Facebook application Simplaris BlogcastOver the past few months, I've gotten back into contact with more than a dozen old friends and coworkers through Facebook. After blogging for nine years, I prefer hanging out here on Workbench over social networking sites, but I'm beginning to feel like an anachronism. It's easier for people to keep up with their BFFs on sites like Facebook than to visit a bunch of personal blogs, even with the help of RSS and a feed reader. I recently began linking my posts on Facebook using Simplaris Blogcast, a Facebook application that posts the title and link of blog posts to your Facebook profile. You can manually post items from your blog, pull them automatically from an RSS feed or ping Simplaris with each new post.

For reasons unknown, Simplaris Blogcast stopped pulling items automatically from my feed a month ago. To get automatic posts working again, I've updated my weblog ping library for PHP so that it can ping Blogcast each time I post on Workbench.

Blogcast uses the same ping protocol as Weblogs.Com. Before you can use the Weblog-Pinger library in a PHP script, you must add Blogcast to your Facebook account and retrieve your ping info, which includes a ping URL that includes a special ID unique to your account. In the example URL http://blogcast.simplaris.com/ping/0dd8dfad5c842b600091ba/, the ID is 0dd8dfad5c842b600091ba. You'll need this ID when sending a ping, as in this example code:

require_once('weblog_pinger.php');
$pinger = new Weblog_Pinger();
$pinger->ping_simplaris_blogcast($post_title, $post_link, "0dd8dfad5c842b600091ba");

Once Blogcast has successfully received a ping, the application setting Update Mode will have the Ping Automatic selection chosen.

The code's available under the open source GPL license. If it worked, this post will show up on my Facebook profile.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

Okay, so I tried this, and it works (and like you wrote, the weblogs.com ping mechanism works for Simplaris Blogcast also). So that's all good. But... for your friends to see links to your posts, they have to go to your profile and click the Blogcast tab. That's too many clicks.

I have setup my blog to tweet whenever I post a new item, something like: 'just posted "getting ready for the Tour" at w-uh.com to http://w-uh.com'. I've added the Twitter app to my Facebook profile, which causes my Facebook status to change whenever I tweet. So now whenever one of my friends looks at their "news feed", they'll see my status as a link to whatever I last posted.

This works great, the only drawback is that you can only have one status at a time, so if you've posted three things since the last time your friend checked their news, they'll only see the last one. They can go to your profile and see all of them - and without clicking a Blogcast tab. So net net I think the Twitter link is a slightly better mechanism than Blogcast.

Still I'd be curious what you think and I am continuing to experiment... Cheers!


 

I'll check that out.

Blogcast also puts items in your news feed -- mine includes the item, "Rogers recently published 'Two and a Half Men' and Two Coffee Mugs," which links to a blog post here. But I'm having trouble getting posts to show up automatically. The posts arrive successfully but only show up in the Blogcast tab.