- Kelly's World- A View into the mind of Uber Geek, Kelly Adams - http://www.kgadams.net -

Hooking Facebook into my Blog

I’ve been using Facebook (or “Bookface”, as my nephew Shane calls it) fairly regularly lately. Today I decided to see what could be done to integrate my blog and Facebook a bit. I read the “how to” guide by Thiemo Fetzer [1], and now I have Yet Another WordPress Widget in the left nav of my site.

Nothing has changed for “normal” users of my site. For folks who regularly use Facebook, however, you now have an option. You can click on the “Login using Facebook” option, and your authentication will be handled via Facebook (i.e.: you log in using your Facebook credentials). KellysWorldBlog will be added to your application list once you’ve logged in once. Assuming I understand the application correctly, you won’t automatically receive anything from my site simply by using your Facebook login. I (or any visitor) can, however, click the “facebook share” icon to share individual blog posts on my wall.

What benefits does this give? Well, I guess you don’t need to remember your ID on my blog any more, and your Facebook icon will now appear next to the comments you post. But the main thing this does is allow for easy sharing of my blog posts with your friends.

In theory, this simplified “sharing” might get some new visitors to my blog- I’m not holding my breath about that, however. I’m inclined to believe that my blog has a rather specialized audience- I don’t do anything in particular to make my posts widely consumable, and most of it is only of interest to a handful of people who are friends and family, or who’s interests occasionally intersect some of mine.

Configuring the plugin is a bit odd, however: to make this work, I had to become a Facebook developer and create an application. Not much of an application, mind you: basically just a link for Facebook to work through for sharing data.

I guess the other main reason for doing this is that, like a lot of stuff I do, it satisfies my geek curiosity. I wanted to see how it would work, and once installed I wondered if anyone would actually use it. And it is sufficiently complicated that it activated a few parts of my brain that were dozing on an Easter weekend Saturday…