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ToySoldiersUnite
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Feb 5, 2013 - 2:32 pm

One of the greater issues our website/organization has, is facebook group vs the forums. More often than not users will favour one over the other, and bloody well get pissy at the admins (myself and two others) saying there's no activity.

Before we discovered Simplepress, we'd been looking at vBulletin (glad we didn't go with them in the end) mainly for one particular feature, which was the ability to create a Facebook App that would essentially mirror/integrate the forum.

So if when someone installs the app on their facebook, they automagically sign up to our own forums, and vice versa.

Using the app on facebook, they can browse the forums, post and reply, without actually going to the website where the forums are hosted (I know, I know, trust me, I've had numerous discussions about this with my team, and we've come to the conclusion that the predominant number of our users are just plain lazy).

They wouldn't neccesarily need access to stuff in their profiles, or PM's or anything like that, just the forums.

So, A) is it doable? and B) might it be a plugin in the future?

If I've explained it poorly, I poke you in the direction of http://www.vbulletin.com/vb4-add-ons/

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Yellow Swordfish
Glinton, England
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Feb 5, 2013 - 2:48 pm

(That vBulletin link was a bit of a surprise. 'Branding Free'... so not only do you have to pay for vBulletin but you then need to fork out a further $169 just to remove their logo? Wow. I know we have instituted paid support here but that is just outrageous.) Anyway - back to the question...

It's just me on duty tonight and I am afraid I am going to dodge this question and ask Steve to answer when he gets back. This is because I loathe and detest FaceBook so have never got to grips with how it works or looked into it's API. Steve al least knows more about it than I do so best I pass it over to him.

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ToySoldiersUnite
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Feb 5, 2013 - 2:55 pm

Oh believe me, I know exactly how you feel. vBulletin really charges an arm and a leg for something that's only marginally different from phpBB3. Exactly for these reasons we decided to go with simple:press. Perfect balance that works easily with WP.
Facebook drives me insane, and the groups have even less moderation control than bbPress, yet people treat it like a forum. Hence why this would work greatly to our favour. And if it does end up being a customization jobbie, depending on the price, we'll probably go down that route.

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Yellow Swordfish
Glinton, England
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Feb 5, 2013 - 3:05 pm

OK... Steve - over to you. Thoughts on this?

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Brandon
U.S.
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Feb 5, 2013 - 9:12 pm

There is an iframe app on facebook where you could put your forum into an iframe. There may some charge for the app and the forum would have to be themed so that it fit into their size parameters. If you do a search for iframe in fb the iframe app should come up and you can see if that might work for you.

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Mr Papa
Simi Valley, CA
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Feb 6, 2013 - 8:33 pm

the easiest way to get forum info into facebook is with an rss feed app...  not sure if there are any that put it into the timeline though - might be separate page...

we have considered and will consider in the future a plugin that does cross posting between the two... biggest problem though is facebook itself.. they have pretty onerous requirements on that and are constantly changing it...  and besides and reasonably busy forum is going to be painfully hard to follow on facebook with its serial structure...

whats more likely in the future from us would be a plugin that takes a new forum topic and cross posts it to facebook... then syncs any facebook comments with additional posts for that topic...  still painful but more possible and potentially could get lift from the WP Social plugin...

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ToySoldiersUnite
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Feb 7, 2013 - 1:18 am

Crossposting and comments in the time line sounds like an extremely messy way of doing it.

the iFrame sounds like the closest idea to what vBulletin has, though I doubt it'll sync up users to the forums. Or rather, people would have to sign up on the forums as well as install the app, which is that little bit more effort than I can usually expect from users.

I'd imagine that were there to be an app hosting/syncing the forums, it'd behave more like a game on facebook, so when a dozen or so posts have been made in the forum, rather than them all appearing seperately in the newsfeed at different times of the day, the notification bar will tell you '12 posts have been made in Forum app'.

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Mr Papa
Simi Valley, CA
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Feb 7, 2013 - 11:25 pm

have you tried Brandon's suggestion and looked for the iframe app?  that would have to be a facebook app and not something we would do...

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ToySoldiersUnite
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Feb 11, 2013 - 3:29 am

Yeah I have. I suppose it's the only route available to us to get the facebook crowd to focus more on using our website than the facebook groups. I'll get our codemonkey to throw some bananas at it. Thanks for your help!

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Yellow Swordfish
Glinton, England
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Feb 11, 2013 - 3:58 am

Please do come back and let us know what you find or manage...

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