On facebook. It’s all me-me-me

We had a baby in October. He’s gorgeous. I want to talk about him all day.

I *know* there are people on my friend’s lists that would rather eat vomit than to hear me talk about babies. Some, because they think babies are boring. Some, because it’s too ‘triggery’ (I hate that word, but I’m very sympathetic to its meaning). I had a miscarriage a few years back, and went into floods of tears over people’s posts about their beautiful children. I really can’t imagine what it’s like for friends who can’t have children, or who have lost children, or well. Yes, well.

Here’s the thing.

If I were talking to my friends in real life, I could judge their interest. A flash of sadness in their eyes and I’d change topic, without knowing (or needing to  know) what had upset them. And if they were really upset, they could tell me: ‘Stop!’

And then at the receiving end, on the internet, if I were subscribing to newsletters, I’d pick the topics I’m interested in. I’d sign up for baby emails. I’d maybe sign up for wordpress emails, or booky emails. And I’d avoid Conservative politics, for starters.

On facebook, that doesn’t happen.

If you’re my friend, you have to listen to *everything I say* or nothing. I might talk politics in one post, then websites, then babies, then football and then, I don’t know, about my dreadful cooking skills.

*I* might decide to add you to a list of some sort. I can try to make this ‘opt-in’, or I can just double-guess, and decide that you don’t want to hear my political views.

You, my friend, don’t really get a say in it.

I mean, I’m assuming you do want to hear from me. You are, after all, my friend.

But I’m reasonably certain that you don’t want to listen to me talking about everything. Even my mum doesn’t want to hear me talk about *everything*.

Maybe, on the receiving end, this is a good thing? Maybe I *should* be aware of my friends unhealthy interest in the Daily Mail? Maybe filtering is bad?

But what I really worry about… no, worry is the wrong word. Basically, I think that, maybe due in part to my verbose friends who talk about everything all the time (oh really, soup for supper, eh?), and facebooks endless flashing red at the top of the page, I’m not so aware of the friends who are not saying anything.

If it were real life, I’d worry if a friend sat silent the whole time. Of course, facebook isn’t real life, and maybe those friends appreciate that more than me, and just aren’t logging in.

But also, maybe like me, and more than me, they wonder if anyone is actually *interested* in their posts about, I don’t know, the clarinet lessons they’ve started, the daffodils that are growing. Or maybe they don’t want to bombard people with the tragedy or wonder they are going through, or the crazed monologues like this one that I don’t know, might interest *someone*.

I don’t know, what’s the solution? I don’t know that there is one.

Socially, my friend Em*, knows that I know her from school, and so she’ll talk about the good old days, and our kids, and whatever.

When we ‘add’ each other on facebook, should we be ticking boxes?
[x] kids
[x] nostalgia
[o] kayaking
[o] fanfic

Because YES, Em, I really am interested, and I really do want to know what you’re up to, and how the kayaking is going!

But no, that wouldn’t work. Tickboxes. Meh.

So I guess the only  solution is what we already have:

Either: I just tell everyone everything
or I double-guess what subjects might appeal to you
or, more accurately, I double-guess what subjucts might *not* appeal to you.

And I just have to hope you’ll forgive me when I get it wrong.

wordpress HTML import: image bugs/fixes

ok 2 bugs or issues that have cropped up while using Stephanie Leary’s otherwise wonderful HTML importer:


I have fixed them by editing html-importer.php

You could too! – though I don’t really recommend this, since:

1. If the plugin is updated, any changes will be overwritten

2. I’m not 100% sure that I’ve made my edits in the most efficient place (they could perhaps be used for other media as well as images). So hoping Stephanie will take over or do something better, I guess :)

I’m making a note here in case the plugin is *not* updated and I encounter the same problem again in the future.

First bug: Query Parameters

When a file has a query parameter (e.g. “pic.jpg?w=150&h=23″) the file extension is not picked up.


1. Find function handle_import_media_file

2. Find the commented section that starts/ends:

3. and paste, after it:



2nd bug: Embedded Images

When someone has embedded/pasted a image, instead of linking to a file, it sort of falls over. SO to fix this we need to a) handle the embedded / base64 file data and b) export them to a file, ready for import.


1. Find function “import_images”

2. Find these lines:

3. replace them with

4.  Find function “handle_import_media_file”

5.  (as per the query string fix, above) find the commented out section that starts/ends

6. beneath it, add:


PS! Also! While testing all this out, I’ve found it’s really important to set the right home directory when importing single files. Otherwise all relative links break. duh ;)