Back in November, I decided to bite the bullet and open up a Facebook page for us.
Despite my increasing distaste for Facebook, I had two simple goals: 1) Work through the process of building a Facebook presence and integrating it with an existing blog, 2) Make it easier for those of you Facebook junkies to read and comment on our content.
After walking through the process, I’ve decided I should share it because others might find it helpful, and because I want to thank the WordPress plugin developers who have assisted.
And I really want you to like me, on Facebook, and in real life. Please?
Anyway, the functional requirements are simple. Basically, I want to post here and push the post to the AppsLab Page Wall on Facebook. I want to surface likes here and push those to the same Wall post there, and I want likes on the Facebook Wall posts to be reflected here.
And it would really be great if comments on Wall posts would show up on posts here, and I could push replies back to the corresponding Wall post.
Easy peasy, right?
After initial frustration with how unintuitive accomplishing the first goal was, I bookmarked it for another day or month.
At some point, I know it was possible to import a feed into Facebook via Notes, but that process was woefully undocumented and only worked once. I have on good authority that it used to work and still does for other people, but not for me. Even with this solution, there’s no indication that comments and likes would synchronize.
So, I went in search of WordPress plugins. After all, I know other bloggers have this requirement, so someone must have solved it.
As an aside, this is what I love about open source and WordPress.
WPBook (@wpbook), built by John Eckman (@jeckman), does all the heavy lifting. It walks you through creating an application, which I did years ago to enable Disqus’ Facebook Connect integration, setting permissions, synchronizing comments, the whole kit and caboodle. Yes, the setup is painfully detailed, but you’ll be happy when you get it working, trust me.
The one downside is that comments don’t play nicely with Disqus (@disqus); they do get imported into WordPress, but alas, Disqus never sees them. Not much can be done about that, but it’s a small price to pay.
Given the amount of work that has gone into WPBook, I’m surprised it doesn’t touch Facebook likes. So, Like handles the likes, surprise. Not that many of you are liking posts, but liking here, pushes the like to Facebook and vice versa.
Anyway, that’s *all* it took.
Now go forth and read, comment and like the AppsLab on Facebook. And Twitter @theappslab.
I sound like a track from “Idiocracy.”