Plugins, Programming, Reddit, WordPress

Import your Reddit activity into WordPress

I try to maintain a copy of all of my social media activity in a single WordPress-powered archive. Twitter, Facebook, foursquare, Reddit, Usenet, chat logs: all searchable in one place via a single search box. Or, I can just scroll back in time, using Jetpack’s Infinite Scroll module. It’s heavenly.

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 12.09.02 AM

To import my activity from third-party services, I use Keyring Social Importers. Keyring Social Importers ships with support for a handful of services, but not Reddit, so I’ve written a WordPress plugin that adds support for importing comments and submissions from Reddit.

The plugin (“Reddit for Keyring”) is available at Github. (Make sure you install Keyring and Keyring Social Importers first.) After installing it, use it like any of the other Keyring Social Importers. Submissions (both link and text) and comments will be imported and saved as posts.

Let me know if you use it; bug reports are welcome in the comments below or in the Github project.

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AOL, Plugins, Programming, WordPress

Import your chat transcripts into WordPress

Problem: You have years’ worth of chat (AIM/MSN/Adium/IRC) transcripts saved on your computer, and you’d love to stroll down memory lane and reread some of them, but how? Manually open each one in your browser or chat program?? There’s got to be a better way!

Solution: Install IM-porter, the WordPress plugin that imports your instant message transcripts to your WordPress blog so you can read through conversations from ages past just as easily as you browse the archives of a blog.

After activating the plugin, visit Tools > Import > Chat Transcripts. Then, you can upload a single transcript or a ZIP of transcripts.

IM-porter currently supports transcripts from:

  • AOL Instant Messenger
  • MSN Messenger
  • Adium
  • Colloquy

but you can extend it to parse other formats too. (See the README.)

Imported posts are given the chat post format, and you have the option of tagging them with the participants’ usernames, making them public or private, and adding them to a category.

The IM-porter configuration screen.

After they’re imported, chats will look something like this:

A chat imported by IM-porter

The output may not be perfect (the output will not be perfect), but the original raw transcript is saved as post meta so the post can be updated if you want or fixed by a later version of IM-porter.

If you want to style your chats like AIM used to display them (like in the screenshot I included), you can use this CSS:

.post.format-chat .entry-content p {
	margin-bottom: 0 !important;
}

.post.format-chat .entry-content span {
	color: #00f;
	font-weight: bold;
}

.post.format-chat .entry-content span.participant-1 {
	color: #f00;
}

.post.format-chat .entry-content span time {
	font-size: x-small;
}

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Ideas, Plugins, Programming, WordPress, Writing

Inline Preview Plugin for WordPress

Problem: When creating a post in WordPress, previewing your post in a separate tab can be slow and/or complicated.

Solution: Show the preview right next to the editor.

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 1.32.59 PM

Inline Preview is a plugin for WordPress that adds a zoomed out preview of the current post next to the post editor when the user clicks Preview instead of opening in a new tab.

It’s just an idea I’m playing with for streamlining the post creation process, and if it feels familiar, it’s probably because it is: through version 2.1, WordPress contained a preview iframe at the bottom of the post editing screen, but this is a more elegant implementation. Feel free to install the plugin and try it out for yourself.

Update: I’ve updated the plugin to add a close button (a translucent “X” in the upper-right of the preview) and to make the preview frame resizable by dragging its left edge. The new width of the preview is persistent each time it opens, even across pageloads.

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Formategory, Plugins, WordPress

Formategory: A WordPress Plugin Four Years in the Making

You may recall (but you probably don’t) that four years ago, I was looking for a WordPress plugin that would let me add a postscript to all of the posts in a given category. I wrote a simple proof-of-concept at that time, called it Formategory (“Format” by “category”), and left it to simmer in my subconscious.

Well, you can stop holding your breath, because even though I forgot about it for three years and eleven months, I’ve finished the first version and uploaded it for you to use! Here’s a screenshot of the template editing screen:

The editing screen for a category template.

A full description and usage instructions are on the Formategory homepage, but if you’re one of those people who would rather trial-and-error your way through it than read the manual first, here’s how you can get started:

  1. Search for “Formategory” in the “Add new plugin” screen on your WordPress dashboard and install it from there.

or

  1. Download the .zip file from Extend.
  2. Choose “Add New” from the “Plugins” menu in your WordPress dashboard
  3. Upload the .zip file.

Activate it, click the new “Category Templates” link in your dashboard’s menu, and create your first template.

Translators: formategory.po is included in the /languages/ directory if you’d like to translate Formategory. Thanks to Andrew Kurtis from WebHostingHub for providing the es-ES translation. To ensure that Formategory is displayed in your language, follow the instructions at WordPress in Your Language.

By the way, this post about Formategory is using Formategory to auto-add the download link for Formategory to the end of this post. Formetagory, am I right?

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Formategory, Plugins, WordPress

Wanted: WordPress Post Template Plugin

I’m in need of a WordPress plugin that lets you specify a template for posts based on their category. For example, I might want to postscript all of my posts about URL Fixer with a link to the most recent version, or prefix an explanation about what exactly “Mozilla” is to my Firefox posts.

I haven’t found one that does what I want, so I’ve started writing it myself. It’s tentatively named Formategory (Format + Category), and it is currently responsible for all of my Toby posts bearing the “Toby is unsupported” postscript.

Other possible uses:

  • Define a custom background image for posts based on their category.
  • Add a byline by categorizing posts on a multi-author blog with the author’s name: “Joe Smith is a freelancer from Biloxi, Mississippi.”

If anyone knows of something out there that already does this, please let me know.

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Feed Statistics, Plugins, WordPress

Feed Statistics WordPress Plugin Updated

I’ve updated the Feed Statistics WordPress Plugin (now at version 1.3.1) to be more compatible with WordPress 2.3 and to fix some bugs from the previous version’s clickthrough tracking.

To install this plugin:

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Feed Statistics, Plugins, WordPress

Feed Statistics plugin updated again

So, the last update to the Feed Statistics WordPress plugin left a bad taste in the mouths of more than a few people. I admit that it wasn’t my best work. However, I’ve fixed the problems in version 1.2 and have released version 1.3. No new features, but now the features from 1.2 should actually work.

To install this plugin:

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Feed Statistics, Plugins, RSS, WordPress

Feed Statistics 1.2: Monitor your most popular feeds

I’ve updated the Feed Statistics plugin for WordPress to version 1.2; this update adds a “Top Feeds” page where you can see what the most popular feeds for your website are (e.g., main feed, category feeds, different feed formats). It shows a list of all of the feed URLs that your subscibers are requesting, and how many people are requesting each feed.

Top Feeds List

(Note: if you’re already running the plugin, this page will take some time to fully populate.)

This release also includes a fix proposed in the comments section by Nathan Pralle to better detect all of the different ways that feeds are accessed. Thanks Nathan!

To install this plugin:

  • If you installed an earlier version, download the zip file of the latest version here, and overwrite feed-statistics.php in your blog’s wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  • If you’re downloading it for the first time, just copy it to that directory and activate it from the Plugin administration menu.
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