The Facebook Tools plugin for Movable Type enables you to easily and automatically share your MT entries on Facebook. The plugin pushes updates directly to Facebook immediately when entries are published, avoiding the delays of other services. Future versions of the plugin will add additional Facebook integration features.

Post New Entries to Facebook Within Seconds of Publishing

There are a number of free services out there that will automatically share your entries to Facebook. In most cases, these services work by periodically checking your blog's RSS feed for new entries to post. While this works, it means a time lag or delay before new items get posted to Facebook. The delays get worse and more frequent when these services become popular. TwitterFeed has over 1,000,000 users and NetworkedBlogs has over 300,000 -- because they have so many RSS feeds to check, it can often be a long time before they get around to yours. The Facebook Tools plugin solves this delay problem by pushing the Facebook updates directly from MT, immediately, when the entry is published.

How it Works

The plugin is pretty simple. First you register your Facebook Application (easy to do, takes less than a minute) and then authorize MT to post updates when new entries are published. After that, every new entry gets pushed to Facebook quickly and directly and automatically. The updates include an image from your entries (if present).

Facebook Tools Pro

With Facebook Tools Pro, you get the following extra features:

  • Post updates to Facebook Pages instead of user profiles
  • Post to both blog and author profiles at the same time. This is great for multi-author blogs, or if you want to post to both your person profile and to your blog's Facebook Page.
  • Optional Filters can be used to only share entries with specific Categories or Tags
  • Optional customized status message for each entry (the default is the Entry title).
  • Option to use a different Facebook App for each blog in your system.

Requirements

Most required modules are included in the download file for Facebook Tools. Because the Facebook API uses "Oauth 2.0", it must use SSL. As such, one of following are required (plus any dependancies), but may already be installed by default on your server:

If your system doesn't not already have one of these, note that the latter is known to be easier to install.

Installation

  1. Download and extract the zip file, then upload the contents of the 'plugins' directory into the 'plugins' directory of your Movable Type installation (often /cgi-bin/mt/plugins/).
  2. Upload the contents of the 'mt-static' directory into the 'mt-static' directory used by your Movable Type installation.
  3. Create a Facebook Application. This is easier than it sounds, and it only few settings are needed here. Choose a name for your App, which can be the same name as your blog. The upload a Logo and an icon image -- of these the icon is more important. (if you want you can use my Logo image and my icon image.) Then click on the "Website" tab on the left, and fill the "Site URL" field with the domain of your admin MT login eg. http://www.mydomain.com. Then save the settings, you can leave the rest of the settings the way they are.
  4. Copy the "Application ID" and "Application Secret" in the settings for the plugin, then save the settings.
  5. Return to the blog-level plugin settings and click the Facebook Connect button to authorize your blog to post to Facebook. The Facebook authorization dialog will ask for the necessary permissions, click "Allow". After authorization, if using the Pro version of the plugin, you will be given an option to choose one of your administered Facebook Pages to post updates to.
  6. Return to the settings once again and click the "Auto-Share" setting to enable auto-posting to Facebook, and adjust other settings as desired.
  7. (Optional for Pro) Authors can also connect their MT author profile with a Facebook account by choosing the "Facebook Account" item from the left menu of their user profile. Note that entries will be posted to Facebook only if "auto-share" is enabled in blog settings for the plugin.

Get Facebook Tools Pro

Commercial License for 1 to 10 blogs - $97

Blog Network License for 10+ blogs - $249

Get Facebook Tools

Facebook Tools is free for non-commercial use:

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As always, comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome.

Future versions of Facebook Tools may include other integration features such as integration with Facebook Likes, Comments, and more. Suggestions are welcome.

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.