particularly hip, as grandmothers go, and is already all over email. She even occasionally “surfs” the Web to read up on the latest events in her native South Africa! You might not think she falls into Facebook’s target demographic, but I would hate to be the person standing between her and her Mac if anyone told her that she could learn even more about her beloved Toronto Maple Leafs by registering for a Facebook account. She is, after all, their number-one fan.

There’s an important takeaway in there for everyone who has picked up this book in a bookstore and is weighing the idea of building a Facebook empire: my grandmother, and millions of people like her, are waiting for you to build the application that lures them into the world’s fastest growing social network. Please don’t disappoint her, because I’m her number one fan, and I have no objection to getting a little rough in the corners, if you know what I mean.

Who Should Read This Book

The contents of this cookbook are primarily aimed at developers with a general background in web development who are interested in building Facebook web applications. Although Facebook Desktop and Mobile apps are covered where applicable, the content in here is really aimed more at the web side of things. There’s a wide swath of material covered, from how to plan an app, to really gritty API details and FQL calls, to how to market and attract users, so there should be something for everyone.

Most cookbooks assume that the would-be chefs reading them have a basic knowledge of how to cook, and this book is no different. I assume you know your way around the following (even at a very fuzzy, somewhat-in-the-dark level): web development in the areas of HTML, CSS, programming (particularly PHP), and SQL/database design. You don’t need to be a master of any of them, and I’ve asked a few friends to contribute some recipes to help you out if you’re just getting started (particularly Recipes and , respectively). I’ve also pointed out some excellent books if you need to brush up on some of the related topics.

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