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Slowly into social media


Just one of those weekly updates about behind-the-scenes stuff.

This past week, I set up a Facebook page for this blog. I have friends who want to keep up with what I write here but, for totally understandable reasons, forget to check it regularly. Without a reminder, it’s easy to miss. While I would normally tell people, “just use my RSS feed!” that’s not really the way people do things in 2016. More commonly, you like a Facebook page or follow a Twitter account, and that’s how you stay updated. So be it!

After trying a few different plugins, I settled on Social Media Auto Publish, which works quite well. It produces a “share” post on Facebook, which includes an image and preview, and that’s exactly what I wanted. Other plugins had some difficulty doing what I was looking for, and this one works without much fuss. Of course, you have to go through the rigmarole of setting up a Facebook application and pulling together the various technical details required, but it wasn’t a big deal. I could see it being daunting for people who’ve never done it before and aren’t familiar with how website APIs work. Maybe that’s a topic for a future post.

This plugin also supports other social networks, but I believe you have to buy it in order to get those features. That’s fine–I will probably do so, at least for the sake of posting to Twitter, as well. (I don’t actually have a Twitter account for this yet.)

The logo used on the Facebook page is, I hope, temporary. It’s nothing special, just an icon to use for the time being.

In terms of site management, I haven’t done much else lately. Everything is humming along pretty well. I have to say, I am impressed with the state of blogging software today. I remember when it was just starting out, and everything was so complicated to install, limited in functionality and features, and if you were lucky enough to have something that could use plugins, you expected them to break regularly. Some have lamented the rise of a WordPress monoculture, and while it’s not the greatest piece of software, it has the benefits of being very easy to install and use for non-technical people. There are plenty of other platforms which are more complex, versatile, and featureful, but they often require configuration and setup beyond the ken of average users. For me, I just wanted a blog that wouldn’t be a technical hassle to maintain, and I’ve been using WP for years so I am already familiar with it.

I didn’t mean for that to read like a WordPress ad, but I guess it kind of does.

This week, I am going to be pretty busy both at work and at home, so posts may not be extremely detailed, but I am going to have something new every day, like usual!