• Facebook bleg

    Problem solved. See the update at the end of the post.

    Thanks to Adrianna, TIE has a new Facebook page.* It’s very nice, and you should like it. But one thing you’ll notice is that every post is accompanied by a Google Plus icon, like so:

    FB Gplus

    Initially, we had Twitter linked directly to a Facebook account to push posts to the TIE Facebook page. However, several months ago, the “push” mostly stopped working.** Disconnecting and reconnecting the accounts did not work. Now, we have a roundabout push set up through IFTTT (when the TIE bot tweets, it generates a Facebook post).***

    The ubiquitous G+ icon is dumb (in the context of TIE posts on Facebook), and we hate it, but we haven’t found a way to fix it. What we suspect is going on is that Facebook is grabbing the first image on each post’s page, which happens to be the G+ icon next to my name in the left hand sidebar (which itself goes to my G+ page). We’ve tried a solution described here,** but it isn’t working. (Oddly, it worked exactly twice, but no more.) We’ve considered this plugin, but it is not longer updated and supported.

    There’s got to be a way to fix this problem — and it is probably a common one — but how? The comments are open. Only submissions relevant to helping us solve this problem will be approved.

    * Technically, we didn’t have an old page. Instead, TIE was represented on Facebook through NetworkedBlogs, which had its own issues.

    **Austin actually managed to correct the G+ problem for the direct push from Twitter (as described in the second reference to this footnote — keep reading and you’ll get to it). However, only about one in ten posts would actually get pushed. When we switched to IFTTT, the G+ problem came back.

    *** Adrianna understands this (and she wrote this paragraph), but Austin doesn’t.

    UPDATE: The problem appears to be fixed. Major thanks to Yevgeniy Feyman for his help. The solution was to put the following just below the <body> tag in our page.php (putting it in a widget at the top of the left-hand sidebar probably would work too, but we didn’t try it): <img src=”[path to image we want Facebook to pick up]” style=”visibility:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:-10000;”/>

    @afrakt

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    • Would it work to put an image in the header title, to the left of “The Incidental Economist”? (Assuming WordPress lets you do that…)

    • This might not be the type of solution you are looking for, but there is a Facebook app called RSS Graffiti (basic version is free) that can use your RSS feed to publish your posts directly to facebook.

      Just wanted to throw that out there as an idea. I used it to link my blog to my blog’s facebook page before I got too inundated with work and life and stopped blogging.