Facebook, Themes, Twitter, WordPress

Keyring River: A new WordPress theme to complement Keyring Social Importers

It’s no secret that I use Keyring and Keyring Social Importers to import my activity on third-party services into a WordPress blog. All of my Facebook posts and photos, Twitter updates, foursquare checkins, and Reddit comments and submissions are archived in a single location; this makes it simple to see a snapshot of my online life at any point in time. I’ve even imported my IM chat transcripts from over a decade ago.

I’ve long been searching for the perfect WordPress theme to showcase all of this data. Typical blog themes didn’t work because each “post” needed different styling based on the service it came from, so it was unlikely that I was going to find what I needed already built for me.

But then, I came across an effort by David Hariri to build a non-WordPress lifestreaming product called River. While I’m already committed to using WordPress, his frontend design was exactly what I had been looking for. Luckily, David’s project is open source and MIT-licensed, so I was able to use his design and adapt it to a WordPress theme. With that, I present Keyring River:


Keyring River is a new WordPress theme coded specifically to complement Keyring Social Importers. It’s feature-poor and purposefully so; there are no sidebars, no footers, no menus, no comments — just a search box and a list of activity. For maximum enjoyment, install Jetpack and activate the Infinite Scroll module so that you can scroll infinitely into your online history. See it in action on my example lifestream blog, where I’ve imported my Twitter and Reddit history.

The timestamp on each entry links to the single-item view in WordPress, and the logo links to the item on the service it was originally posted on. Amuse yourself by scrolling back a couple of years, finding an interesting Facebook post, and reviving discussion on it!

Keyring River currently supports posts imported by the following plugins:

…and of course, regular WordPress posts.

Download Keyring River from Github, and let me know if you put it into practice. Taking ownership of your data is important, and more importantly, it’s fun!

Facebook, Programming, WordPress

Export your Facebook posts to WordPress

I’m a big proponent of owning the data that you create. I use WordPress (of course) wherever I blog, and I use the Keyring Social Importers plugin to make backup copies of my Twitter updates and Foursquare checkins. And as of today, I am also syncing my Facebook updates back to a private WordPress blog using Keyring Social Importers.

Not familiar with Keyring Social Importers? That’s too bad, it’s amazing. Install it, and within minutes, you can be importing data from any one of a dozen sites to your blog. Remember all of that data you put into Myspace/Jaiku/Bebo/Pownce and how it disappeared when the site shut down? Wouldn’t it have been nice to be able to save a copy of all of that? That’s what Keyring Social Importers makes possible.

There’s no built-in Facebook importer in Keyring Social Importers, so I wrote one. You can use it to save copies of your Facebook photos, photo albums, and status updates to an easy-to-browse (and easy to share) WordPress blog.

To use the Facebook importer, install Keyring Social Importers, copy the keyring-importer-facebook.php file into wp-content/plugins/keyring-social-importers/importers/, and then visit Import > Facebook to get started. Let me know what you think.

Note: I’ve only tested the importer on my own account, so it’s possible that it won’t be perfect. All imported data is set to private, just to be safe. Patches and bug reports are welcome.

Facebook, Selena Gomez

My BFF Selena Gomez

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been getting occasional IMs and e-mails from what I can only assume are tween-age girls, asking if I work for Facebook. (“I need to talk to Facebook Team about something important, very important.”) I mostly ignored the emails, assuming that some version of a “facebook employee” Google search ended up at my site, prompting these kids to think that I work there.

However, the most recent e-mail I received included this line:

“I see your email on Sezzer Gomez’s photos. Are you Christopher Finke, the facebook team??”

This piqued my curiousity, so I did a search for “Sezzer Gomez,” assuming it was a blogger somewhere that had posted an image that contained my email address. It turns out that “Sezzer” is short for “Selena,” as in Disney tween idol Selena Gomez. My search led me to this Facebook page, for “The Official Sezzer Gomez,” who, in a bid to prove that she/he is actually Selena Gomez, posted a poorly photoshopped letter from Facebook that purported to be written by me (but strangely, was signed by Mark Howitson, one of Facebook’s lawyers). (The letter was photoshopped from the takedown notice I received from Facebook a couple of years ago.)

The contents of the letter are hilarious:

“We’ve received a complain up straight to your phone, that since you’ve joined Facebook, all of your accounts got either hacked or deleted for our system.”

Sounds legit to me; I know that when I joined Facebook, I too had all of my accounts hacked and/or deleted from Facebook’s system. Straight up to my phone!

P.S. “Straight up to my phone” is the new “Word to your mother.”

Facebook, iPhone, Mahalo, Programming

Want to make some money?

Can you write Facebook or iPhone Apps? Do you like money? If so, have I got a deal for you:

We’re looking for some help building out our iPhone and Facebook applications for Mahalo Answers. If you know of any great developers who have done a really solid application for either platform (or who are looking to make a name for themselves doing one), please have them email me at jason@mahalo.com and cc mark@mahalo.com. — Jason Calacanis, CEO Mahalo.com

Tell them Finke sent you; readers of this blog are known ’round the world to be persons of solid character and intellectual fortitude, so you should definitely identify yourself as such.

Cease and Desist, Facebook, Facebook Image-to-Email, Facebook Scavenger


I received this lovely letter from Facebook’s lawyers earlier today. The key points are transcribed below:

“Dear Mr. Finke:

I am writing you concerning the Firefox extensions you posted at:

  1. www.chrisfinke.com/addons/facebook-image-to-email and
  2. www.chrisfinke.com/addons/facebook-scavenger

These plug-ins are deeply concerning to Facebook because, among other things, they violate Facebook’s trademark rights, its Terms of Service, the security of the site and Facebook user privacy. For example, the facebook-image-to-email extensions permits people to circumvent Facebook security measures that protect user privacy and the scavenger extension allows people to harvest data off the site in contravention of the Terms of Service and also infringes upon user privacy. […]

I insist that you immediately take down the extensions listed above. […]


Mark Howitson
Deputy General Counsel”

Browser Add-ons, Del.icio.us, Facebook, Mahalo, Mahalo Share, Mozilla Firefox, Pownce, StumbleUpon, Twitter

Mahalo Share Goes to 11

One of the latest things I’ve been working on at Mahalo is Mahalo Share. It’s a utility that automatically posts links that you want to share to 11 different services: del.icio.us, Facebook, Twitter, Jaiku, your Tumblr blog, Ma.gnolia, Faves, Pownce, Mahalo, StumbleUpon, and/or Google Bookmarks.

Mahalo Share dialog box

All of this cross-posting is done behind the scenes using various APIs, so there aren’t additional popup windows to fill out for each service. We’ll be adding more services as they’re requested.

Facebook, TOS, Wikia Search

Wikia Search violates Facebook’s TOS

Today is not going well for Wikia Search. After launching to less-than-stellar reviews, it has been discovered that they are violating Facebook’s TOS with their “Invite from Social Networks” feature.

Here’s how the feature works: you select “Facebook” from the list of networks and enter your username and password.


Wikia Search then goes off and scrapes your Facebook profile page for a list of your friends and presents you with a display of these friends (hotlinking their profile images from Facebook’s servers, no less), allowing you to check which ones you’d like to invite to Wikia Search:


After you finish with that, it uses your login information again to send a Facebook message to the friends that you checked, appearing to be one written personally by you:

“Christopher sent you a message.

Subject: Search Wikia

I found this great new site called Search Wikia. Go here http://alpha.search.wikia.com/account/addaccount.html to create your account. I am already a member there. Check it out. Christopher Finke”

The problem with all of this is that it blatantly violates these portions of Facebook’s TOS:

“You agree not to use the Service or the Site to: […]

  • harvest or collect […] contact information of other users from the Service or the Site by electronic or other means for the purposes of sending unsolicited emails or other unsolicited communications
  • use automated scripts to collect information from or otherwise interact with the Service or the Site”

You’d think that with the whole Plaxo/Robert Scoble fiasco last week, Wikia Search would have considered removing this feature before launch to avoid the inevitable backlash when their users start getting banned from Facebook after using this feature.