Social integrations

“The brain is wider than the sky.” Emily Dickinson

I have no doubt in mind that when Emily Dickinson said so, she wasn’t thinking of Social media madness that exists today! What, in the past, was limited to visual contact slowly evolved using text and in today’s world, it is digitized communications. It is easy to keep in touch with ‘neighbours’ when in practicality you don’t even see your neighbours due to the crazy work schedules and ethics. Our productivity keeps going up and that means we are getting more and more entrenched within ourselves. In such a world, it is important to stay in touch with ‘all things Life’. And the best way to do this is social media. And it costs nothing – really speaking – if you have an internet connection. First there was email and slowly the internet opened up reaching out to other via the blogosphere. Then there came Facebook and Twitter and it was easy, with the click of a button, to send out a bunch of text to all you know. But some are on Facebook, some use Twitter, some use other social sites. While one might say that one is enough, he or she will further getting siloed, even though in the digitized world.

So, keeping in mind, that one human being wants to reach out to all that he or she knows, integrating these social media was a necessity. Now-a-days, it is no longer a challenge. For example, a couple of weeks back I integrated my blog with Facebook. It was fairly easy but not exactly non-technical.

1) You have to create a Facebook page. This page is where your blog posts will finally end up getting posted to. Your friends can like the page and any posts that you make will get fed into their news feed.

2) You have to create a Facebook app. If you look at your Facebook home page, you will see ‘apps’ on the left hand side. There you have the ability to create an app. You will have to register with Facebook as a developer which is ridiculous as many bloggers are not really developers in the true sense. The word itself might put people off, so Facebook needs to re-term the concept. Once you register, Facebook will create the AppId and a secret key; you specify the blog that you are looking to integrate as a url.

3) Then you bring in any number of ‘plug-ins’ available to integrate your blog to Facebook. You give it the app id, the app secret and the plug-in hooks up your blog to Facebook. Now, whenever you create a new post, it gets posted onto the Facebook page. The real challenge is to select the right plug-in. Believe me, there is no right plug-in for integrating your blog to Facebook. These are all still in a nascent state as the whole media is still evolving. I tried a few plug-ins myself before settling on the native Facebook connect. While it provide a straightforward way to integrate your blog, it has its drawbacks. It misses publishing sometimes if you set it up to publish on a schedule.  Also, if you don’t want to feed your post to the page, you have to disable the plug-in. But if someone likes a post on the Facebook page, the likes get carried over to your blog site. Let’s say, you create a post and it appears on the Facebook page. You share the link on other groups, then someone likes the post in the groups. All the likes are cumulatively shown on your blog post. Comments integration is still not the best. If someone comments on the web site, it doesn’t show up along with the comments in Facebook.

I just highlight integrating one social media with the blog, You can integrate others sites such as twitter, Stumbleupon, Digg, etc also with usually the same plugins. I also integrated my YouTube videos with my Facebook page with another app called Cueler. Now if I post any videos on Youtube, it gets published on the page and any views from there get carried back to Youtube. Now, this number don’t matter really speaking if you aren’t commercializing your videos or blogs, but for those who do, true feedback is a must.

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