Automating My Blog Feeds to Facebook 2

And so for some detail.

There are a number on online integration tools available. Perhaps the most famous is IFTTT – “If This Then That”. Certainly it is worth looking at for anyone who wants to take something happening in one place on the web, and transform it to another thing. Like, perhaps, if someone rings my (internet connected) doorbell, then flash my (internet connected) lights.

In order of preference, my three tools are:

Integromat
Zapier
IFTTT

Everything is dependent on the integration tools having pathways to and from the things you are trying to integrate, and they are not all equal. So although I may prefer Integromat, I might find myself using Zapier or even IFTTT, because they can get at what I am trying to affect.

In this case, both Zapier and Integromat could both handle WordPress (where the data was coming from) and Facebook Groups (where it is going to), so I decided to use Integromat. But then I found I couldn’t actually connect it to my WordPress. I should be able to, and I have done so in the past, but I was getting strange auth errors, even though I was following instructions. So I move to Zapier and set up my Food Adventure integration.

Then I realised that Integromat could also handle RSS feeds, which both my blogs have. This meant it could pick up new posts I made without the need for a special user being set up or plugins being present. I tested this with filklore.com (my personal blog) and was successful. So then I deleted my work for Food Adventure in Zapier, and set both integrations up, side by side.

The Food Adventure integration is easy. When I post something to the FA blog, it takes the details via RSS, and posts the summary and a link to the original post to the Food Adventure Facebook Group.

For filklore.com, it is a bit more complicated. I wanted anything to do with Katie the beagle to go to her own Facebook group, and anything else that I should write about goes to a new group created for this purpose. This was done by creating a new WordPress post category – Beagle Blog – and filtering by that in Integromat.

It works like a charm. I have Integromat polling both RSS feeds every hour (for the free account, you could do it every 15 mins, but Integromat measures your usage by the number of operations per month, and even an empty poll is an operation. With these two integrations polling every hour during daytime hours, I should be able to keep it well within the free account. Although if I want to introduce integration for Posh Games, I may need to pay (the free account only allows for two “live” integrations now). But it is £9 a month, so if I end up paying for it, I’ll make sure I get my money’s worth.