I decided to write a very simple plugin for WordPress to help me selectively share posts on Twitter and Facebook. There are lots of plugins like this out there already though, so why write another one? The answer is that none of them met my needs or requirements for how I wanted to share links. The other ones out there are all either too automatic or sophisticated resulting in spammy posts and unwanted analytics. I wanted something more manual. Why?
- Diversity: I have three different blogs: a pretty active personal blog, a moderately active programming blog, and a pretty slow coffee blog. I want to be able to easily post links from any of them.
- Selectivity: I don’t want to share every post. I share most posts on Twitter, but certain kinds of scrapbook or research posts I don’t wish to share at all. Posts that might be a bit on the boring side (or inversely, on the controversial side!) I definitely don’t want to draw attention to on Facebook. I didn’t want something that just read my RSS feed and looked for new data.
- Timing: Most of the time I want to share a post right after it’s finished. But sometimes, I want to wait a few hours or even days to share it. This is especially the case if I write 3-4 posts in one sitting. I don’t want to spam my friends, but maybe dole them out over the following week. Occasionally, I will want to share a post from a year or two ago if it suddenly becomes relevant due to some current event or commentary.
To accomplish this, I was frequently cutting and pasting titles and links between windows, occasionally messing up keystrokes and annoying myself. I tired of that after a year or so. I should have done something about it much earlier!
Nothing quite foot the bill though, so I decided to write my own. The plugin is simply called Simple Share from Admin. In the WordPress administration back-end, it adds a single column to the listing of posts page. Click on “All Posts” on the menu to see this table. There you will find a “Tweet this Post” and a “Share on Facebook” link. Click either one of them and new tab will open up asking you to confirm the action. Twitter will apply its own URL shorter.
That’s it. Your browser must have an active, logged in session with Twitter and/or Facebook for this to work. The back-end API for either service is not used – only simple URLs and query strings. Multiple accounts are of course not supported. If you need something fancier, then this plugin is not for you – go try one of the other ones.
You can download it from the WordPress plugin directory here.