The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it open.
I will be the first to admit that I lack in patience. My wife will point out that I am a much more patient man than I was when we first met. I will still take, at minimum, the silver in the ‘Act First Think Second’ event on a bad day.
Today was a bad day.
If wisdom comes in learning from the mistakes of others, I hope to increase your bounty. Recently Facebook made some changes to their API, at least I believe that to be the case. Those changes broke my music blog’s ability to auto-post to the Facebook page for that blog. It has been going on since August 5th which means it could also be a product of a WordPress update since I believe I applied one around that time.
That’s neither here nor there.
My attempts to fix the issue were met with less than success. The plugin I was using to make the posts fed through a custom Facebook app and somehow they quit talking to each other. So I switched to using wordpress.com’s Jetpack plugin. That was not a mistake. It has a very nice ‘Publicize’ option that does exactly what I needed it to do. It just wasn’t as nice as what I had been using.
See each post I make on that blog has it’s own unique image associated with it, normally an album cover or an artist’s promotional image. The Jetpack plugin wasn’t really picking the image up, it just posted a link to the page with a brief chunk of text. Totally serviceable, but I wanted more.
In the meantime it occurred to me that I had a Facebook app I wasn’t using. It also occurred to me that it was a potential liability if some unsavory user found it and wanted to exploit it. So I deleted it.
I thought that once links were posted they would have been written into the page’s back end or underlying code or something. I never would have thought that the app would be maintaining past links.
Two years of articles posted to my page from my blog were gone in the blink of an eye.
My lack of patience had costed me big time. I didn’t research. I didn’t look around at other options first. I didn’t think. I’d rushed to fix the issue. I couldn’t be content with leaving a note that I was working on getting things back to normal, it had to be fixed NOW! Clicks were being lost. Eyes weren’t see articles. I was missing out on a potential flood of new fans.
The real kicker is that I found a new plugin to use. Guess what it requires? If you said a custom Facebook act you get a gold star.
So my take away from this experience:
- If something breaks on your website that impacts functionality, publicly note it.
- Do the research. Don’t rush in rashly and do something that can’t be undone.
- On a related note try and understand what you are working with before you use it. You will have to support your implementation of the solution over the long haul.
- Realize that the website issue is not the end of the world. Do not make it the focus of your life until it is fixed. If you do you will be miserable and so will the people around you.
- Breathe. Breathe deep. Repeat as necessary.
I know this will pass. I know that over time I can re-add the old articles in the page’s timeline. However, I’ve lost all comments from fans and bands. So in some ways I’m starting over again. It’s a good thing the whole site is still very manageable. The fan base is still relatively small and hopefully forgiving.
Now I just have to be patient in correcting my own errors.