Implement Twitter Connect with Twit Connect

Implement Twitter Connect, check. This is somewhat old news as Twitter Connect or “Sign in with Twitter” has been out for quite some time via the Twitter API. For some reason it has been slightly quiet about it, not your regular boom-blast and video tutorials that we saw with the Facebook Connect release. It’s understandable though, as Facebook handles a significant higher portion of (personal) data.

I tried the Twit Connect plugin for WordPress to do my implementation. I believe it’s the first of its kind, at least for WordPress, created by Shannon Whitley. He has also written a short tutorial on how you go about implementing Twit Connect on your WordPress site. Sebastien Couture wrote another one on the same topic.

Getting it to work properly is really easy and straight forward. All you need to do is register an application with Twitter to obtain your consumer key and consumer secret. You’ll need this for the plugin settings later. Once you’ve entered all necessary information on the settings page for Twit Connect, you’re good to go. How’s that for out-of-the-box? Oh, if you get a “Can’t open secret file” when you try to save your settings it’s because of the file permissions of the files in your twitconnect folder.

The only negative feedback I have is that it seems to be ‘early beta’ for Twit Connect. It works as intended, sure – but it’s quite messy if you want to modify it in any way. I’m no whizkid when it comes to CSS, and as it’s all integrated in the twitconnect.php – it makes it a bit of a hassle. I’d prefer a separate CSS for the next release! I also wonder if it would be possible to have a Twitter user’s comment tweeted out on Twitter? Similar to wall posting via FB-connect. That’d be neat too.

Anyway, you’ll notice the ‘Sign in with Twitter’-button right below the FB-connect dito in posts now. You can use both to sign in and make comments without entering your details. Try it out!

Facebook Connect, check

It’s about time I mention this, I’ve had a draft laying around for almost 3 months with the title ‘Social Connect’ which referred to the release of Google Connect. Since then, a lot of things have happened in the “open social world”, Facebook launched Facebook Connect, which lets you sign in to an external site using your Facebook identity. This is useful in many ways; obviously people with a Facebook account will never have to register for your site, but it also creates additional sharing (and caring) opportunities.

As an example, if you sign in on Oscar and Friends using your Facebook identity and then make a comment to a post, Facebook Connect will ask whether or not you’d like to publish this comment to your Facebook feed, displaying what you wrote here in your Facebook profile, handy.

This is all made possible thanks to a nifty Facebook engineer named Adam Hupp and his Facebook Connect plugin for WordPress. There’s also another popular WordPress plugin called Sociable! which does the same thing, Sociable! also adds more community effects to your site. I found that the basic (and somewhat official) one is the cleanest and does not interfere too much with your normal ‘business’. There has also been similar plugins developed for a lot of other platforms.

Try it out and publish it to your feed to see what it looks like!