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Social media networking is insanely popular on the Web right now. One of the more popular services is Twitter (www.twitter.com). Almost everyone who has a blog also has a Twitter account (you can even follow me on Twitter at One of the nicer things that came about shortly after Twitter hit the scene was Alex King's plugin for WordPress called Twitter Tools. This plugin lets you tweet an announcement every time you publish a new post on your blog. The announcement appears on your Twitter stream and is read by all of your Twitter followers. People can then click the link and read your article. It's just one more nice way to use social media to promote your blog and content There's more to this plugin, however it also has some pretty nifty tools that enable you to Publish a post on your blog with your Twitter updates from the day. Publish a tweet directly from your blog, so you don't have to use another browser window or application. Tag your blog posts with Twitter hash tags which are...
Twitter is a free micro blogging service that allows you to post short messages (less than 140 characters) by answering the simple question What are you doing . I must admit that I was very skeptical at first about the use of Twitter for a blog. However, I decided to give it a try and found it really helpful. It is a great way to get in touch with other bloggers, interact with your readers, and promote your blog posts. By the way, my twitter URL is http twitter.com catswhocode, so don't hesitate to get in touch with me However, similar to your RSS feed, in order to invite visitors to your twitter account you have to promote it on your blog this way your readers will know that you're using Twitter. In my opinion, the best way to tell your readers about your twitter account is to display your tweets on your blog. In this recipe, we'll see how to do it with and without a plugin. My favorite Twitter plugin for WordPress is, by far, Twitter Tools created by Alex King who has released...
Twitter is ridiculously popular these days, as a result, there are tons of great jQuery plugins for connecting to it already. My personal favorite is Damien du Toit 's jQuery Plugin for Twitter If you really want nice control over your twitter displays, you can't go wrong with this plugin. However, the Twitter Search and User Timeline API methods for JSON are pretty straightforward thus, it makes for a great quick tutorial on how to use jQuery's .getJSON function. Plus, you guessed it, our hypothetical client thinks the initial home page layout might be too sparse , asking if we can just add in the three latest tweets from their username.
Twitter is a microblogging service that lets you broadcast short messages known as Tweets. People who are following you on the service will be able to see those tweets, along with the people who search Twitter for a keyword that you have mentioned and people who just happen to browse through to your profile. Twitter started as a small friends only service and has rapidly grown to attract businesses, sports people, and celebrities. To give you an idea of the popularity of the service, even Oprah has sent tweets There is a very good Twitter-to-BuddyPress plugin available at http wordpress.org . Install this plugin to your mu-plugins folder and individual users can set up their Twitter account details on their settings page in BuddyPress. The tweets can sometimes take a few minutes to appear.
First up, when dealing with other service APIs, there's no excuse for not reading and using their documentation. Services often update their APIs to make them better and faster, but then the methods used to connect to and work with them change from time to time. It can sometimes take quite a bit of diligence to keep your code up-to-date with an API. Twitter's API documentation can be found here In this section, I'll cover the basics of connecting to the user timeline method in the twitter API. This method doesn't require OAuth so long as the user has a publicly viewable twitter stream, so you don't need to register for an OAuth application (but it certainly doesn't hurt to sign up).
There are numerous widgets, plugins, services, and applications surrounding Twitter. The fairly open ecosystem around the microblogging service makes it easy to build on, and the ever-increasing buzz around the brand isn't exactly slowing things down. That's why you've got TweetMeme (tweetmeme.com) tracking the hottest stories on Twitter, as well as Twitterfeed (twitterfeed.com) that lets you post automatic links to your Twitter account using an RSS feed. The list goes on and on, and below is just a tiny little sample of the numerous Twitter services, widgets, and tools that you can put to good use. I'm focusing on things that can help your publishing, so for actual twittering applications you'll have to look elsewhere. You won't find any Twitter plugins here either they are all in Chapter 11. These services add functionality to your site by using Twitter, while being a tad more advanced than TweetMeme (tweetmeme.com) tracks what's hot on Twitter, and borrows a lot from Digg while...
There is certainly no doubt that the rise of Twitter has changed things. These days everyone and their cat tweets, at least among the techie crowd, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down. So while 140 characters is quite a limitation to someone used to punching out 3,000-character blog posts, it can still be quite a tool for online publishers. If you or your brand are on Twitter, it is likely you'll want to promote the Twitter account on your site. That is easily done with graphics, of course, but you can take it further than that. It works the other way as well by promoting your content with tweets you can reach an audience that may only know you on Twitter. And that's just scratching the surface after all there are a ton of cool mashups and services built around Twitter and its API that you may want to mimic or at least get a piece of. First thing's first, building a cool new Twitter app isn't what this book is about. However, it would most likely be a good idea to take the Twitter...
You can use the same method to display a search result as you did in the previous part, but for search of course. The Twitter API offers a lot of information on that, so if that's the route you want to take then by all means dig into it However, it is good to know that a search on Twitter also comes with an RSS feed, and while displaying just the latest tweet makes sense, just relaying the latest result from a search query does not. You may be better off just doing the search query yourself on search.twitter.com, and then grabbing the RSS feed and doing funky stuff with it. Which is to say, output it somewhere using a plugin, the default widget, or some or the built-in methods described in Chapter 13. Twitter search results can come in handy when watching trends around brands, but also for support. There are trending hashtags, for example, which may work very well as a search query ever-present on a site about the particular topic. A hashtag is a hash symbol ( ) and then a word, like...
It is possible to create a Twitter page on your blog with the help of the Twitter Tools plugin. How about playing a bit with the code in order to achieve the same result without using any plugin 1. Let's start by creating a very basic page template. Create a new file on your computer and name it, for example, twitter.php and insert the following code in it Template Name Twitter Page 4. Now that we have our basic page template layout, we can start to integrate the Twitter entries. Each Twitter account has RSS feeds. 5. The first thing to do is to get the feed URL. To do so, just visit your own Twitter page and get the feed. It might look similar to the following link http twitter.com statuses user_timeline i598 5 955.rss
Start by clicking TweetStream in your WordPress administrator's top navigation. The first section focuses on the Twitter API credentials specifically looking for your Applications Consumer Key and Consumer Secret Key. For the plugin to work you need to get an API key from twitter. 1. Co to htep y vAvw.iwitter.gom aoos and login with your twitter account. To find the Consumer Key and Consumer Secret Key, you will need to create an application on Twitter.
We can use the data that describes the author, their metadata , to display a variety of information, in most cases, the same as that retrieved by using authordata or user_ data, as seen in previous examples in this chapter. However, sometimes a plugin gathers additional custom metadata such as an IM username or a Twitter name. In that situation, applying a special template tag called the_author_metadata to an author page is very useful. In this example, we will create a custom user field for the user profile page in the WordPress control panel, and then use the Twitter metadata that it provides to display the author's Twitter username on the author page.
Twitter made microblogging popular and a number of other similar platforms, such as Identi.ca (http identi.ca) and Yammer (http yammer.com), have emerged as alternatives. But what if you like WordPress so much that you'd rather implement a WordPress blog that allows team collaboration and internal file sharing as those other microblogging platforms do By precedent, microblog posts are 140 characters or less, but they don't have to be. This became the norm because Twitter, the original microblogging service, needed to keep messaging under the character limit of 160 that is associated with text messaging, since the intent was for the service to be used with mobile devices. However, with WordPress, a microblog post is no different than a regular post. The difference is in how it is presented visually and used as a communications mechanism.
Like Facebook, Twitter represents a critical network for content distribution. It may be the most widely used tool on the social web at this time, and it levels the playing field. At one time, bloggers had to rely on word of mouth, interlinking between blogs, and more organic forms of traffic growth Twitter gives everyone with a cell phone or computer the ability to compete in the same arena as the world's biggest celebrities, brands, and other bloggers. Twitter, for the uninitiated, is a short-form Web platform that provides for communication between users and their followers the people who have opted to get notifications from the user. Likewise, the user receives notifications every time anyone that she chooses to follow updates his status. The paradigm is asynchronous, so there does not have to be a mutual friendship option for communication to work. Many corporate WordPress users have adopted Twitter as a medium for content distribution and groups of political bloggers and...
Each user of your BuddyPress community will be able to post short messages to their profile page or to any group they are a member of. Unlike Twitter, there is no 140 character text limit on the posts. In addition to Twitter Style posts, BuddyPress offers threaded discussions. A threaded discussion is a conversation that allows you to reply inline to the previous message. Twitter on the other hand offers no threaded discussions and opted for a single thread that requires a user to create a new post with the username reply method.
TweetStream is an awesome plugin to connect BuddyPress and Twitter http bit.ly bgkOfH Manual Install URL http wordpress.org extend plugins tweetstream Automatic Install search term TweetStream Configuration location Top Navigation TweetStream TweetStream is a very easy-to-set-up plugin that allows your members to connect their accounts to their Twitter account. Once installed, every time a member pushes a status update, he she has the option to post it to their Twitter profile. Optionally, users can automatically sync their profile status between their site and Twitter. If the user chooses this option, each time when they tweet on Twitter, it will automatically be posted to their profile page on your BuddyPress site.
Even though we just used Twitter as an example of how to integrate any XML feed, let's look at how you could integrate Twitter specifically. Twitter is currently the poster child for open web service APIs. The Twitter API is well documented and easy to use. In addition, it has tons of features. All of this makes integrating your Twitter activities with your WordPress installation a breeze. As such, there are several things you can do with Twitter integration. For example, you can show your latest tweets in a sidebar widget this is an example of a simple social media badge. You could archive each tweet as its own WordPress post, or get fancier and have daily or weekly archives. You could grab specific tweets and use them in your header to create a dynamic first impression. Or finally, you could reverse the integration and automatically tweet every time you publish a new blog post. The Twitter Tools plugin (http by Alex King does almost all of this. And it is all contained in one plugin...
As described by Doug Bowman it's possible to use WordPress to create a long-term archive of your Twitter account. The TwitterTools plugin has an option to create a new post from each of your tweets. If you're new to Twitter, just set up the plugin and let it run. If you have an existing Twitter account with a long history, you'll need to import your old tweets into WordPress somehow. Bowman recommends the service from tweetbackup.com. Another service, TweetScan, lets you export a CSV file, which you could then import using the CSV Import plugin.
Chapter7, AJAX with jQuery and WordPress This chapter introduces you to what AJAX is and isn't along with the top ways to get started using AJAX techniques in your WordPress site you'll load in HTML from other pages on your site, get your tweets and favorite flickr pictures pulled in through JSON, and last but not least, custom AJAXing the built in WordPress comment form.
In today's super-connected world of the Internet, social media, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, it's not surprising that the tools that are used online directly impact business. How you communicate on blogs and social networks can make or break your ability to find a job, get new business, or drive more traffic to your site. If you've studied the behavior and ensuing results associated with retweeting and linkbacks lately, you'd be surprised to learn just how few people actually click through to interact with the shared content, let alone using or referring the product or service contained in the link no matter how influential you are. Of course, the more authority and trust you possess, the more retweets and shares you earn, but the follow-through never fails to dissipate without fuel and cultivation.
Technology has revolutionized the way we live in so many ways. Today, updating people about events in our day-to-day lives is as simple as sending an email or posting a short Tweet. Yes, Twitter offers a great way to post quick updates that are viewable by anyone following your account and, while Twitter may allow you to easily keep others informed, it isn't exactly ideal for colleagues, family, or friends looking to carry on private conversations. Now, if you aren't familiar with Twitter, then you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. If that's the case, then take a moment to visit the Twitter website at http twitter.com to see just what it is all about. The features offered by Twitter are the inspiration for this project which will allow you to create a microblog of your own. This microblog will differ from Twitter, however, in that it's specifically designed so that a small group of users can confine their conversation to a central, private location. In order to accomplish...
If you have social media accounts, such as Twitter or Facebook, the content you're generating on those sites could be useful on your WordPress site. If you don't have any social media accounts related to the topic of your site, you should get some Then you can have your latest entries on those social media sites displayed automatically on your WordPress site. I'll show you how it's done with Twitter, but the process is very similar for most other sites. You'll need some code from Twitter first, and most social media sites make it very easy to get that, as you can see in Figure 24-1. Many sites make it easy, as Twitter does here, to customize how the feed will look on your site, how many items it will display, and so on. When you're through customizing, you'll click something like Finish & Grab Code or Generate Code, and you're presented with the code, as in Figure 24-2.
The Favicons plugin offers over 100 free Favicons to pick from, covering a slew of things like Twitter to Smiley, Faces to Poker Cards. To use a pre-designed icon, select Use an icon from the icon set, and then select the radio button below the icon you would like to use.
Much like the Twitter archive, a news clipping archive in WordPress provides you with a searchable database of content that would otherwise be walled off in third-party sites. First, you'll have to create some news alert feeds using services like Google Alerts or Google Blog Search. You can then create the archive automatically from those feeds using FeedWordPress. However, if you find that the feeds return lots of false positives, you might want to curate your archive by hand instead. The PressThis bookmarklet, which you'll find on your Writing Settings screen, makes it easy to create new posts from stories you see on the web.
The WP Devel site uses the popular P2 theme, which is very similar to a Twitter-like theme for WordPress. The site features updates and discussions on the WordPress project. The site is also the location for information regarding the weekly WordPress Developer Chats in the wordpress-dev IRC channel. The date and time for these meetings is featured in the sidebar. There is also a post detailing the topics for the weekly meeting. Anyone can contribute topics for the meeting by responding to this post.
At our shop we trigger a developer e-mail or Twitter warning to let you know someone got an oopsy. Especially if there is a referrer in the HTTP headers, you can track down where the broken link originated from. At the least you know something went wrong and can do some research. Also, your 404 page should be funny. Humor is good medicine and it is nice to disarm visitors who might be upset that what they were looking for is not there. It is good practice to expose errors to your developers but show something useful and meaningful to your site visitor. Think about the Twitter fail whale. Clearly, at times, Twitter has had scalability issues and the fail whale was seen more often than not. But by keeping the error message lighthearted, the Twitter fail whale has quickly emerged as an Internet icon and garnered its own cult following.
There are a number of reasons why you might want to grab an external feed and display it in a page. You may want to grab a feed from your Flickr, Goodreads, Twitter, or other social networking accounts. If you're creating a site for a department within a university, or a small company that's owned by another company, you may want to display a feed on the home page with news from the parent company's or university's website.
BackType Connect The BackType Connect plugin checks the social Web for talk that is related to your blog posts, and publishes it as comments on your post. So if your mammoth article garnered a lot a buzz on Twitter, this will show up on your post as well. Pretty cool, but it can also be really messy when mixing both traditional comments and comments from, in particular, microblogging systems due to the 140 character limit. Use with care and make sure that your readership is savvy enough to understand what's going on.
Problem is, it also slaps on a feed header, linked to the feed URL and everything. That's not really such a good idea, now is it If you want to display the latest updates from your blog, a news site, Twitter, or whatever, you don't want to link the actual RSS feed at the top of the listing You may want to link the site itself, but not the feed. I'm hoping this is something that will be changed in WordPress in the future, but it's been around for some time now.
Technorati.com was one of the first sites to utilizes these update services and create an aggregation of blogs. Technorati tags enable to put your content into categories at Technorati.com. Basically you insert a tag on your page that points back to Technorati, so that your content is aggregated by tag along with similar posts. Technorati tag functionality is waning in lieu of new notification processes. The Technorati site is not the important add-on to WordPress that it once was, but it is still an easy place to get your content listed with relatively little effort. You now have plenty of ways to advertise new content with the advent of social media sites like Digg, Reddit, and Twitter. For example, in Chapter 9 we covered how to add social networking buttons to your posts, serving as a simple way for you to to effectively crowd source the notification processes through these new aggregators. Having your readers recommend content, and pass it on to tag-oriented sites, improves the...
The Flickr JSON string returns an array called items that offers all sorts of data. You'll notice that it's a little different when targeting the information we want compared to the twitter API. By pulling the media.m url to a thumbnail we're able to create a quick list of images. It looks like this under Our Tweets Our Tweets
Theme support for content management is key. You're not trying to make WordPress look decidedly non-blog-like but rather finding a theme that gives you the flexibility to display the types of content in the visual style that fits, whether it's a product sales site or an online newsletter. This is a great use case for the Thematic framework with its thirteen widget areas and powerful child theme extensibility. As an extreme case, the P2 theme (http p2theme.com) developed by Automattic puts a posting panel, real-time updates, and in-line editing right on the homepage, combining the best of Twitter, a blog, a discussion forum, and a news site.
However, there are some great advantages here too. First of all, spamming is taken care of on a wider scale, and that has its advantages. Both comment systems also offer various login methods, reply by e-mail, RSS feeds, as well as Twitter integration and e-mail notifications. The scope of features you'll get out of the box from Disqus or IntenseDebate is something you'd have to supercharge your WordPress comments with plugins to achieve.
In practice, your site does not really change that often. You are probably not running the next Twitter through a WordPress installation (though you can build a reasonable facsimile with the p2 theme) and the content does not change every 30 seconds. Leveraging the ideal situation in which your content is viewed significantly more frequently than it's updated, and allowing for minor windows of inconsistent updates, let's look at caching layers from the web server back to the MySQL installation.
WP-FollowMe (just FollowMe going forward) is a simple plug-in that adds a badge to your site connected to your Twitter account page. Clicking the FollowMe badge on your blog allows visitors to see your recent tweets, and follow you if so inclined. Besides the basic functionality that we discuss here, FollowMe lets you change the badge's default color of Twitter blue to something more compatible with your existing color scheme, and place the badge where you like.
Whereas Twitter is so open and easy to use, on the flip side is Facebook. Also immensely popular, Facebook is the new walled garden of online communities. Various roads exist into Facebook, but very few to get data out. This makes integrating your WordPress site with Facebook somewhat more of a challenge. There are no plugins to take your current Facebook status and post it on WordPress. (Although you can work around this by using Twitter to update both Facebook and your site.) Despite all the press about the Facebook platform, you are limited in what you can do, unless you are pushing data to your Facebook profile.
Last month we introduced new ways to post and keep up to date wUi WordPress com btogs through the Twitter API Ofifl of the coal rJ parts .ihrait this is ynn c.in ma to ur.o nf n growing numbw of micrnhlnggt g appr. to publish tp your WordPress com btog. Today ur friends at HootSuite announced January 2010
Pretty Link If you want to shorten your URLs for use on Twitter, or just hide your affiliate links (that's naughty ), then Pretty Link is something to look into. Especially if you intend to roll things on Twitter and have a short domain name, because it even has the option to attach a Pretty Bar , in a manner similar to what Digg and others are doing. Pretty Link is your own URL shortener with options, basically. Pods (wordpress.org extend plugins pods ) Pods is a plugin aiming to make WordPress even more of a CMS. The developers call it a CMS framework, and that's not too far from the truth. You can create content types, data structures, set up relationships and so on. Building a site relying on Pods is sure to give you a lot of freedom. The only problem is it may be a bit daunting to get started with, especially if you're used to the straightforwardness of WordPress itself. Worth a look if you need WordPress to be more CMS-like, though.
The social Web is a concept, and you've got a ton of profiles to the left and right. Each social book-marking tool has its own submit link, and while you can just add them all to your theme (which we'll get to later in the book), you can also rely on a plugin. It's all connected these days, after all. So why not add a little bit of the social Web to your site Show off your Twitter and let your visitors submit your content to Digg. You can do most of that directly in your theme with some custom code (usually found on the various social networking sites' tools pages), but if you want to take a shortcut or add some extra social Web flair, then these plugins may help. Twitter Tools Twitter Tools connects your WordPress blog with Twitter, and lets you send tweets from the blog to your account. A simple enough settings page makes this a breeze to set up, and you can even control how the tweets you've sent should be tagged and handled on your own site. This means that you can have an asides...
The content could be the text of a post, an author name, or an option pulled from the database. Filters always take data and returns data after processing it. An example of a plugin using a filter would be modifying a user avatar with a different third-party avatar solution. In this scenario, a filter might replace the WordPress default Gravatar-based avatar and replace it with a user's Twitter avatar. As the name suggests, filters are always Data in, Data out while actions are event-based and do not require any kind of data processing.
When social networks like Facebook and Twitter emerged, the role of the blog changed again. For some, blogging took a back burner to the means of instant communication, such as microblogs and aggregation tools. For others, social networks gained importance, complementing blogging and blogs. WordPress, for its part, has many plugins that integrate some aspect of social media. A quick search of the plugin repository shows almost 300 varieties of Twitter plugins and almost 100 varieties of Facebook plugins. It is important to know the technical implementations of social network integration on the growth and sustainability of a blog, and equally important to have a good understanding of the marketing benefits of these tools. Realistically, there are plugins that automatically send a tweet of a Post title and URL every time you click Publish, but does this actually increase the blog's traffic and exposure As it turns out, less than you might think.
The TweetMeme plugin adds a small button to each post. This button is a one-click button that shares the story and displays a count of the number of times the story has already been shared, highlighting the popularity factor. The TweetMeme plugin allows the following customizations Position. Depending on your preferences and, possibly, theme layout, you can choose to position the TweetMeme button automatically before your post, after your post, or both. Additionally, you can opt to manually code the button into your template. Type. You can choose to display your TweetMeme button as a square large button or a small rectangular button. Display. Depending on your preference and needs, you can choose to have the TweetMeme button added on pages, in addition to posts. You can also have it inserted into your feeds. Source. You should change this if you have any interest in developing name or brand recognition. By default, tweets are sent with a credit to the TweetMeme Twitter ID (...
To help get you started, let's try to add a follow me on twitter link to the bottom of each of your posts. First, you will need to visit Settings Post Layout. To create the link, we will need to modify and insert the following code, replacing your-twitter-username with your actual Twitter username Do you follow me on twitter Now when your visitors read your blog post, they will be able to quickly click through to your Twitter account. In addition to any HTML tag, you can use the following short tags in each of the textareas, which will be dynamically replaced with the content from the post the visitor is currently reading.
Some people think traditional blogging is being displaced by the 140-character microblog, like Twitter. These plugins show that the two formats aren't necessarily at odds use them to link your blog to various social networks. WP FollowMe This is a simple plug-in that allows visitors to connect with your Twitter account. We'll take a closer look at this plug-in in Chapter 15, PHP Basics Themes and Plug-Ins. Twitter Tools This is Alex King's umbrella for an entire ecosystem of microblogging connections to WordPress. Twitter Tools by itself allows you to pull your tweets into your blog (as posts and digests) and create new tweets on blog posts and from within WordPress. If you're big into the bird (even if you're not so crazy about the Fail Whale), check this out, and then search the directory for twitter tools to discover what other developers have done with this framework.
What's a social network without a Members Directory BuddyPress's Members Directory allows other members to search and filter other members as well as request them to be friends . BuddyPress took the same approach which Facebook took regarding befriending other members, as both parties need to approve the connection. This is unlike Twitter's method where anyone can follow another user without their permission.
The only option here, as seen in the following screenshot is whether or not to enable the Use IntenseDebate Comments (http www.intensedebate.com), which add a number of additional social aspects to traditional commenting systems, such as commenter profiles, reputation points, and integration with Twitter.
BuddyPress is a social network in a single plugin. BuddyPress's features will instantly transform your standard WordPress site into a wonderful social network that, on a feature-to-feature comparison, will compete with other networks like Ning.com, Facebook, and even Twitter. The following items pinpoint some of the great features that your blog will now possess. Additionally, you can visit http buddypress.org demo to see all of the features live.
The Friends module is absolutely critical for a BuddyPress social network. Of course, it is not technically required however, a social network without friends is like a boat without water. Enabling the Friends module enables your users to connect with each other in a standard reciprocal friends relationship. It is more along the lines of Facebook friendships in which there is a mutual approval process and it is not one-sided, as is the case with Twitter following.
That's why OpenID (www.openid.net) is interesting, and that's why the giants like Yahoo , Google and Microsoft are interested in this. For the same reason Facebook Connect (developers.facebook.com connect.php) exists, a unified login using your Facebook account. The Sign in with Twitter solution is something similar, but using Twitter of course, and the list goes on. Soon you'll be using your Google and Live.com accounts to sign in across the Web, alongside Facebook and Twitter, all perhaps being connected through the OpenID Foundation. Or not. Either way, the thing is you should consider a unified login for your site if you need login functionality for your users. There are plugins that solve this for you (you'll find them in Chapter 11), but don't let that stop you. Read up on the services themselves and make up your mind regarding any potential user registrations in the future.
If you have included your post name in your permalink structure, or if you have deeply nested pages with long titles, your permalinks can get very long. Sometimes you'll want shorter URLs to paste into an email or Twitter message. A number of URL shortening plugins are available Short URL is one of the most popular.
Simple either by filling them with additional functionality using plugins, or by moving them from WordPress altogether. The former solution can mean anything from user grading of the comments to fetching the buzz from Twitter, while the latter means that you'll rely on a third-party service for managing your comments.
Themes are quite simply your WordPress design. This is the entire look and feel of your web site, including fonts, colors, graphics, and content layout. Thousands of free and premium themes are available, including many free themes in the official Theme directory at WordPress.org. Themes are the quickest way to make your blog unique with your own colors, styles, and graphics. Themes come in all types as well, including standard blog themes, corporate themes, photo themes, lifestreaming themes, microblogging themes (think Twitter), and much more. Theme designers are always pushing the envelope and developing exciting new looks for WordPress.
You can enhance the content of your site in many ways by tapping into content available on other sites and displaying it on your own. Just as your WordPress site can generate RSS feeds of your material, you can tap into the feeds generated by other sites. Some of this content may even be generated by you, as in the case of your postings on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.
That could be used for any XML source, but for this example we will use Twitter, which has a well-documented and simple-to-use API. Again, we are focusing on extracting the content and repurposing it for use in your WordPress site. This is not like the Twitter badges covered in the previous section which show the current Twitter updates. Those badges are more decoration than content and nothing persists on your site. This example turns tweets into posts. Getting the latest tweets for a single user in XML format is simple (assuming you have PHP5 with SimpleXML) twitterUser mirmillo url xml new header( Content-type text xml ) echo xml- asXML() Create a new PHP file with the above code (substitute your own Twitter account), and place it on a web server. If you use a web browser and view the served page, you will see the last 20 or so tweets from your account in a nice XML format. This gives you a chance to see what you're working with. Remember, we are only using Twitter as an example...
If you've installed a plugin that crossposts your content to another site (like Facebook or LiveJournal) or automatically notifies another site of your new posts (like Twitter), be sure to deactivate those plugins before you begin otherwise, you'll flood your social network with your imported posts.
One of the more interesting uses for WordPress is as a content management system (CMS). Even when it is not used as a CMS, often bloggers want their front pages to take on a different looks. Perhaps a magazine layout that presents excerpts of articles is useful. Maybe a page that not only shows posts, but also pulls recent photos from Flickr or Tweets from Twitter is an asset. The front page is often a key marketing strategy for any site.
In Listing A.1, I demonstrate how to use the add_action() function to attach a function to a hook. This function uses the Bit.ly URL shortener service (http bit.ly) to create a shortened URL for a post when it is saved and adds it as a custom field called shorturl. You could use it for Twitter or any other service you wish to use a shortened URL form for.
WP-reCAPTCHA is used by some very well-known sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and StumbleUpon. Its spam-prevention capabilities are even being employed by a few U.S. government websites. If these sites are confident enough in the protection offered by WP-reCAPTCHA, then there really isn't any reason why you shouldn't entrust your site to it too.
What services and content do you want to include For example, Delicious and Digg enable you to share references or interesting links with others. Flickr enables you to show your latest uploaded photos in your site, and YouTube has a service for doing the same for video. You can post what music you are currently listening to if you participate at Last.fm. Probably the most common is posting your current activity via Twitter. Business users can integrate with LinkedIn and other job posting sites. A business site can extend its functionality simply by combining various web resources into one site.
Alltop is basically an RSS aggregator for specific topics. The WordPress Alltop page features news and information from the top WordPress-related web sites. It also lists important WordPress Twitter accounts that are worth following for news and information. You can visit the web site at http wordpress.alltop.com .
If you plan on incorporating Twitter into your site, then the Twitter Username setting will been to be configured. If you already have a Twitter account, enter your username into the textbox. If you would like to use this feature, but you don't have a Twitter account, right-click on Twitter account and then open that link in a new browser window to visit http www.twitter.com. Once there, complete the sign up process. After your account has been created, return to the General Settings screen and then enter your Twitter username into the textbox.
You may have noticed a severe hampering of many Internet services over the weekend. The culprit was a rare, but yet heavy-duty, outage of Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) cloud storage. S3 is used by many companies, including Twitter, WordPress.com, FriendFeed, and SmugMug, to name a few. Even more individuals are using S3 for online data backup or for small projects requiring always-on virtual disk space. Startups often use S3 due to the always on storage, defacto CDN, and the inexpensive nature of the service it really is cheap Thus was the case for many companies using S3. Depending on the use of S3, and if the companies had failover to other caches, some companies were affected more than others. Twitter, for instance, uses S3 for avatar storage but had no other cold cache for that data rendering a service without user images bad, but not deadly. This is the basic principle of IT enterprise computing that is lost on so much of the web world. If companies have built and scaled...
There is literally a plugin for almost anything you want to achieve in WordPress. A quick glance at the WordPress Plugin Directory will show you just how many options are available. Admin, Ajax, Comments, Google, Posts, Sidebar, Twitter, and Widgets are all so very well represented that finding the right one can be a full-time gig. Twitter alone has over 200 plugins dedicated to pulling, pushing, and searching through its masses of data. However, before we can auto-tweet a post, or dynamically interleave links to Amazon products, we have to comprehend how a plugin works, and more importantly, how to install and activate them on our blog.
contactmethods 'twitter' 'Twitter Name (no )' contactmethods 'phone' 'Phone Number' contactmethods 'title' 'Title' Remove AIM, Yahoo IM, Google Talk Jabber unset( contactmethods 'aim' ) unset( contactmethods 'yim' ) unset( contactmethods 'jabber' ) Make it go return contactmethods
Screenr, which launched in 2009, is a Twitter-integrated screencast recording and hosting site. The advantage over other hosts, such as YouTube, is that no screencast software is required it's built in. You only need to log in, press record, and Screenr will do the rest Note that videos are, at the time of writing, limited to five minutes in length.
Now that you have your blog loaded chock-full of juicy content, it's time to help your readers share it. Just one amazing post, the right reader, and the tools to re-tweet, post to Facebook, or share on StumbleUpon, can turn your blog into an overnight sensation. How to let Twitter users share your blog posts
Connecting WordPress to other social media is one of the hottest areas of plugin development these days and it's hard to keep up with new offerings. In Lesson 24 I talked about how easy it is to display your latest Tweets on your WordPress site and plugins are available that can help make it even easier. Visitors can share what they've found on your WordPress site if you install one of several multifunction plugins. Through a single button visitors can share your content by instant message, e-mail, social bookmark, or posting to Facebook or Twitter. Three of the simplest plugins that do this are Add to Any, ShareThis, and Add This. Some plugins target specific social networking tools. Twitter is hot right now and more and more plugins like the TweetMeme Button are becoming available. What's nice about this plugin is that it sits at the top of each post encouraging people to Tweet about the post, with a bubble showing how many people have already done that. The other group of social...
The team over at Automattic drew their inspiration for this group blog theme from Twitter. While they liked what Twitter had to offer, they found themselves wanting more. Specifically, they wanted a way to send internal updates about what they were doing or working on as well as a way to post private messages that would only be visible to certain groups. It was for those reasons that they developed the Prologue theme.
Another reason for collecting different information into one site is simply about how easy it is for others to find that information. For example, if your site functions as a family grapevine or business news aggregator it could be difficult for a family member or a possible client to keep tabs on all the different locations that you participate in. If you tweet about your baby's first steps, will your mom ever see it Does she even know what Twitter is Well, she probably does now that Oprah is on it, but can she keeps tabs on all the different places this news could be broadcast In the same vein, how will clients know to check your latest YouTube promotional video if they do not know it is even available Collecting this information into a primary source brings all these different data points in front of your audience's eyes. And in the end, it drives traffic to your site rather than away from it, because your site becomes the one true source. This is a classic long tail'' content...