FriendFeed Comments is a plugin for Movable Type that enables you to import and display comments made using FriendFeed on your entries. You can also use the plugin to enable your blog commenter to "Cc." their comments to FriendFeed (if they have a FriendFeed account).

Background: FriendFeed Comments

FriendFeed is service that enables you aggregate and share your stuff from many other web sites, all in one place. Your feed can pull in your blog RSS feeds, photos from Flickr, videos from YouTube, tweets from Twitter, and many more.

Each item in your feed -- whether it is a blog entry or tweet -- can be commented on by other FriendFeed users.

Some great discussions about blog entries can happen on FriendFeed. The only problem is that those conversations are off-site and separated from the entry published on your blog. One of the goals of the FriendFeed Comments plugin is to bring those comments back to your published blog entry, displaying them with on-site blog comments.

Features

Version 1.0 of the FriendFeed Comments plugins includes the following features:

  • Checks all types of FriendFeed items for comments on your entries. Usually, comments on FriendFeed happen on the RSS item from your entry. Some comments, however, happen on the Twitter message you posted to announce the entry. The plugin aggregates these all these comments by checking all items in the feed.
  • Imports the comments as real MT comments. After importing, comments appear in the admin area just like other comments. Comments are displayed interspersed with on-site comments, displayed in chronological order.
  • New template tags can be used to highlight FriendFeed comments (more info below)
  • High perfomance, does not slow publishing. FriendFeed comments are imported via an MT scheduled task, running every 15 minutes in the background.
  • Check multiple FriendFeed user's feeds for comments. Useful for multi-author blogs and other advanced uses.
  • On-blog commenters can optionally Cc. their comments to FriendFeed. In addition to posting the comment on your blog, the comment will also be posted to item in your FriendFeed. Also, the comment will be posted as an item in the commenter's feed, so they can share the comment (and link) with followers of their feed.

Working Example: ReadWriteWeb

This plugin was suggested by Richard McManus and Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb, and inspired by the FriendFeed Comments plugin for Wordpress, by Glenn Slaven. I have installed the plugin for ReadWriteWeb and it is now running, importing comments from FriendFeed and enabling commenter to Cc. FriendFeed. Check out the entries at http://www.readwriteweb.com/. Please don't post "test" comments there, you can use the live demo for that...

Live Demo

If you have a FriendFeed account, you can try out the plugin right now:

Click here to access the live demo for FriendFeed Comments.

Requirements

  • MT4+
  • JSON 2.x Perl module (included)
  • Net::FriendFeed Perl module (included)
  • Remote Comments Schema plugin (included)

Get FriendFeed Comments

This plugin is free to members of MT Hacks.

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Installation

  1. Download and expand the zip file.
  2. Upload the contents of the 'plugins' folder to the 'plugins' directory of your MT.
  3. Upload the contents of the 'extlib' folder to the 'extlib' directory of your MT.
  4. Upload the contents of the 'mt-static' folder to the 'mt-static' directory of your MT.
  5. Login to MT and go to the blog you want. Go to Tools > Plugins and choose FriendFeed Comments and then Settings. Enter the FriendFeed username(s) of the feed(s) that contain links to your blog entries. Save the settings.
  6. Ensure that scheduled tasks are running, ideally via cron job. Click here for more info. Comments will only be imported if scheduled tasks are running.
  7. (Optional) Modify your templates using the new template tags described below. If you are using the new MT4-style templates, you probably want to edit the "Comment Detail" template module.
  8. (Optional) Modify your comment form to enable on-site commenters to Cc. their comments to FriendFeed. You need to add two fields named friendfeed_user and friendfeed_remote_key. If you want to use the code shown on the demo entry, you can download this template module and include it.

Template Tags

FriendFeed Comments adds the following new template tags:

  • <MTIfFriendFeedComment> - A conditional tag that is true if the comment exists on FriendFeed.
  • <MTIfFriendFeedEntry> - A conditional tag that is true if the entry in context has been found on FriendFeed.
  • <MTFriendFeedEntryLink> - A URL to the item for the entry on FriendFeed.
  • <MTFriendFeedIconURL> - A URL to the small FriendFeed icon.

Example usage, place before the commenter's name:

<MTIfFriendFeedComment><a href="<MTFriendFeedEntryLink>" target="_blank" title="Posted on FriendFeed">
<img src="<MTFriendFeedIconURL>" align="left" alt="Posted on FriendFeed" /></a>  </MTIfFriendFeedComment>

As always, feedback is welcome.