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Add-on FB Scraper & Pusher addon: interest, need dev

Floyd R Turbo

Well-known member
#1
I don't want to buy the b-guys' addon that does this but I want the functionality.

The basics:

1) Scrape posts made on a public FB group and dump them into a dedicated forum. That's been done. Just need another version of it that is callback free and non-hacker-developed.

2) Ideally, if the FB poster has an associated user account on the forum, the post scraped and posted to the forum would be attributed to that user (author sync)

I have a few other thoughts but those are the main ones. Really what I am looking for is a more functional interface with FB groups. Specifically, our club is a hobbyist club that is statewide but we are split up into 5 regions, each one with a FB group because people use FB and nothing is really going to stop them, but we want to foster interconnections and make it all work together. Agree or disagree, this is what we want...and we'll pay to have it developed.

Now ideally, we would also like the ability to push posts from the forum down to the FB group as well, but I realize this may be totally impossible. At least, for a forum user with a linked FB account, that might be feasible but from what I understand doing so would be a hot mess and a constant battle.

However what I would like to have is the ability, with one click, to dump a post to FB from the forum. Here's the possible way for this to happen: we use Hootsuite for broadcast social media and the club FB account is an admin on all of the regional FB groups, so if I can push a post via Hootsuite to the FB groups, that accomplishes my task. I want to be able to do this with any thread, permission based (so our Social Media Chair can one-click promote a thread to FB and possibly Twitter as well, but that could be limited...)

This could be (probably should be) at least 2 different addons. Very serious about wanting this done for XF1.5 and XF2 as well.

If you want it too, let's talk about going in on it together. If you're interested in developing it, I'm interested in talking to you.

TIA
Bud
 

Floyd R Turbo

Well-known member
#2
I know it's only been a day...was hoping for some developer interest.

To be clear, this is more likely 2 separate addons:

1) scraper, potentially an enhanced version

2) Hootsuite integration (push posts to social media through third party app)
 

ForumCube

Active member
#3
Hello Bud,

We are interested for development of this project. Can we start private conversation to clear few points?

Thanks,
ForumCube
 

Floyd R Turbo

Well-known member
#4
I'm discussing this with a couple developers...what I need to do is nail down a scope - wants, needs, must haves, etc...then I can get feedback from devs as to what is feasible and what it might cost. So here is my list, please chime in if you have a suggestion or a level of desire different from mine...

1) Facebook Group Synchronization
  • Must Have: Copy content from posts made to facebook groups and post into individual threads.
  • Must Have: Content to include photos, videos, links, etc
  • Want: If it's possible to start a thread when someone starts up Facebook Live to a group, this would be an epic bonus. But this would go away once the live stream was done, then post as a video in a standard post, so this may be problematic.
  • Need: Since FB is posts with 2 levels of comments, this is out of synch with the default Xenforo format. It seems that a "sub-comments" structure would be needed to specifically handle this...otherwise, things will look odd.
  • Want: Author Synch. If FB poster has a linked FB account (has associated the FB account via External Accounts) and posts using that same account to the synchronized FB group, their content that is scraped and posted on the mirrored forum thread would be posted as their forum user account.
  • Want: If there is no forum user that matches the FB account, there should be some way of "grouping" posts made by the same individual together, rather than having them all post as "guest". Kind of like a pseudo-account. This can be an actual user account, but the issue then is, the unique identifier issue (email address, username). This is a setup for the next "want"
  • Want: If someone posts to the FB group and then later associates their forum user account with that same FB account (whether they are a new or existing user to the forum, does not matter - the linking to FB is the trigger), then those posts would be merged into their account. I say "merged" because if there was a pseudo-account set up per the previous "want", then this is a relatively simple step - the default "merge user" ability in Xenforo. Option: this could be something triggered by the user (i.e. one can "claim" posts as "theirs" once they link to the FB account) or by approval of the admin (or by permission, i.e. only paid/upgraded accounts can self-claim their FB posts). Either way, the "button" to "claim" your FB posts should only be viewable by the actual user that has linked to the FB account that matches the posts in the scraped threads. In other words, you can't just go claiming anyone's FB posts as your own...
  • Probably a Must Have: additional field for the FB username (displayed in message elements, postbit, etc). Forum username may be different than their FB username, and their FB username is not necessarily their real name. On the scraped threads, this would display "Guest" if they did not have a forum account associated with the FB account, and then it would also show their FB username. If they had a forum account + linked FB, it would show both. This property could optionally be extended forum-wide, maybe via permission, i.e. "can view others linked FB username" and then one could control this by usergroup and node.
2) Hootsuite Integration.

Per my 1st post, Hootsuite is a Social Media management platform which can push out posts to multiple FB groups, twitter, and other platforms simultaneously. The catch with at least FB groups is that the Hootsuite-associated account must be a full admin of any account it posts to (that's the FB rules).

I haven't thought a whole lot about this one so this might be more prone to evolving, as I also have not explored the capabilities of linking to Hootsuite through an external method. But here's what I have so far:
  • Must Have: permission-based ability to promote a thread to Social Media by way of Hootsuite
  • Want: ideally, this would be a streamlined and integrated process by where the forum maintains login information to the associated Hootsuite account so that one never really has to leave the forum in order to broadcast a message. They would just click the "Send to Hootsuite" button, possibly compose a snippet, drop in the thread link, specify a picture, set a time for posting, select the social media account to post it to, and then "send"
  • Must Have: at a minimum, if most of the above "want" is not possible, difficult, or not cost effective, there should be something in place to make this simple, even if it's just something that allows you to compose the content of what you would enter into Hootsuite so you can copy/paste that manually.

Discuss and contribute (suggestions) please!
 

Floyd R Turbo

Well-known member
#7
Clarification on this one:
Must Have: Copy content from posts made to facebook groups and post into individual threads.
Modify this to:
  • Must Have: Copy content from posts made to public facebook groups and post into individual threads.
  • Want: Copy content from closed (private) facebook groups
I'm not sure why the other addon is limited to only public FB groups - perhaps that's because you can't view any content of a closed group without being logged in...which would be a probem. If it was possible, the issue with the latter is privacy. FB group admins make groups closed for various reasons. In some cases, this might be a members-only group, where you have to be a verified member of a club in order to be able to see content. So this one, if possible, I would like to see but it would have to be at the peril of the forum admin to use this scrupulously. To further that, I have another hair-brained scheme:

If it's possible to perform the author-synch function, this might be expanded upon to specifically fit our needs, and this is related to
Account Upgrades:
  • Want: Ability to automatically remove someone from the FB group upon downgrading of a specific Account Upgrade.
  • Want: Ability to automatically add a forum user to a FB group (when they have linked their FB account) upon purchase of a specific Account Upgrade.
The idea behind this one is that some clubs with FB groups that do not have a forum do this pretty much manually - they have paid yearly membership dues, and access to their "members only" page is kept track of manually (like an excel spreadsheet) and they have to then check this, remove people from groups when they don't renew, etc. I'm hoping there's actually a way to perform this automatically in order to eliminate this manual step. I'm also hoping that there is a way to add a user automatically as well. This would fully automate the process for controlling access to a FB group by way of the forum. I would not be surprised if FB Groups are granted the ability to apply an expiration date to access rights, and connect that to a payment system, all within FB (in fact, it might be there already...I don't pay attention to that stuff). But if there were already an existing payment/upgrade/membership system firmly entrenched (like our group) then this function would still be needed in order to avoid the manual application of expiration dates to the group. Then if someone was disciplined, that would fall under manual as well.

With that thought (discipline) the access to the FB group could be done by way of a dedicated user group for only FB. This way, in certain disciplinary scenarios, one could be temporarily removed from that group as a punishment measure but still retain their paid membership status overall - they would just lose access to the FB group. If this whole add/remove function is possible, I would imagine that usergroup-based access control (synchronization) would be easier to implement vs Account Upgrade based control...but what do I know!

As an additional note: I believe there are groups that allow public viewing but you must be a member to post/comment. This is likely what we would implement (right now, our groups are fully open).

Another note: if there is no way to automatically add/remove users from a group, then what I would like to see implemented is some sort of "assistant" or "mod queue" that certain users with permissions could see that would present them with a link to click that would effectively perform the function at a browser level. This solves the login issue - the user, who would have to have FB rights to add/remove a user from their FB group, could click the link to add or remove someone from the FB group, then once that is performed, they might need to go back to the forum to "confirm" that the action was taken.
 
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Floyd R Turbo

Well-known member
#13
Yup I do have a dev that I've been in touch with about it. There are a few items that cannot be done, but nothing surprising. Might get one done that I figured couldn't actually...
 
#14
Would be great if you can keep this post updated going forward if you land on some kind of Development, and what you end up With compared to Your requirements.
 

Floyd R Turbo

Well-known member
#16
Want: If it's possible to start a thread when someone starts up Facebook Live to a group, this would be an epic bonus. But this would go away once the live stream was done, then post as a video in a standard post, so this may be problematic.
  • Want: Ability to automatically remove someone from the FB group upon downgrading of a specific Account Upgrade.

  • Want: Ability to automatically add a forum user to a FB group (when they have linked their FB account) upon purchase of a specific Account Upgrade.
These are the ones that most likely will not be possible. There are others that are in the “maybe” state