Putting blog updates on Facebook

Some unknown percentage of my Facebook friends are interested in my blog posts. And some other unknown percentage of them would be if they knew what I was posting. There are several ways to get WordPress to put blog post links on Facebook, but some work better than others. I’d like to thank Rob O’Hara for doing 90% of the R&D for me on that, by telling the world about FT Facepress II.

There was just one problem for me: My web server can’t send e-mail.

At least 98% of people have no reason to operate an e-mail server from home. The remainder is mostly weirdos like me running blogs on a computer in the basement as an excuse to keep their Linux skills sharper than a spoon. When Internet providers started blocking SMTP (port 25) to clamp down on people running their own e-mail servers–because most e-mail servers from home addresses are cranking out spam, without the owner’s knowledge or permission–it meant some cool stuff quit working for guys like me.

FT Facepress II is one of those cool things, and one I was increasingly unwilling to do without. Enter another plugin called Configure SMTP, which, despite its name, allows WordPress to use a Gmail account to send out e-mail.

I’m happy to report that Configure SMTP and FT Facepress II work together famously.

You could point Configure SMTP at your everyday Gmail account, but it would be a good idea to create a new Gmail account and use it just for that. Just in case.

There’s more to it than just installing the two plugins, but the user interface and documentation for both is clear and specific. I can’t imagine it taking more than 30 minutes to get them up and running, and some people will be able to accomplish it much faster than that.

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