Oh, the places you’ll go
I’ve blogged previously about the Ten Thousand Coffees program that I got enrolled in earlier this year. Admittedly, I am a very young professional with only 2 years ‘real’ work experience in my field. When I first applied to be an ‘expert’ on this site, I was sceptical about how much knowledge I would actually have to offer, and how much value that knowledge would provide to others. However, I love any opportunity to talk to strangers and rant about things I’m passionate about (coding, my work, my views on educational institutions, etc.). So I put aside my cynicism and gave it a try.
I’ve received a few email correspondences over the past couple months, mostly from students who have questionnaires as part of school projects they needed to complete. Yesterday I had my first in-person meeting over coffee (or in this case, green tea). I met with the lovely Annabel, a neuroscience undergraduate with a growing interest in game development and virtual reality. Our “little chat” ended up running for 3 hours, which I only seemed to notice went by upon realizing it was already dark outside.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much valuable knowledge and insight I had to offer. And once again, I was reminded how valuable volunteer and non-profit programs are to my personal development, both as a professional and as an individual. I told Annabel about my volunteer experience as a mentor with Ladies Learning Code, and with the ROM beta testing the cool new interactive game table featured in their mining exhibit. In conjunction with my ever growing collection of Creative Commons contributions, I’ve made my most valuable business and personal connections with people in related industries by taking part in these programs having no financial incentive. The only motivational factor in all these aforementioned activities is the hope that I have something to offer to others, and that I get to meet and hang out with some REALLY amazing people. This has proven to be the case time and time again.
I’m conclusion I am so thankful to the team behind Ten Thousand Coffees for giving me the opportunity to network with people in a way that I otherwise may not have been able to. I’m extremely excited to meet many more people through this program in the future!
Creating a Facebook Page Tab App - a LOT more difficult than it should be
Right when I thought my frustration with Facebook couldn’t get any worse, I was tasked with creating a Facebook page tab today for a client. Please keep in mind I’ve done this on multiple occasions before, and one of our other developers actually made her own documentation for how to do this. Unfortunately, Facebook changes the workflow of this every other day (or so it would seem). So chances are by the time you read this, this workflow may also be out of date. If so, I feel for you, because hell knows Facebook is not keeping its docs up to date either. So with that in mind, I hope this can at least help point you in the right direction.
My app will house a static html page that I built, with the intent to basically iFrame it within Facebook as an ‘app’. As I mentioned before, Facebook’s documentation is pretty much useless and it misses a lot of steps, is outdated and incorrect. What else is new…
Step 1: Create your html page
You will need a valid SSL certificate for your page in order to use it in a Facebook tab (required since late 2011). Keep in mind the Facebook page tab size is 810px wide, so if your site isn’t responsive, have a look at it at this breakpoint to make sure it’s displaying properly.
Step 2: Create your app
You should already have your Business Page in Facebook, and you must be an administrator for that page (I am actually an Editor and not a full Admin role, but this will suffice).
Now go to https://developers.facebook.com/ and from the Apps menu, select ‘Create New App’. Provide your Display name and namespace. Don’t bother creating a test version if you’re just iframing in a page with limited functionality. Select ‘Apps for Pages’ from the Category dropdown.
Step 3: Configuring Settings
Go into the ‘Settings’ item in the left menu, and in your ‘Basic’ tab, supply the App Domain (domain that your static HTML page is living on). I believe the contact e-mail is not required, but you should provide one just in case.
Now, go into Status & Review menu item on the left, and make your App available to the Public (option at the very top of this page).
Additional settings you may want to configure will be in the App Details menu item on the left. Here you can add a Tagline, set languages and provide ‘Icons’. (I’m not actually sure what the icons you supply here will be used for, as the image for the page tab itself will be set elsewhere.)
Step 4: Adding your Platform
Go back to the Settings menu item and click the ‘+ Add Platform’ button at the bottom of this page. You will want to select ‘Page Tab’ from these options.
Provide your Tab URL and Secure URL. I’m not sure what the ‘Edit URL’ is, so I’ve left this field blank.
Here you can also set the width of your page tab and upload your tab image (111 x 74 pixels). Save your changes here once you’re done.
At this point you’ll probably want to preview your App to make sure it’s working before you continue to Step 5. To do this you’re going to have to add a new platform (makes so much sense, I know).
This time, select ‘App on Facebook’. Supply your page URL and the Secure URL respectively.* (Don’t ask me what Unity Integration is.) Once you’ve saved this, you can use the ‘Canvas Page’ URL provided to preview your app.
Step 5: Adding the App to your page
This is the section that was REALLY LACKING in Facebook’s documentation. They really should look into updating this ASAP (I’ve filed numerous complaints, so help me out here).
Now, you’ll want to go to the following URL in a new tab:
Replace YOUR_APP_ID with the Application ID which can be found in your Basic Settings panel.
Replace YOUR_URL with the Domain of the site that your static HTML page is living on. Be sure to include http:// at the beginning of this (www. is not required).
You’ll now see an Add Page Tab dialogue which allows you to choose the Business Page that this tab will be added to. Click the ‘Add Page Tab’ button and you’re good to go!
*On a side note, a Canvas page has a 760px width requirement. A Page tab has a 520px(standard) 810px(wide) option….. Seven hells…