Blogging is evolving, to encompass the world of social networking and connect to the rest of the web, merging publishing with community. Movable Type users know this better than anyone, since they get first and best access to the coolest social publishing features.
Today marks another milestone, as our own David Recordon joined Mark Zuckerberg onstage at Facebook's F8 conference to demonstrate a live, working implementation of Facebook Connect for Movable Type. Facebook Connect is a powerful new initiative from Facebook that lets you bring your Facebook profile and social graph to other applications and websites while still giving you full control over privacy. We've shown off (and will soon release for download) a free, open source plugin for Movable Type that enables Facebook Connect on any MT-powered site.
Simply put, this is another huge leap forward in the effort to make the personal web more open.
Facebook users who visit Movable Type-powered sites using these new features will see a number of significant benefits:
- You can sign in with your existing Facebook account, without the compelexity of creating a new account on a site.
- If you choose, your Facebook profile name and picture can automatically be shared with the Movable Type site you're visiting.
- All of these capabilties take place without you having to share your password with any other sites.
- Facebook Connect for Movable Type honors your privacy, so that no one else will see your information from Facebook unless you've given then permission from within Facebook.
- Facebook Connect makes it possible to tell your friends on Facebook where you're participating on the web, by updating your News Feed.
- As Facebook brings new capabilities onilne with Facebook Connect, Movable Type sites will be able to provide them to you seamlessly.
Of course, this doesn't just benefit the members of a site's community, there are some huge benefits for those of you who manage and publish Movable Type-powered sites, too.
- It's easier than ever to get new visitors to your site to register and participate, increasing engagement and encouraging repeat visits.
- Community members can advertise their participation on your site using the Facebook News Feed, driving traffic and new visitors to your site.
- You can require sign-in via Facebook Connect or OpenID or other systems, knowing that most active users on the web have an account with one of these systems already.
- Site visitors are more likely to participate if they see familiar avatars and names from their friends on your site.
- You can manage community members who sign in through Facebook Connect using the same familiar tools you use today -- even on your iPhone.
This kind of open connection between social networks and blogs benefits everyone. Publishers get more visitors and engagement on their sites, Facebook members get to discover more dynamic conversations going on across the web, and everyone gets a better user experience that honors their privacy.
For years now, we've invested in connecting Movable Type sites to the rest of the web. Millions of people visit a Movable Type-powered site or community every day, and they benefit from our work to make the web better. There are initiatives like OpenID, which has grown from its genesis at Six Apart to being part of the fabric of the web, with over half a billion accounts now being able to sign in to your Movable Type-powered community without having to create a new login. (We hope to see Facebook Connect support OpenID soon, too -- that would mean even less work for sites which already accept OpenID.)
We committed to bringing social networking capabilities to any site that wants them with the enormous success of our Community Solution for Movable Type, which turns any MT-powered site into a complete social platform. This was amplified by efforts like Action Streams, which from its launch at the beginning of this year has exploded with support for sharing activity from dozens of social networks, offering aggregation of social networking activity from more sources than any other platform. And the web has seen immediate benefits from projects like TypePad AntiSpam, designed to be a free way to combat blog spam anywhere on the web, on any platform.
Today, this tradition is demonstrated again by bringing Facebook Connect to Movable Type. Like Movable Type itself, it's available for free and will be released under an open source license. And like all of these efforts to make blogging more social, Facebook Connect is available first and exclusively for Movable Type.
As we get closer to the availability of Facebook Connect, we'll explain the technical details of implementation, as well as offering an overview of the experience that community members and site owners can expect. In the meantime, you'll want to grab the latest release candidate of Movable Type 4.2, due to be released shortly, and featuring massive performance improvements and far simpler templating in addition to support for the Facebook Connect plugin.