This is a simple announcement to point out (and explain) two new features added to this site. First, each singular post now has a “Recommend” button which will allow anyone to quickly reblog a snippet of the post to its Facebook wall, so it can be share among friends (if your settings allow it). Second, Aphelis now has a Facebook Page.
It’s an ongoing experimentation: in I couple of months, I’ll decide if keep those modifications or discard them. For a more detailed explanation, keep reading.
The “Recommend” button appears at the bottom of a blog entry (or post) on its permanent webpage (you can access the permanent webpage of a post by clicking on its title). It won’t be displayed in the RSS feed, nor will it be on the home page (aphelis.net).
The “Recommend” button behave exactly as the “Like” button: exact same function, different words. From The Facebook Blog:
When you click “Like” or “Recommend,” the button turns darker to indicate that you like or recommend something and are making a public connection to it. Back on Facebook, a story will post to your profile and may appear in your friends’ News Feeds in the same way as if you had liked something on Facebook. You can click “Like” again if you wish to remove the like. (“Answers to Your Questions on Personalized Web Tools”)
To some, the difference in the wording (“like” or “recommend”) may not matter that much. It does to me, as well as to others. For a quick overview of the discussion, one can read a piece by Joshua Benton from the Nieman Journalism Lab: “‘Like,’ ‘share,’ and ‘recommend’: How the warring verbs of social media will influence the news’ future”.
The snippet one gets by clicking the “Recommend” button is composed of the following parts: title and permanent link to the post, a short description (first 200 words of the post), the source (Aphelis) and, if available, a miniature version of the first image display in the post (if there isn’t any picture, it will display a quotation mark). See example below (a magnified screen capture).
This is how Facebook “scrap” a page using Open Graphic Protocol and it is how RSS Graffiti renders it in a user “News Feed”. You won’t have to configure anything: it’s all automatic (or rather, it’s all in the hand of developers).
Finally, there’s a link on the upper left corner of this blog to Aphelis’ Facebook Page. The wall is the default landing page: it displays Aphelis’ recent posts. By clicking on the “Like” button of a Facebook Page, one choose to “follow” it. It’s a little bit like subscribing to an RSS feed. If you use Facebook a lot, it’s a way to easily keep an eye on what is posted here, on Aphelis, without the hassle (so to speak) of having to open a browser and visit the site.
If you were to choose and follow Aphelis’ Facebook Page, a snippet of each post would appear on the “News Feed” column of your Facebook profile (see Facebook Help Center: How News Feed works). The snippet will be very similar to the one you get by “Recommending” a single post.
There are two main differences between “Recommending” a single post and “Liking” Aphelis’ Facebook Page. 1) If you choose to “Like” Aphelis’ Page, you’ll automatically get a snippet for each and every post published here until you decide to unlike the Page (see Facebook Help Center: “How do I unlike something?”). Whereas you manually have to “Recommend” a single post.
2) Depending on your settings, those snippets shouldn’t appear on your wall. The idea is that you can follow this blog without forcing its content to each one of your friends. Only posts that you “Recommend” will be displayed on your wall and shared with friends (if your settings allow it). For more information about what it means to “Like” a Facebook Page, see the Help Center: “What does it mean to “Like” a Page or content off of Facebook?”.
Aside from the Facebook Page I created for this site, I’m not a Facebook user. If something is not behaving like you think it should, feel free to drop me a line.