Archive for Software

Why Your Twitter Links Stopped Working

I have been working on some code for a site that’s integrating a lot of social media links, and everything was going swimmingly until I noticed that the “Post to Twitter links were no longer working.

It turns out Twitter has made a few changes, but the fix was very easy.

All that was required to fix up the links was to replace instances of

http://twitter.com/home?status=

with

http://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=

So.. begin with a call to the twitter javascript, so that your links will pop up in a nice neat window:

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”></script>

Then, if you’re using PHP, you’ll want to get the variable that defines the current page:

<?php $pageURL = $_SERVER[“SERVER_NAME”].
$_SERVER[“REQUEST_URI”]; ?>

 

And then finally, you can put that variable into your twitter link:

<a href=”http://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=your+text+here+http%3A%2F%2F<?php echo $pageURL; ?>”>

And, YAY! It works.

 

Offering event registration from WordPress

If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know I’m working on a local business networking site in WordPress.

To handle event registration, I checked out a few different plugins, and finally decided on Events Manager 2.0. It’s a very slick plugin that not only allows people to RSVP for events, but also ensures only the right number of seats are available, it sends confirmation emails, and produces a nice printable report of who has bought tickets.

Configure Emails

It isn’t exactly what I need, but it’s a solid place to start hacking.

My first job was to turn the single field “seats” into “member tickets” and “non-member” tickets, make sure that the new fields show up in all the right places, and recode a few things to make sure they get added up in the calculations to determine how many tickets are left to be sold.

Hacked Registration Form

I also added two new admin and database fields for the prices of member and non-member tickets for each event.

Today I’m working on a Paypal integration for the registration process. Once the user has decided how many member/non member tickets to buy, I want to send them to a page where they can either print off the invoice and pay by cheque, or click a link to connect to Paypal.

Once I’m done hacking this plugin, it’s on to user registrations on the site, which looks like it could be a beast!

[evening edit]

And by golly I’ve done it. It ain’t pretty so far, and I need to make the paypal and addresses and such customizable, but the hack was successful….

invoice

Free/Low Cost Social Networking Scripts

A friend and client of mine asked me about SNEmpire today. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but a quick Google I discovered it’s a $500 social networking script. The sales page actually looks pretty good, but I went to one of the sites running the software (imsocialize.com) and was less than impressed by the user interface presented there.

Instead of recommending a buy, I pointed my friend to several open source social networking scripts that might server her needs:

Dolphin
The demo site and the showcase of sites running this script are very impressive.

Elgg
This looks like another contender. It’s got a pretty basic interface, but from a user standpoint, the simplicity is great.

Mahara
Mahara is a little less like Facebook, and a little more like LinkedIn. If your users are all about business and achievements, this might be the best solution for you.

Insoshi
A bit basic, but like Elgg, it’s got lots of potential.

PHPizabi
A great looking site right out of the box.

While each of these will require some customization, and they don’t come with tutorials, and maybe that makes all the difference to my friend. But making sure the foundation of my business — the software — is rock solid would be more important to me than spending time on the customization and learning curve were I planning a social networking site.