Fouiller dans ses publications Facebook [fr]

[en] So late to the game... just realised that I can easily search my posts on Facebook now by typing things like "my posts about slack" in the search bar.

Ça date, donc j’ai vraiment trois trains de retard, mais si jamais vous êtes dans le même train que moi, voici la bonne nouvelle: on peut faire des recherches dans ses publications Facebook. Et d’après mes premiers tests ça semble marcher pas mal.

Dans la barre de recherche Facebook (que vous utilisez déjà tout le temps, n’est-ce pas?), il suffit de taper l’objet de votre recherche en langage naturel. Exemples:

  • “my posts about skiing”
  • “Stephanie’s photos about Quintus”
  • “my links about slack”

Allez, je retourne me donner des coups de pieds de n’avoir pas réalisé ça plus tôt. Assez impardonnable.

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A Few Tools I Like [en]

[fr] Petite collection d'applications et de services qui valent la peine d'être explorés et utilisés, selon moi.

Quickly, before collapsing in a little sleepy heap, some tools I want to write about here, but am not writing about because I want to do it properly and that takes time, and I never get around to doing it.

So, maybe I’ll talk about them more in detail later on (some of them I already have talked about), but just in case, here are tools or apps I like and would encourage you to look at these days:

That’s it chickens… I might add a few if I’ve forgotten, my bed is calling!

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Real-Time is Burying History on the Web [en]

I am somebody who believes that history is an extraordinarily important asset in trying to understand our present. Unfortunately, when we are too focused on the future, and innovation, and moving ahead, it’s very easily to neglect history.

I’ve seen it as a characteristic of developing countries (sweeping generalization here, stop me if I’m wrong), with the thoughtless chopping down of centenarian trees and bulldozing of historical monuments in Bangalore. What’s important is where we’re going — we don’t really care about where we came from, and in some cases, would rather forget.

And we’re seeing it now in the hyper-technological cutting-edge world of the internet, where web history is being sacrificed on the altar of instant (do read Suw Charman‘s excellent post and then come back here).

A year and a bit ago, the theme of LeWeb’09 in Paris was “Real-Time Web”, and indeed, everybody was a-buzz with everything real-time. So much so that I had to give that year’s official bloggers a little wake-up call (I blogged it later) a day before the conference, because I was hearing increasingly worrisome comments (to my “official bloggers’ mom” ears) along the lines of “well, I actually don’t think I’ll blog much this year, I’ll mainly be tweeting”. I was interviewed about something along the lines of “curating the real-time stream” by my friend Cathy Brooks (there’s a priceless moment in that video, watch it), and overall, everything was about now, now, now, now now nownownownownownow.

I’m tired of real-time.

It feels to me as if we’re driving with our nose in the steering-wheel, never stopping long enough to look behind us and see what road we’re on and where it’s really heading. I’ve noted over the last year or so that a lot of our content is migrating into these real-time flowy presency streamy services, and that some of the precious tools we had to make sense of our online publications are all but dead, like Technorati.

But link rot aside, it’s all still there online. And that makes it all the more frustrating to know that we just don’t have a way of getting to it in a useful way, as Suw describes very well in her article. In response, Reg Chua points out that search is skewed towards speed and the present — a perfect corollary to our obsession with real-time and progress.

My tweets from day 1 (December 8, 2006 with a lot of enthusiasm) are still online somewhere. Here’s the oldest one I could lay my hands on (the podcast in question was Fresh Lime Soda), thanks to the wayback machine (if you go down that alley, note how we get a peek at what early tweeting was like in pre-hashtag times). It makes it all the more maddening that they are impossible to access if I don’t have a link to them. Twitter has them, they’re there, but they’re not organized in a way that makes them of any use.

Sidenote: this blog post is moving from “lack of access to general online history” to “lack of access to personal online history”, which is a subset of the problem.

Within that “personal online history” subset of the problem, let me state that I find it a disgrace that Twitter will not even let its users download a copy of their own data in the service, barring the last 3000 tweets.

I understand the need to restrict access to the huge number of tweets in the database for general use. I get that. But I don’t get why I should not be able to do a one-time download of what I put in the service.

I hate the expression data theft because when you take data, you always leave a copy somewhere (and theft removes the copy), but in this case, this is what it feels like. Twitter has my data and can do stuff with it, and I can’t. That just doesn’t feel right. (And don’t wave the “Twitter is free, don’t complain” argument in my face: just like Suw, I would be more than ready to pay for Twitter as a service, but they won’t let me.)

Away from Twitter and back to our obsession with real-time and what it is doing to our history: where are the online historians? who is going to build the tools we need to dig through the tremendous wealth of data online? the buzzword of 2011 seems to be “curator”: well, we don’t just need curators to avoid getting knocked over by the firehose of the real-time web — we also need curators (preferably machines) to help us organise and sort through our online history.


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5 Lessons in Promoting Events Using Social Media (Back to Basics) [en]

[fr] Leçons apprises lors de la promotion de Going Solo:

  • communiquer directement avec les gens (messagerie instantanée, conversation offline, téléphone) est le mode de communication le plus efficace
  • ne pas négliger l'e-mail, les dossiers de presse, le matériel imprimable: tout le monde ne lira pas le blog ou Twiter
  • rien ne devient automatiquement "viral" parce que c'est sur internet: aider les gens à vous aider à passer l'info, par exemple avec un e-mail "forwardable"
  • aller où sont les gens, les retrouver dans leur communauté (Facebook, MySpace, Rezonance, LinkedIn... partout)
  • ça prend du temps... beaucoup de temps

J'ai été surprise à quel point tout ceci a été difficile pour moi, alors qu'une partie de mon métier consiste à expliquer aux gens comment utiliser les nouveaux médias pour communiquer plus efficacement. Une leçon d'humilité, et aussi un retour à certaines choses basiques mais qui fonctionnent, comme l'e-mail ou le chat. En récompense, par contre, un événement qui a été un succès incontesté, et tout cela sans le soutien des médias traditionnels (pour cause de communiqué de presse un poil tardif) -- mis à part nouvo, qui a répercuté l'annonce, mais qui trouvait que c'était cher!

One of the big lessons I learnt while organising [Going Solo]( is that [promoting and communicating about an event through social media]( requires a huge amount of time and energy. In this post, I’d like to share a few of the very practical things I (re-)discovered.

Even though part of what I do for a living is explain social media and its uses in marketing to my clients, I found it quite a challenge when I actually had to jump in and do it. (Yes, I’m aware this may sound pretty lame. By concentrating on the big picture and the inspiring success stories, one tends to forget some very basic things. Sending managers back to the floor every now and then is a good thing.)

The **main lesson I learnt** is the following:

– **1. The absolute best channel to promote anything is one-on-one personal conversation** with somebody you already have some sort of relationship with.

Any other solution is a shortcut. And [all shortcuts have prices](

This means I ended up spending a lot of time:

– talking to people on IM, IRC, and offline at conferences
– sending out personal messages on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Anytime you do something to spare you this time (like sending out a collective e-mail, writing a blog post, or even tweeting — situations where you’re not adressing one specific individual directly) you dilute what you’re communicating. You open the door to:

– imperfect understanding of what you’re trying to say
– people not feeling like it’s really addressed to them (lack of interest, or lack of awareness that their actions are important to you)
– people simply not seeing it.

I have many examples of this. I created a [page with material people could use to promote Going Solo](, in particular, [blog sidebar badges]( But not many people put them up spontanously, even amongst my friends. But when I started pinging people on IM and asking them if they would please put up a badge to support my event, they did it. They just hadn’t got around to doing it, hadn’t realised that them doing it was important for me, or it had simply slipped their mind. It’s perfectly understandable: it’s “my” event, not theirs.

Another example is when I started sending out my “forwardable e-mails” (lesson #3 is about them), most people stopped at “well, I’m not a freelancer” or “I can’t come”. It took some explaining to make sure they understood that the **main** reason I was sending them the e-mail was that they *might know somebody* who would like to come to the event, or who could blog about it, or help with promoting it. If I spared myself the personal conversation and just sent the e-mail, people were much less likely to really understand what I expected from them, even through it was spelled out in the e-mail itself.

And that was a big secondary lesson I learnt while preparing Going Solo: it’s not because people don’t get back to you, or don’t act, that they aren’t interested or don’t want to. The burden is on you to make it as easy as possible for them to help you.

Let’s continue on to the next lessons.

– **2. Blogs and Twitter are essential, but don’t neglect less sexy forms of communication: newsletter, press release, printable material.**

The first thing I did for Going Solo was to create [a blog]( and a [Twitter account]( Getting a blog and Twitter account off the ground isn’t easy, and it took quite a lot of one-on-one communication (see lesson #1) (and [blogging here on CTTS]( to get enough people to link to them so that they started taking off.

But the lesson here is that **not everybody is on Twitter, and not everbody reads blogs**. We highly-connected types tend to forget that. It didn’t take me that long to get the feeling that I had “exhausted” my immediate, social-media-enabled network — meaning that all the people who knew me directly had heard what I was talking about, linked to stuff if they were going to, or registered for the event if they were interested.

So, here are some less “social media cutting-edge” forms of communication I used, most of them very late in the process (earlier next time):

– [an e-mail newsletter](
– [printable (and printed) posters](
– a [press release]( and other “old media focused” material

Some comments.

Our press release came out so late that we got no coverage at all from traditional media, bar [one exception](, which focused on how expensive the event was. This means Going Solo Lausanne is a great case study of successful event promotion entirely through social media.

When I [created the newsletter](, I spent a lot of time following lesson #1 and inviting people personally to sign up, through IM most of the time. I sent out invitations through the Google Groups interface, of course (to the extent that I got [flagged as a potential spammer]( But I also went through the process of inviting people directly through IM.

A word of warning about newsletters: don’t *add* people to your newsletter unless you’ve checked beforehand that they were OK with it, or if you have a *very* good reason to do so (they are the speakers/attendees for your event) — but even then, it can be risky. I was recently added to a bunch of mailing-lists without having asked for it, rather than invited, and I find it really annoying. It’s way more impolite to unsubscribe from a newsletter than refuse an invitation to subscribe, so adding people can put them in an embarrassing situation (be impolite vs. be annoyed at getting newsletters one doesn’t want).

– **3. Don’t expect “viral” or “[organic](” spreading of your promotion to happen, but prepare the field so it can: the forwardable e-mail.**

There is so much talk about the fact that social media allows things to *spread* all by themselves (and indeed, there is an important potential for that, and when it happens, it’s very powerful) — that we tend to expect it to happen and be disappointed when it doesn’t. And let’s face it, it’s not something that we can control (sorry for stating the obvious again, I’m doing that a lot in this post) and it takes quite a bit of skill to create the right conditions so that it *may* happen.

So, now that we’ve set our expectations, what can be done to *help things spread*? I mentioned having exhausted my immediate network higher up, so I needed to come up with a solution which would help me reach beyond it. How could I get my friends to mention Going Solo to *their* friends?

Of course, our use of social media in general allows that. Blogs, Facebook Groups and Events, sidebar badges… all this is material which *can* spread. But again — what about the people who aren’t bathing in social media from morning to evening?

**Back to basics: e-mail.** E-mail, be it under the shape of a newsletter, a discussion list, or simple personal messages, has a huge advantage over other forms of online communication: you’re sure people know how to use it. It’s the basic, level 0 tool that anybody online has and understands.

So, I started sending out e-mail. A little bit of *push* is good, right? I composed a rather neutral e-mail explaining what Going Solo was about, who it was for, giving links to more information, and a call to action or two. I then sent this impersonal text to various people I knew, with a personal introduction asking them to see if they knew anybody who could be interested in information about this event, and inviting them to forward the message to these people. Nothing extraordinary in that, right?

I of course applied lesson #1 (you’re starting to know that one, right?) and tried as much as possible to check on IM, beforehand, if it was OK for me to send the “forwardable e-mail” to each person. So, basically, no mass-mailing, but an e-mail written in such a way that it was “forwardable” in a “here’s what my friend Steph is doing, could interest you” way, which I passed along as a follow-up to a direct chat with each person.

In a more “social media” spirit, of course, make sure that any videos you put online can easily be shared and linked to, etc. etc — but that will be pretty natural for anybody who’s familiar with blogging and “being online”.

– **4. Go where people are. Be everywhere.**

Unless your event is already very well known, you need to go to people, and not just wait for them to come to you. If you’ve set up a blog, Twitter account, newsletter, then you have a place where people can come to you. But that’s not enough. You need to [go where people are](

– Facebook
– Upcoming
– LinkedIn
– Xing
– MySpace
– Pownce
– Seesmic
– Existing communities big and small… (blogs, forums, chatrooms)

Again, this is a very basic principle. But it’s not because it’s basic that it’s invalidated by the magic world of social media. Where you can create an event, create an event (Upcoming, Facebook, Pownce, Rezonance — a local networking thingy); where you can create a group, create a group — I waited a lot before creating a [Facebook group for Going Solo](, because I had a [fan page for it]( already, but as you can see the group worked much better.

– **5. It’s a full-time job.**

Honestly, I didn’t think I’d spend *weeks* doing nothing else but send e-mails, update Facebook pages, blog, send e-mails, talk to people, IM, tweet, e-mail again… to promote Going Solo. It’s a huge amount of work. It’s so much work that one could imagine having somebody full time just to do it. So when you’re (mainly) a one-person shop, it’s important to plan that a significant amount of your time might be spent on promotion. It’s easy to underestimate that (I did, and in a major way).

Working this way doesn’t scale. At some point, one-on-one communication takes up too much time and energy to compensate for the benefits it brings over more impersonal forms of communication. But that only happens once your event is popular enough. Before you’ve held your first event (which was the situation I was in with Going Solo Lausanne), you don’t have a community of advocates for your work, you don’t have fans (you might have personal fans, but not fans of your event) or passionate attendees ;-), you don’t have other people doing your work for you.

At the beginning, every person who hears about your event is the result of sweat and hard work. Hopefully, at some point it’ll take off and you’ll start seeing more and more people [blogging about the event you’re organising]( — but even then, it might take a while before you can just sit back and watch things happen. But in case this moment comes earlier than planned, you’re all set: you have a blog, a Twitter account, a Facebook group and a newsletter. Until then, though, you’re going to be stuck on IM and sending out e-mails.

**A few last words**

I hope that by sharing these lessons with you, I’ll have contributed to making things a little easier for somebody else in the same situation I was. You’ll have understood that I haven’t tried to be exhaustive about how to use social media for promotion — indeed, I’ve skipped most of the “advanced” stuff that is more often spoken about.

But I think it’s easy to get so taken up with the “latest and greatest” tools out there that we forget some of the basic stuff. I, for one, was guilty of that initially.

Also, one thing I haven’t spoken about is *how* to talk to people. Of course, some of what you’re doing is going to be impersonal. Own up to it, if you’re mass e-mailing. Don’t pretend to be personal when you aren’t — it’s hypocritical, doesn’t come across well, and can be smelled a mile away.

I haven’t quite finished reconciling my practical experience with how I believe things “should” work. I’ve learnt a lot, but I certainly haven’t figured everything out yet. I would have wanted to do a lot more, but time simply wasn’t available, so I tried to prioritize. I made choices, and some of them were maybe mistakes. But overall, I’m happy with how things went and what I learnt.

If you have had similar experiences, I’d be really happy to hear from you. Likewise, if you disagree with some of the things I’ve written, or think I’m wrong on certain counts, do use the comments. I’m open to debate, even though I’m a bit hard-headed ;-).

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Lijit Feedback [en]

[fr] Un peu de feedback sur Lijit, un moteur de recherche sympa qui s'organise autour du contenu en ligne d'une personne et de son réseau.

I lost the first version of this post in a Firefox crash while I was writing [my post on structured portable social networks]( (that’s what I get for doing too much at the same time). With a bit of luck it will be better 😉

So, as promised, here’s my feedback to Barney about [Lijit]( First, for those of you new to Lijit, [Stowe Boyd blogged about Lijit]( about a week ago, which is how I discovered it. (Yes, go sign up now, but come back here to read the rest of the post when you’re done. Thanks!)

Signing up must have gone reasonably smoothly, because I don’t have any screenshots of it — which is a good start. (When I bump into any interface problem or bugginess nowadays, I quickly [grab a screenshot]( with [Skitch]( and upload it to Flickr with a few notes. Photographs of my online life, if you like.)

I was disappointed that I could only add my and MyBlogLog networks. The latter is a good addition, but how about my Twitter network? Or a blogroll on [my secondary blog]( CTTS doesn’t have a blogroll (pure laziness). I tried importing my network from Facebook, but it was way too creepy, I disabled it as fast as I could. I got the feeling it was going to allow people to search through my friends’ notes and stuff — as well as mine. I do take advantage of the “walled garden” side of Facebook to publish slightly more personal stuff there than “outside”, and I know I’m not alone here.

What would be really neat would be if I were able to export *just the connections* I have to other people from Facebook, and if they are Lijit users, import their blogs and content into my network. Think [portable social networks](

Being able to import the blogs I read (they’re my “network”, aren’t they?) directly from Google Reader (filter with a tag though, so I can keep all those naughty sex blogs I’m keeping track of out of the public eye).

I used Lijit twice to find the old posts I linked back to in the post above. First, on the Lijit website itself:

Holes in my Buckets (Lijit)

Then, using the wijit I installed on my blog:

Lijit Search On Blog

That’s pretty neat. Lijit opens a “fake window” over the current page with the search results, and when I click on a link in the results, it loads in the initial browser window. Sounds obvious, but I like that it works — many ways it could have gone wrong.

I’m moderately happy about the space the wijit takes up on my blog:

Lijit Wijit on CTTS

I know companies are hungry for screen real estate (“make that logo visible!”) — but be less obtrusive and I’ll love you more! Notice that I now have Lijit search, normal Google search, and WordPress search. Way too many search boxes, but for the moment there isn’t one that seems to do the job well enough to be the only one. (Maybe Lijit, but I haven’t had it long enough…)

Stats page is neat, though I’m still totally unable to tell you what the two pie charts on the right do:

Lijit | My Stats

What on earth is Ma.gnolia doing in there?

There, that’s what’s on my mind concerning Lijit for the moment. Watch out for [the screenshots]( if I bump into anything else!

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Blogging 4 Business Conference [en]

[fr] Notes de la conférence Blogging4Business à laquelle j'assiste en ce moment à Londres.

So, unless some miracle happens, I’ll be blogging this day offline and posting it tonight when I get back at Suw’s. There seems to be no wifi provided for conference attendees unless you are willing to shell out £25 for a daily pass. (Actually, it seems there were a certain number of passes available.)

I would honestly have expected an event titled “**Blogging** 4 Business” to be “blog-aware” enough to realise that providing free wifi to connected people will encourage blogging of the event. Granted, most of the people I see in the room are taking paper notes (not that there is anything wrong with that) — this doesn’t seem to be an audience of bloggers. But wouldn’t it be an intelligent move to encourage the blogging public to “do their thing” at such an event?

I missed most of the first keynote and panel, spending time in the lobby chatting with Lee and Livio of [Headshift]( (my kind hosts today), and [Adam](

**Panel 1** incomplete and possibly inaccurate notes (they’re more snippets than a real account of what was said, partly because I don’t understand everything — audio and accents)

How do you respond to crisis online? (cf. Kryptonite)

Ged Carroll: In the 90s, faulty lock was broadcast on consumer TV. Mistake: didn’t tell the blogs that they were monitoring what was being said in that space, and that they were working on a solution (they *were* in fact acknowledging the problem, but hadn’t communicated that state of things to the public).

Moderator (Paul Munford?): how do you prevent something like that from being so predominently visible (search etc.)?

Darren Strange: owns his name. Same if you type “Microsoft Office”, his blog comes up pretty quickly too. Blogs attract links, good for search engine ranking.

Question: brands need ambassadors, OK, but where’s the ongoing material to blog about Budweiser?

Tamara Littleton: brand involvement in the site keeps things alive and happening. Reward ambassadors with merchandise.

*steph-note: on my way to London, I was reading the Cluetrain Manifesto (yeah, I’m a bit late on that train) and was particularly inspired by the part about how most of traditional marketing is trying to get people to hear a “message” for which there is actually no “audience” (nobody really wants to hear it), and so ends up coming up with ways to shove it into people’s faces and make them listen. This idea is kind of trotting in the back of my mind these days, and it’s colouring what I’m getting out of this event too.*

Question: transparency is a big thing… “creating ambassadors” (*steph-note: one “creates” ambassadors?!)… where is the space for disclosure?

Tamara Littleton: it’s about creating an environment, not saying “if you do this you’ll get that reward”. Rewards could be access to information about the product. Invite people to take part in something.

Ged Carroll: two types of rewards: merchandise etc, and also reputation-ego. Doesn’t have to be tangible.

Darren Strange: trying to have non-techie people try new releases of Vista, etc. Installed everything on a laptop, shipped it to the people’s house, and gave it to them. “Take the laptop, use it, blog if you want to, write good or bad things, or send it back to us, or give it to charity, or keep it, we don’t really care.” Huge debate about this. Professional journalists will be used to this kind of “approach”, but bloggers are kind of amateurs at this, they don’t know how to react. Disclosure: just state when you received something. *steph-note: and if you’re uncomfortable, say it too!*

**Panel: Lee Bryant, Adam Tinworth, David ??, Olivier Creiche**

*steph-note: got wifi, will publish*

Blogging 4 Business

Lee presenting first. Headshift have quite a bunch of nice products in the social software department. “It aint what you do it’s the way that you do it, and that’s what gets results.” (Bananarama)

Concrete business use cases.

Olivier talking now. “To blog or not to blog?” Simple answer: blog. Serious Eats. Citrix: a lot of knowledge disappeared when people left the company — a lot of knowledge out there that is only waiting to be gathered out of people’s e-mail boxes. Used Movable Type for that.

Another case study: AEP, also wanted to prevent e-mails from being the central repository of company knowledge (e-mails are not shared spaces!) Start small, experimental. Need to find the right people to start with. Another one: Arcelor/Mittal merger. Decided to communicate publicly about the lot of stuff. Video channel. Wanted to be very open about what they were doing and how, and answer questions. Good results, good press coverage.

David: allowing lawyers to share their knowledge and expertise, not just in their offices. Blogs, RSS, wikis allows time-critical sharing of information. *steph-note: like I’ll be publishing this as soon as the panel is over…* Catch things on the fly and make them available over a very short period of time.

Adam: starting to roll out business blogs just to allow communication. Bringing about profound change. *steph-note: very bad account of what Adam said, sorry — audio issues.* Other problems: educational issues. Best to not force people to use this or that tool, but open up. Share. Get people inside the teams to show their collegues what they’re using.

Question (moderator): a lot of evangelising going on in terms of blogs. Do blogs/wikis etc deliver on the promise of breaking down barriers, etc, when it comes to internal communication.

Lee: not a simple black/white situation. It comes down to people. Big problem: people bear a high cost to interact with communication systems and get no feedback. But with social tools (lightweight), we get immediate feedback. Integration with existing corporate systems.

Question: is social media the end of communications as we know it.

Lee: every generation of technology sees itself as a ground-breaker. But they’re all layered on top of each other. We have technology that delivers on the initial promise of the web (equal publication, sharing, etc) *(steph-note: yay! I keep saying that!)*

*steph-note: more northern English please ;-)*

David: now, using the web to create communities of practice, getting lawyers to communicate with people unthought of before.

Question: how do you deal with outdated material.

Lee: with mature social software implementations, any piece of information gathers its own context. So what is relevant to this time tends to come to the surface, so out-dated material sinks down. More about information surfacing when it’s time than getting out-dated stuff out of the way.

David: social tools make it very easy to keep your content up-to-date (which was a big problem with static sites).

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Intégrer coComment sur votre blog [en]

Vous savez probablement que je ne jure que par [coComment]( “Visitez le site coComment, et créez un compte si ce n’est pas déjà fait!”), dans la genèse duquel j’ai eu la chance de jouer [un petit rôle]( “Lisez un petit bout de l’histoire de coComment.”).

**Ça sert à quoi?**

Ça sert principalement à choses pour l’instant:

1. collectionner ses commentaires faits sur différents blogs en un seul endroit, comme on peut le faire en les [bookmarquant avec]( “Voir mes commentaires sauvagardés.”), mais de façon bien plus pratique;

2. voir facilement si quelqu’un d’autre a répondu à un de nos commentaires — mais attention, ceci ne marche pas très bien pour l’instant, car coComment est [seulement capable de suivre les commentaires de gens ayant un compte coComment]( “Voir les explications. Recherche de solution en cours.”).


[Ouvrir un compte, c’est super facile]( “Allez-y maintenant.”), il suffit de donner nom et e-mail et de choisir un nom d’utilisateur et un mot de passe.

On notera qu’il n’est pas nécessaire d’avoir un blog pour trouver une utilité à coComment. Il y a des personnes qui participent activement à la blogosphère à travers leurs commentaires, sans pour autant être blogueurs. CoComment est pour vous!

**Rendre coComment plus pratique**

Une fois le compte ouvert, coComment vous fournit un [bookmarklet](, une sorte de lien “favori” que vous pouvez faire glisser dans la barre d’outils de votre navigateur ou dans vos favoris. Ensuite, quand vous laissez un commentaire chez quelqu’un, vous cliquez sur le bookmarklet dans votre navigateur avant de publier le commentaire.

Ça, ça devient très vite barbant. On oublie de cliquer sur le bookmarklet. Du coup, notre commentaire n’apparaît pas sur notre [page de conversations coComment]( “Voir ma page de conversations.”). Il paraît qu’on peut maintenant [cliquer sur le bookmarklet après avoir envoyé le formulaire]( “Ils le disent ici.”), mais personnellement je n’ai pas testé.

Les commentateurs peuvent faire quelque chose pour se simplifier la vie. Les auteurs de blogs peuvent faire quelque chose pour simplifier la vie de leurs commentateurs.

**Plus pratique pour moi qui laisse des commentaires**

Pour ça, il faut utiliser [Firefox]( “C’est le moment de le télécharger et de l’installer si ce n’est pas encore fait.”). Deux solutions s’offrent à vous.

1. [Le script GreaseMonkey]( “Page du script.”). Ce script vous évite de devoir cliquer sur le bookmarklet à chaque fois. Vous pouvez donc oublier coComment quand vous laissez vos commentaires, c’est tout automatisé. Sympa, non?

Script, GreaseMonkey, chinois? Pas peur, instructions pour les nuls. D’abord, installer l’extension GreaseMonkey (non, ça fait pas mal). Pour ça, on commence par s’assurer que l’on a Firefox 1.5 (voir lien ci-dessus), puis on va sur [le site de l’extension GreaseMonkey]( “C’est par ici.”). Une fois là -bas, on cliquera sur le lien qui s’appelle “Install GreaseMonkey” dans la deuxième moitié de la page. On dit oui à tout ce que nous demande Firefox (oui on veut installer l’extension, oui, oui, OK on ferme le navigateur et on le rouvre…)

Ensuite, [on clique sur ce lien-ci qui va installer le script]( “Lien direct d’installation, faut dire oui à tout.”) et on dit également oui à tout.

Voilà ! C’est fait 🙂

2. [L’extension Firefox pour coComment]( “C’est par ici.”). Même chose que plus haut, on clique sur le lien, on clique ensuite sur “Download coComment! for Firefox”, et on dit oui, amen à tout ce que nous demande notre navigateur chéri. L’extension me paraît moins utile que le script GreaseMonkey, car elle ne fait qu’ajouter le bookmarklet coComment au menu contextuel qui apparaît lors d’un clic droit (ou long clic pour les personnes qui ont un Mac). Mais il paraît que c’est utile parfois lorsque les commentaires sont dans une fenêtre pop-up. Personnellement, j’ai vu que ça ne marchait pas tout le temps, mais j’essaie quand même.

**Note:** j’ai désactivé l’extension Firefox vu que je ne l’utilise pas. A vous de voir si elle vous sert.

**Plus pratique pour moi qui ai un blog**

Si vous avez un blog, vous pouvez faire en sorte que vos commentateurs, s’ils ont un compte coComment, n’aient pas besoin de cliquer sur le bookmarklet, même s’ils n’ont pas installé l’extension GreaseMonkey décrite ci-dessus. Cool, non? Pour cela, il faut rajouter du code javascript pas trop loin du formulaire de commentaires.

[Le code est fourni à la fin de ce billet]( “Code à la fin, explications au début.”) par Merlin. Comme j’utilise une version assez standard de WordPress, je n’ai eu personnellement qu’à copier-coller ce qui était donné dans le billet. Bon, faut encore voir si ça fonctionne 😉 Attention, donc, si vous avez un autre outil de blog, il faut peut-être adapter le code. Cet autre billet [explique plus précisément quel rôle joue chaque ligne]( “Décorticage du javascript en question.”) et vous aidera certainement à modifier le code si nécessaire.

**Attention!** Pour le moment, j’arrive pas à faire marcher ça. Plus de nouvelles dès que c’est réglé. Ça marche maintenant, mais il faut faire attention aux [guillemets malins pas si malins quand ils sont dans du code]( “Lire les explications.”)…

**Oui mais… DotClear, autres plateformes de blog, etc…?**

Pas de panique. Premièrement, il faut savoir que les gars de coComment bossent d’arrache-pied pour [augmenter le nombre de plate-formes avec lesquelles ils sont compatibles]( “La liste, à ce jour.”). Si votre blog n’est pas compatible avec coComment, mais que vous pouvez modifier votre formulaire de commentaires, tout n’est pas perdu.

[Le dernier billet que j’ai mentionné]( “Oui, c’est un poil technique, mais pas impossible.”) explique comment faire. Il faut donc rajouter un certain nombre de lignes javascript dans le formulaire, et voilà ! Je suis certaine que DotClear fournit toutes les informations nécessaires mais avec d’autres noms que ceux auxquels s’attend coComment. Il suffirait donc qu’un(e) DotClearien(ne) prenne le taureau par les cornes et adapte le javascript aux variables de DotClear (la version publiée utilise les variables WordPress). Si vous faites ce travail, rendez-le public sur votre blog, et je lancerai un lien dans se direction! Qui s’y colle?

**Mise à jour:** Nicolas propose en commentaire [le code à intégrer à DotClear]( Quelqu’un peut confirmer que ça marche?

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Requirements for a Multilingual WordPress Plugin [en]

[fr] Quelques réflexions concernant un plugin multilingue pour WordPress.

My blog has been bilingual for a long time now. I’ve [hacked bilingualism into it]( and then [plugged it in]( Other [plugins for multilingual bloggers]( have been written, and some unfortunately [got stuck somewhere in the development limbo](

Defining specs is a hairy problem. They need to work for the person visiting the site (polyglot or monoglot). They need to work for the person (or people! translation often involves more than one person) writing the posts. They need to work for all the robots, search engines, and fancy browsers who deal with the site.

Here is what I would like a multiple language plugin to do (think “feature requirements”, suggestion, draft):

1. Recognize the browser language preference of the visitor and serve “page furniture” and navigation in the appropriate language. This can be overridden by a cookie-set preference when clicking on a “language link”.
– “WordPress” furniture can be provided by the normal localization files
– how do we deal with other furniture content in the theme (navigation, taglines, etc.)? should the plugin provide with guidelines for theme localization? do such guidelines already exist? extra information appreciated on this point
– “language links” shouldn’t be flags, but language names in their respective languages; can this list be generated automatically based on present localization files? otherwise, can it be set in an admin panel?
– upon “language change” (clicking on a language link), could the localization (action) be done in an [AHAH]( or [AJAX]( way?
– inevitable hairy problem: tag and category localization
2. Manage “lazy multilingualism” in the spirit of the [Basic Bilingual plugin]( and “true multilingualism” elegantly and on a per-post basis.
– allow for “other language abstracts”
– allow for actual other language version of the post
– given the “general user language” defined above, show posts in that language if a version for that language exists, with mention of other language versions or abstracts
– if that language doesn’t exist, show post in “main blog language” or “main post language” (worst case scenario: the wordpress install default) and show alongside other language abstracts/versions
– abstract in one language (would be “excerpt” in the “main” language) and existence of the post in that language are not mutually exclusive, both can coexist
– does it make more sense to have one WordPress post per language version, or a single post with alternate language content in post_meta? For lazy multilingualism, it makes more sense to have a single WP post with meta content, but fore “translation multilingualism”, it would make more sense to have separate posts with language relationships between them clearly defined in post_meta
3. Use good markup. See [what Kevin wrote sometime back]( Make it nice for both polyglot and monoglot visitors. [Inspiration?](
– use <div lang="xx"> and also rel attributes
4. Provide a usable admin panel.
– when I’m writing the other version of a post, I need access to the initial version for translation or abstracting
– ideally, different language version should be editable on the same admin panel, even if they are (in the WordPress database) different posts
– languages in use in the blog should be defined in an options screen, and the plugin should use that information to adapt the writing and editing admin panels
– idea: radio button to choose post language; N other language excerpt/abstract fields with radio buttons next to them too; abstract radio buttons change dynamically when main post language is set; in addition to other language abstract fields, another field which can contain a post id/url (would have to see what the best solution is) to indicate “this is an equivalent post in another language” (equivalent can be anything from strict translation to similar content and ideas); this means that when WP displays the blog, it must make sure it’s not displaying a post in language B which has an equivalent in language A (language A being the visitor’s preferred language as defined above)
5. Manage URLs logically (whatever that means).
– if one post in two languages means two posts in WP, they will each have their own slug; it could be nice, though, to be able to switch from one to an other by just adding the two-letter language code on the end of any URL; a bit of mod_rewrite magic should do it
6. Integrate into the WordPress architecture in a way that will not break with each upgrade (use post-meta table to define language relationships between different posts, instead of modifying the posts table too much, for example.)
– one post translated into two other languages = 3 posts in the WP posts table
– excerpts and post relationships stored in post_meta
– language stored in post_meta

I have an idea for plugin development. Once the specs are drafted out correctly, how about a bunch of us pool a few $ each to make a donation to (or “pay”) the person who would develop it? Who would be willing to contribute to the pool? Who would be willing to develop such a plugin (and not abandon the project half-way) in these conditions?

These specs need to be refined. We should start from the markup/reader end and get that sorted out first. Then, think about the admin panel/writer end. Then worry about code architecture. How does that sound?

We’ve started a discussion over on [the wiki]( Please join us!

Update: this post is going to suffer from ongoing editing as I refine and add ideas.

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MediaWiki [en]

I’ve installed MediaWiki. Explanation and solution of a bug I bumped into while installing (because of UTF-8 in MySQL 4.1.x) and comments on the method for interface translation.

[fr] J'ai installé MediaWiki pour récussiter le moribond SpiroLattic, tombé sous les coups du wiki-spam. Voici la solution à  un problème que j'ai rencontré durant l'installation (dû au fait que j'utilise MySQL 4.1.x avec UTF-8), et aussi une description de la façon dont est faite la localisation par utilisateur de l'interface. Très intéressant!

I recently managed to install MediaWiki to replace PhpWiki for SpiroLattic, which I took offline some time ago because the only activity it had become home to was the promotion of various ringtone, viagra, and poker sites.

MediaWiki is the wiki engine behind Wikipedia. It is PHP/MySQL (good for me, maybe not for the server) and has a strong multilingual community.

I bumped into one small problem installing MediaWiki 1.4: the install aborted while creating the tables. Unfortunately, I don’t have the error message anymore, but it was very close to the one given for this bug.

If I understood correctly, when you’re running MySQL 4.1.x in UTF-8, the index key becomes too big, and MySQL balks. The solution is to edit maintenance/tables.sql and to change the length of the index key MySQL was complaining about. In my case, the guilty part of the query was KEY cl_sortkey(cl_to,cl_sortkey(128)) — I replaced 128 by 50 and it went fine. (Don’t forget to clean out the partially built database before reloading the install page — like that you don’t have to fill it all in again.)

MediaWiki allows each user to choose his or her language of choice for the interface. That is absolutely great, particularly for a multilingual wiki! Even better than that, they let users tweak the interface translation strings directly on the wiki.

There is a page named “Special:Allmessages” which lists all the localized strings. If you’re not happy with one of the translations, just click on the string, and the wiki will create a new blank page where you can enter your translation for it, which will override the initial translation. How cool is that?

Something like that for WordPress would be great, in my opinion!

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