Sunday, December 6, 2015

Facebook cross-posting; a plea for help

If you are not a fan of social media or you do not use Facebook, feel free to skip the rest of this blog post, as it concerns only my struggles to get the blog to cross-post there.

I'm posting this here because it will actually reach a wider audience than if I just post it directly on Facebook. While anyone can read this blog, and many whom we have never met personally do, my policy on Facebook is to only accept friend requests from people whom I have met in person, with rare exceptions for specific on-line colleagues. You're not missing anything; I seldom post there except for the automatic cross-posts from this very blog. FWIW, I consider Facebook a privacy nightmare, which is why I use it sparingly and have a very limited number of connections there.

All that said, a number of my Facebook connections do not read this blog directly. They've been getting snippets of updates from us by means of links to these posts, cross-posted there automatically. That's stopped, and I've been banging my head against the wall trying to figure out why and to get it restarted. It's very frustrating, because Facebook is pretty tight-lipped about how anything works on their site. They are also prone to changing things on a whim with little or no notice.

Up until February or so, just before we left for the Bahamas, I had the blog cross-post to my personal Twitter account (another place where anyone at all can follow me), and my tweets there are cross-posted to Facebook automatically. That mechanism was flakey; sometimes posts would be delayed a day or two, sometimes a new post would prompt the re-appearance of several old ones, and sometimes they would not post at all.

I switched to using the Twitterfeed application to automatically post the blog updates to Facebook, and that seemed to be working fine for quite a while. At that same time, I opened a separate Twitter account, @my_Vector, for the boat so that I could keep my personal Twitter feed a bit more organized, and link it to our satellite phone without driving the bill up unnecessarily. The Twitterfeed application also cross-posts these blog posts to the @my_Vector Twitter stream.

For reasons unknown to me, the cross-posts to Facebook stopped working a couple of months ago. Twitterfeed uses authentication tokens provided by Facebook to be able to post on my behalf; I've refreshed the tokens and even deleted and recreated the feed, which at times has worked for a very short while. Just now I asked Facebook to show me everything posted by Twitterfeed, and there is not a single post there, so even the posts from when it was working are all gone. Presumably the comments on those posts are gone as well, which makes me a little sad since our entire time in the Bahamas was posted that way.

Thinking that this is perhaps a problem of some kind with, yesterday I opened an account on Onlywire, a similar cross-posting service. That service is working fine with Twitter (and now two copies of every post are going to Twitter, one via Onlywire, and one via Twitterfeed), but reports that posts to Facebook are "bouncing."

I'm at my wit's end with this. And, mind you, I have a graduate degree in Computer Science. I'd like to get it working, but I'm running out of things to try. So if any of our readers is successfully cross-posting a Blogger blog or similar RSS feed to their Facebook account, and can offer some suggestions, please leave them in the comments or contact me directly.

We now return you to our usual narrative of fixing the boat in interesting locations.


  1. Have you tried You can create recipes of conditions. It's how we do a lot of our cross-posting to multiple social media outlets.

    A lot of folks also use apps like Buffer and Hootsuite to manage their cross postings.

    1. Thanks for chiming in. I've signed up for ifttt and it does appear to be working, although it does not seem to have the option to post a snippet from the entry rather than a fixed bit of text. Also, strangely, people now like my "activity" instead of my "post" so it comes to FB as a different type of entity. FB is a mystery to me sometimes.

      I gave up on Hootsuite long ago due to performance issues, but I'd rather have the crossposts happen automatically anyway and just use the Blogger platform to post them.

      Thanks for your suggestions.


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