Hey Facebook Enjoy Some Good Old Fashioned…

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Because your official plugin kind of stinks.

Connecting the Blog to Facebook

Note: As of right now this plugin is pretty awful. I wasted a bunch of time trying to understand how it works and it does look promising, but I couldn’t publish anything to my timeline with it. Right now Jetpack is the way to go.

Facebook Plugin
Getting my hands dirty with Facebook’s WordPress plugin.

The integration of Facebook and your blog is pretty awesome and brought to you by Facebook so it should work flawlessly. What I’m most interested is how when you publish articles on your blog they will show up on your Facebook timeline (automatically) or on a page. You can also add recommendations, the like and share button, Facebook comments, and you get insights as well. Pretty much everything you want in a Facebook app.

I’m still learning the ropes because you need to get into the developers.facebook.com area to get things setup. I found a good How to Use Facebook for WordPress post and I was able to get things configured without too much trouble.

UPDATE: The app isn’t working yet. Probably because I need the app with Facebook to be approved (which is different than the plugin).

Hanging out with Google+

Over the past few weeks I’ve caught @Sorgatron and friends in a Google+ Hangout. At first I thought the experience was “meh,” but after using it a few times I’ve come to understand how cool it is.

How Cool?

First off it is incredibly easy to use. There is a plugin that you need to install but the process is painless. After that step starting or joining a Hangout is as simple as a click. I was in a few rooms with multiple people who were coming and going. There was no lag and surprisingly no feedback when using on board speakers and microphone.

Another great feature is watching YouTube in line with the group chat.  Anyone can initiate a YouTube video and then the audio switches to a walkie-talkie mode, presumably to handle audio feedback, and everyone watches the video at the same time. What a great way to capture all your friends faces of two girls one cup at the same time (too soon?).

I’ve been told the limitation to a single hangout is 10 people. I wonder if there is a way to have passive viewers once the video chat fills up. Could be a great seamless way to handle conference calls in the future.


The Facebook Strikes Back

Ever since I’ve been using Google+ I’ve wondered how long until Facebook does something to copy or simplify their network. In an article from Fast Company, earlier this year (I think this one), I read that Google doesn’t set out to take over other markets with their side projects. Rather they intent to keep pressure in different areas to increase competition and prevent companies from becoming stagnate and force innovation. Android and Chrome are good examples of this type of Google project and now Google+ can be added to the list.

If you think about it this approach makes a lot of sense for Google. Forcing the rest of the world to keep up with your or become lost in the pace of industry is very profitable for Google. They want people to have better access to the web all the time. So if modern browsers or Mobile OS start to suck then people may use the web less and search less. Because all roads online cross at Google somewhere.

So, Google+ is a new player in the social network realm and Facebook is already responding. In a partnership with Skype you can now do video chat in Facebook. Although in my limited experience it wasn’t as smooth as the Hangout. Also I don’t know if you can have multiple people in the same chat or if there is a Skype membership option like the regular service.

Busy Weekend

I’m still working on bringing you my WordPress 3.0 Beta review. It is still running smoothly on huelsman.org and I have only run into one glitch. Updating photos on sub domain blogs has a bug but I expect it will be addressed in the final build if it hasn’t been already. I haven’t been updating the nightly builds, I’m not that hard core. Anyway I’m giving a talk about 3.0 at the next Refresh Pittsburgh so I’m kind of stalling for that reason. So if you want to hear about my experience with WP 3.0 so far mark you calendar whenever the date of the next meeting hits. I’ll post an update when it does.

Next I’m headed to Washington D.C. today for the weekend. I’m playing in a giant Magic event where I can win some money if I play well. I’ve already got three byes (for those of you who don’t know what that means ask me later). Anyway it is a good deal if you are in that community. While I’m there I’m excited to meet up with a lot of Magic bloggers and writers. There has been a great community growing and since we are all spread all over the world this is a rare chance to hang with some of them.

Finally I’ve been experimenting with Facebook and blog integration this past week. If you’ve noticed the tool bar at the bottom of the browser that is part of what I’m playing with. The tool bar is from Gigya, click the link to learn more about it. Next I play on integrating the FaceBook like button on each post. These new tools seem to be a great addition for subtle social sharing and can be really powerful for creative content. Also it is obvious that building audiences on Facebook is worthwhile. Almost half of America is on FB where as only twenty percent is on twitter. I got all these facts from Marketing Over Coffee.

See you all next week.