Getting Facebook and WordPress to Connect

One of the first things I tried when creating this blog was to get some integration with Facebook. Although I found myself increasingly using Facebook and finding some great people on there I was getting totally frustrated by the word count limitations of the status update and often became victim of disappearing posts. Also, after many years of using blogs for everything but personal blogging it became more attractive to have a central place for all my seemingly disconnected projects and writings that over the years get written down and lost.

So a self hosted blog with WordPress powering it but with all the social network integration possible seems to be the goal. Things are stillĀ  under development here however and I quickly found that full integration, at least with Facebook, is not a possibility yet, especially if you are looking for full synchronisation of any comments.

I did think up ways of getting round it and how I could program it to work but decided against making any effort here unless the interface became more stable, the thought of having to debug and amend code for any possible Facebook HTML would be a waste of time unless I wished to create my own product for it.

So it became clear that a look through the available plugins and trying them out would be the only way forward and some of my most boring posts resulted on Facebook as I was testing them out. Strangely enough one of my most discussed posts on Facebook with 42 replies was simply an empty post called ‘Another Useless Post’??? I am not sure I fully understand the dynamics of Facebook replies – it seems that the most inane ones are the most interesting and the most important or informative are the most ignored???

Well the first plugin in my WordPress arsenal is now the Facebook Connect (http://www.sociable.es/facebook-connect/) by Sociable. I like the ease by which any Facebook user can share any of your blog posts and that you can see who has subscribed or commented through their profile pictures.
One little problem with Internet Explorer though, if I wan’t logged into Facebook on entering the blog I would only see the normal blog login and not the Facebook connect button. Also the profile pictures were empty. Simple fix is the editing of a file on the server in the theme directory, header.php. This is the actual file header.php and not the template one you see in the theme editor header.php. I am using the iNove template for now and a simple change of the line:

<html xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml“>

to

<html xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml” xmlns:fb=”http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml“>

got everything working as expected. Result šŸ™‚

The next plugin on the list is Facebook CommentsTNG

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/facebook-commentstng/installation/

This I thought was the answer because it pulled in comments from the Notes on Facebook but now I cannot get it to work??? Looked at the output of the cURL it uses and for some reason it does not want to properly log into Facebook. Will not waste any more time on that for now…

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