Adopting a new Web 2.0 user-generated content site or social network is a scary premise. We all have our personal favorites and with so many new contenders being introduced on a daily basis it’s nearly impossible to get noticed above the ruckus. If you don’t believe me, subscribe to the Mashable RSS feed for a couple of days and just try to keep up with it. So, short of coming up with an incredibly unique and mind-blowing idea it’s a good plan to make sure your new entity is compatible with established big wigs. In fact, making sure other applications can integrate with yours is a good rule of thumb no matter what level of popularity you’ve achieved. APIs and development platforms have created the current era of the mashup (web application hybrid) and with so many great marriages even at this early stage – it’s a wonderful sight to behold.
I am a big Facebook user and WordPress devotee, so I have been pleased to see the two behemoths playing so nice together recently. It keeps one from having to undertake the time-consuming process of updating certain aspects of their web presence from scratch in multiple locations. Although I love keeping in touch with friends via FB, I also spend a lot of time maintaining my personal blog and in terms of updates, photos and other snippets of content there is a lot of potentially redundant overlap between the two. Here are a few of the tools I use to cross-pollinate the two worlds in the best interests of protecting my fragile sanity.
- Import Facebook “note” comments into WordPress: If you syndicate your blog into your Facebook profile via RSS, as a great many of us do, your FB friends are able to leave comments on each and every “note” (as the posts are called once they are imported). Having two sets of comments for the exact same post is a little silly on the best of days. This WP plugin pulls comments out of FB notes and adds them to your real blog, to sit seamlessly beside those that have been left on the original post, on a post-by-post basis.
- Integrate your WordPress hosted blog into Facebook: I don’t actually use this plugin myself, as I do not host my blog with WordPress, but for those that do it’s definitely an impressive mash. It’s more of a two-way street than many of the apps, with benefits to populating both platforms. Publish posts, bookmark, check stats and more.
- Insert Facebook photos into WordPress posts: This is the first of two very useful photo-related plugins. Additions to your ‘write’ dashboard after activation allow you to browse your Facebook gallery remotely and add thumbnails or larger sized photos directly to whatever post you happen to be writing. Hopefully the author will update it soon because judging from the comments it isn’t working with the most recent versions of WP. Somebody please pick up this ball and run with it – it’s almost, almost an awesome plugin.
- Migrate entire Facebook gallery into WordPress: This is an exceptional plugin, written by Aaron Harp, that allows you to incorporate your entire Facebook gallery – lock, stock and barrel – into a static WordPress page of your choice. You can also update exported galleries as you make additions to the parent FB gallery whenever you want – with the touch of one button off the ‘manage’ tab. I am surprised that this plugin hasn’t caught on at a larger scale, and I encourage Aaron to keep developing similar items as he’s obviously darn good at it.
If you know of a worthwhile WP / FB application that I haven’t listed here, please let me know and perhaps I’ll write a Valentine for it too. Or better yet, write your own. To date there aren’t very many of them and you could earn yourself some considerable notoriety should you so desire. How about a WP plugin that displays your FB “status” in your sidebar? Or a way to improve on and customize the FB sidebar badges they provide with information from specific apps you have installed (Flixster, Bookshelf, etc.)? The possibilities aren’t endless, but they’re out there. Get mashin’!