WordPress.org

Ready to get started?Download WordPress

Forums

Jetpack by WordPress.com
Mostly a Failure (3 posts)

1 star
  1. jefflabonte
    Member
    Posted 5 months ago #

    Publicize has been slowly failing, and is now defunct. When I started using Jetpack in August, everything worked fine. As I populated my small, local news site with articles and images, however, Jetpack got quirky.

    The wrong pictures would be posted to Facebook. I would have an image of a football game on a field hockey article, for example. Sometimes no picture at all would be posted. Sometimes articles would post to Facebook, sometimes they wouldn't. And it is SLOOOOWWWWWWWW.

    I read through the forums and tried to learn about XML and Facebook codes and whatsits (I am not a programmer - hence my liberal use of WordPress and plugins). The forums are absolutely littered with reports of this problem and moderators/developers telling us they can't see a problem, can't reproduce a problem, or just not responding at all. I see Threads closed or marked resolved that most certainly were not; more like someone got frustrated with the complaints and just shut down the discussion.

    I double checked image sizes. I made sure publicize was checked. I disabled, uninstalled and reinstalled plugins. I disconnected and reconnected FB and Twitter. Nothing worked.

    Anyway, I DID get Jetpack Publicize working correctly and reliably for like a month after some miscellaneous updates (I'll never know which update did it, but whatever). Then problems started again occasionally. Then more occasionally. Then nearly always.

    After publicize attached a picture of a Disney character to an obituary, I finally shut off publicize and manually get up every morning and manually cross post my day's articles to Facebook. Today, that stopped working. NO image. I can get text, but this is a news site and I rely on visual.

    I go to the next article and it DOES pull an image; the featured image from the previous article that Jetpack couldn't seem to find when I was actually trying to publicize that article. Brilliant.

    So here is a summary - 1) Jetpack Publicize works unreliably, if at all.
    2) Apparently the Jetpack developers feel Facebook and their magic code is to blame. Maybe it is, but not the point.
    3) Threads here go back 2+ years with the same complaints from users, same excuses from developers, many, many updates and versions of WP and JP, and no solutions.
    4) Jetpack's components can be replaced by more reliable and better feature plugins in a few minutes.

    Let's just get one thing straight - Jetpack Publicize (and sharing for that matter) boasts about its functionality that isn't. Facebook is the top 1 or 2 most visited web site on Earth. Facebook has no obligation to your middling plugin. If you want to play the game, you play using the Facebook rules until someone else comes along. Then you play by whatever rules the new behemoth establishes. That's how it works.

    You don't write a program that doesn't work with your host application(s)then claim the hosts need to fix their core. Uh-uh.

    If you can't make your program work with WordPress and Facebook - consistently and reliably - then your product is an abject failure, is it not?

    I understand it's free, and I appreciate that. But it is also useless. The results can be downright unacceptably embarrassing to my site. I can't use it. Many, many others can't use it. You can make excuses about FB updates all day. Maybe there is no way to write a plugin that will publicize to FB properly. I can live with that. But don't sell me a bill of goods claiming you can if you can't.

    Fix Publicize or eliminate Publicize. Period. No more excuses. No more sending virtual newbies on wild goose chases through CSS, PHP, HTML and XML. Enough already.

  2. Jeff? It's fine to post a review (and you've really filled this one out good job ;) ) but please do not post the same thing twice.

    I've deleted your other topic. Duplicates are not useful here.

  3. Jeremy Herve
    Happiness Engineer
    Plugin Author

    Posted 5 months ago #

    Hi there!

    First of all, thanks for your feedback!

    The wrong pictures would be posted to Facebook. I would have an image of a football game on a field hockey article, for example. Sometimes no picture at all would be posted. Sometimes articles would post to Facebook, sometimes they wouldn't.

    I understand how frustrating this could be. I found a link to your site in an other thread you participated in a few months ago, and I'll take a closer look at some of your posts to try to understand the issue.

    If you want to play the game, you play using the Facebook rules until someone else comes along.

    Before I go any further, let me say that I completely agree with you. Luckily, Facebook's rules are quite simple: every Facebook post preview is built based on some metadata that can be added to the source code of a page.

    This metadata is named "Open Graph Protocol", and is documented here:
    http://ogp.me/

    To build a post preview, Facebook requires that you add this metadata to your posts. They don't care how you do it, but that data has to be there.

    To build a basic post preview, they require the following elements:

    • A Page title (#)
    • A page URL (#)
    • A short description text (#)
    • The type of the page: is it an article, a video? (#)
    • The name of the site that contains that page (#)
    • An image, that is larger than 200x200px (#)

    Facebook also offers a tool that allows you to check what Facebook sees when visiting one of your pages. That tool is named Open Graph Debugger and is available here:
    https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug

    After publicize attached a picture of a Disney character to an obituary, I finally shut off publicize

    I understand that this can be really embarrassing, and should not happen.

    I checked your site, and found that post:
    http://auburnmassdaily.com/2013/10/28/2490/

    I then proceeded to enter this URL in Facebook's Open Graph debugger to try to understand what Facebook saw when crawling that page in order to build the post preview:
    https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/og/object?q=http%3A%2F%2Fauburnmassdaily.com%2F2013%2F10%2F28%2F2490%2F

    Here is what I saw when loading this page:
    http://i.wpne.ws/SCrP/content

    All the metadata added to that page is listed under the "Raw Open Graph Document Information" paragraph:
    http://i.wpne.ws/SDOX/content

    All seems well there: we have a site language, a title, a description, a type, a URL, a site name, and 2 images. That's great news, that means that you don't need to make any changes to the way the Facebook metadata is added to your posts; everything is there, available for Facebook to use in its post previews.

    Back to your site, I can also see this metadata when I view the page's source code. I can also see that this metadata is not managed by Jetpack, but by another plugin named WordPress SEO:
    http://i.wpne.ws/SCrY/content

    Now let's take a closer look at this debugger page. The 2 images are as follows:

    The second image is obviously too small, and can't be used by Facebook. The first image, however, is larger than Facebook's requirements; Facebook should consequently be able to use it to build the post preview.

    Still, you may have noticed the error message displayed on the debugger page.

    Open Graph Warnings That Should Be Fixed
    og:image should be larger
    Provided og:image is not big enough. Please use an image that's at least 200x200 px. Image 'http://auburnmassdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/150x190-Hanks_J.cropped.jpg' will be used instead.

    http://i.wpne.ws/SDJ1/content

    Doesn't make much sense, right? We saw earlier that one of the images is large enough to be used by Facebook.
    Yet, the debugger seems to ignore it.

    That's actually a common issue with Facebook, and as you noticed it has started to happen more and more in the past few weeks. Other blog owners have already reported this bug to the Facebook developers here:
    https://developers.facebook.com/bugs/483025408453290

    I know that's not the answer you wanted to receive, but I'm afraid there is really not much more I can do to help here; your site includes the metadata required by Facebook, but you seem to run into a known Facebook bug. All I can suggest is that you add your vote to that bug to help the Facebook developers in prioritizing the issue.
    Feel free to use the screenshot I posted earlier in this thread. You will also want to let them know that the problem is intermittent; I tried to reload the Debugger page a few minutes later, and the error message had disappeared (#).

    I hope this clarifies things a bit.

Reply

You must log in to post.

About this Plugin

About this Topic

Tags

No tags yet.