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, 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…

3 thoughts on “Hooking Facebook into my Blog”

  1. No one really comes to my blog, and while I wish a few more did, I’m generally satisfied that most don’t.

    I know too many people at work who’s entire mission in life it seems is to “stalk” fellow workers in facebook. They don’t interact with them much in person, not at all online, but are very quick to put in their vacation for the same time if they happen to read that you are thinking of going somewhere during month ‘X’, or to invent and spread entirely unfounded rumours based on mismatched dates or “suspect photos”…

    Sure, you can restrict the permissions severely, but then that defeats the purpose.

    I think this video sums up my attitude towards face book pretty well šŸ˜‰

  2. I’m already “visible” on the internet, with or without Facebook. It is always a bit of a tradeoff: sharing versus “oversharing”; privacy versus TMI. Facebook has several obvious problems right at the outset, most notably the one that is also its greatest strength: the concept of “friending”. If someone exists on Facebook and you know them in real life, you might be inclined to ask them to friend you. But what if, like in that video you link to, you really don’t want to share the things you talk about on Facebook?

    Facebook started as a work thing for me: a lot of my co-workers were on FB, and I decided to check it out. So many of my “friends” are co-workers. That right there sets something of a tone for how I use it and, although I use it a lot more now to communicate with my family, I still am conscious that my co-workers are watching. But if I had started using Facebook in University, for example, my list of friends and what I talk about might be quite different. I find it rather disingenuous of people who claim they have nothing to hide- everyone has something about themselves that, in some context, would be inappropriate or even damaging.

    I’d be offended if someone used something I said in some online forum against me in real life. But it could happen, with or without Facebook. And I’m unwilling to disconnect just because some people are jerks.

  3. I find that the people who voyeuristically scan facebook for info on their coworkers at my place are lazy.

    It’s not like my web site is unknown; but it seems that even the effort of bookmarking a url and remembering to click on it once in a while is too much for them.

    Facebook seems to make it really easy for them to ‘keep tabs’ on people they actually have no real interest in.

    I too am pretty aware of the public nature of the internet, thus my blog is pretty much devoid of commentary about work, or anything truly personal. But as I said, most of the people that want to use their co workers as their own personal reality TV series are too lazy to actually look for information.( Remember I don’t work with techno geeks, I work in a building full of women that watch survivor or the bachelor religiously, and for some of whom the ‘pecking order’ is all! )

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