Facebook Integration Philosophy

I’m trying to figure out if and how to best integrate Facebook into AFdN (which I would then presumably roll in to AnRdC), as well as to also gauge understanding in the necessity of pushing to Facebook (via user participation, or lack thereof, in the form of comments/feedback).

For several months now, I’ve been using the Social plugin from Crowd Favorite to push posts to Facebook (and Twitter), but the integration is not exactly what I want.

The ideal scenario is that a post on AFdN is also posted to Facebook (and Twitter) in full (syndication), but comments (and “likes” and retweets) are captured by and centralized at AFdN. Social does a pretty good job of this, but comments are still fragmented because while AFdN can capture comments from Facebook (and the like from Twitter), it doesn’t do a good job of integrating comments from AFdN back into Facebook (or Twitter)–the syncing problem.

I think my end goal is to use my Facebook timeline as an RSS feed of sorts for my friends, and drive any comments here to be published. I’m not sure if that’s possible though. I don’t want comments to be fragmented or lost though. I may end up saying screw it and not worry about Facebook at all.

All of this also presupposes that maintaining connectivity with Facebook is what should be done to begin with. Historically, Facebook has been the social gathering place for people my age. And Back In The Day™ (when it was called The Facebook), Facebook reached this sweet spot of with a super high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). It aggregated all the basic data, connections, and updates of friends (high signal) while also being easy to use and free of cruft (noise). Facebook, though, has always been marching towards something else: profitability. However, their stock price since their IPO has been lackluster at best. And their SNR has continued to deteriorate. Facebook has fallen to serve the lowest common denominator (LCD): people who play FarmVille.

Well, actually the LCD is money. Facebook’s product is its users, in particular selling the users to advertisers. And generally most of us are okay with that, as long as we get some value for it. The problem for Facebook is the users aren’t getting the value from Facebook they once did. This poses a problem for Facebook because if they can’t keep their user base engaged, they don’t have a product to sell.

Anyway, for now it seems Facebook remains an integral part for many of my friends. I want to be able to keep my friends updated. Ergo, Facebook seems to be a good vehicle to do that.

I’d welcome any comments to the contrary, especially from those who see this on Facebook.

3 Replies to “Facebook Integration Philosophy”

  1. Personally, I’ve given up on comment synchronization.

    Facebook is where most of the eyeballs are for me, and consequently that’s where most discussion occurs. This despite the fact that post almost nothing directly to Facebook. People tend to comment within the context where they are subscribed to your content, so even though it’s only a link that gets posted to Facebook , and they clicked out to read the blog post, they will generally still prefer to post their comment on the Facebook link, rather than the comment form on the post page.

    I’m okay with that. People commenting within Facebook expect that comment to be seen in that context. If I were to somehow export their comments and display them publicly on my blog site, I will have taken them out of their private context (even if it was a public post to Facebook). I’m pretty sure that’s why Facebook won’t let you export the comments.

  2. Let me know if you find a good plugin for this. I’ve seen a couple sites using wordpress that have some good integration which displays all facebook comments on the page itself. This allows you to leverage the social broadcast outlet & cater to users on facebook as well as your blog too. Pros/Cons aside, you decide 😉

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