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Tutorial – How to automatically blog your Facebook links to WordPress
With less and less time on my hands to write quality content I noticed that my blog was being neglected a little bit. Despite this, I was still cranking links I liked into facebook for all of my friends to read, and it occured to me that I should probably try and feed those interesting links into my blog so that it too felt the benefit of the regular updates facebook gets.
I’ve always considered Facebook an insular social network. Friends know friends, and anyone who doesn’t “know” you doesn’t get any of your content. Despite this, I recently noticed that Facebook provide RSS feeds for certain aspects of your profile, there’s an RSS feed for your status updates, for your links, and probably for some other stuff aswell. This means we can export that data to wherever we please, including into our wordpress blog.
Install an autoblogger
What does it do? It takes an RSS feed and turns each item into a blog entry.
Snooping around the internets I found WP-o-Matic seemed to be the best one; it has the most options for how to display the feeds but it does require setting up a cron job on your server which may be a little tricky for some. If you don’t know how to setup a cron job then you’re probably better installing the feed wordpress autoblogger instead, no cron jobs to be setup but you’ll have less display options to play with. Download and install the plugin of your choosing to your wordpress blog.
Get your Facebook links RSS feed
Go to your profile, then click on “see all” on the left hand side where your links are displayed. Then click on subscribe to My Links, this should get you the link to a publically accessible RSS feed, though facebook being facebook this isn’t just a standard RSS feed. You should end up with a link that looks like this:
We’ll need to fix it up before we can feed it directly into our autoblogger.
Fix the RSS feed with feedburner
Based on trial and error, I learned that the autobloggers don’t like the facebook RSS feed and they much prefer one generated by feedburner. The solution is simple; if you don’t already have one, get a feedburner account and turn your Facebook RSS feed into a Facebook feedburner feed. Once you’ve done that you should end up with an RSS feed that looks like this:
Put your facebook feedburner feed into WP-o-Matic
Putting your feed into WP-o-Matic is pretty self explanatory, but you’ll need to trawl through the setup options of WP-O-Matic before your can put your feed into it. This involves setting up a cron job on your server but WP-o-Matic will give you the exact code you need to get it setup. If you’re using feed wordpress this shouldn’t be an issue.
Once you’ve installed the plugin the settings for it are under the *wait for it* settings tab on your wordpress dashboard, or under a new “syndication” tab if you’re using feed wordpress. Paste the feedburner facebook links feed into the autoblogger:
Play around with the autoblogger settings, you can change the category that the links show up in, you can change the format they are displayed in, you can change the number of items to grab etc etc etc. What you’ll end up with is a way to blog straight to your wordpress directly from your facebook status updates so you can maximise your blogging output.