I’m Funnier On Twitter (A Guide to Embedded Tweets in WordPress 3.4)

Working Dad Talking On Phone Holding An InfantI upgraded my WordPress installation, and while reading the details page I saw that apparently this version allows embedding of tweets into WordPress posts with some kind of interactivity about them. I’m supposed to type the permanlink to a tweet on its own line, and then WordPress will do something magic with that link.

I don’t usually write posts from within the WordPress Editor, though. I use Windows Live Writer. I’d like to find out if this magic trick will work with with permalinks that I put on single lines from within the Live Writer editor.

I had a pretty good run on Twitter today, so I have a few tweets of my own to use for this experiment. Let’s see if it works.



So, it looks like I have to go into the WordPress Editor to take advantage of this feature. Let’s try it again.


Wait a minute. That didn’t work either. Is it because I put the permalink on a line by itself in the “Visual” editor instead of the “HTML” editor? Let’s try the HTML version.


Oh, that’s kind of cool. You can see a nice image of the tweet, with a little “Follow” button and a link to my profile. Very nice. But it bleeds out of the side of my fake center column. Is that a default that I can change, I wonder? And I’ve noticed within my “Visual” editor that I don’t see that image, just the permalink, but it isn’t hyperlinked to the tweet. Is that why it didn’t work in the Visual version the first time? Maybe if I break that link it will work. Let’s try with another tweet.

Aha! Yes, if, after you paste the permalink into your Visual editor you then break the hyperlink the editor wants to do you the favour of creating for the line you pasted, then the editor will embed the tweet properly.

Now, what about that edge-bleeding? If I go into the WordPress Dashboard, and then to “Settings”–>”Media”, I get an option to change the width and height of the auto-embedded media. I changed my width to “400”. Did that fix the problem? (Note, when I pasted this link in the “Visual” editor I right-clicked the mouse and selected “Paste as plain text” so that I wouldn’t have to break the hyperlink after the fact.

Yep! But hey! It’s also changed the width of my previously embedded tweets, so they look normal and I look crazy for mentioning a width bleed problem at all. Well. Trust me, there was one.

Okay, I think I’m done messing around with this now. Enjoy embedding tweets into your posts, WordPress 3.4 users.

P.S. Oh! I just remembered why the hell I started this post in the first place: Can I take advantage of this embedded tweets feature from within Windows Live Writer? It didn’t’ seem to work the first time, but maybe that’s also because the editor helpfully hyperlinked the permalink I posted. Let’s try a plain text version from within the Live Writer editor. (Unfortunately, there is no “paste as plain text” option when you right-click in the Live Writer editor, so the hyperlink will have to be broken manually, after pasting the text. Fingers crossed here.)

Well, that was a big “Hell no!” In fact, retrieving the post to Live Writer, then republishing, confused WordPress about the status of the permalinks that worked and broke them too. Now I’m in the Visual editor again. I see that the previously working links, within here, are still plain, and even the last one I did within Live Writer is plain (though the first one, that I pasted without breaking the link, still shows up as hyperlink blue). So what gives? Will the problem fix itself as soon as I hit “Update” now that I’ve been editing once again in the WordPress editor, and it sees all these plain text links?

Yep. All back to normal now (again, you’ll just have to trust me about their having disappeared there for a bit when I posted from Live Writer, since re-posting from within the WordPress editor fixed everything, and erased all evidence.)

Okay, now I’m really done.

Er…no, first I want to change the width of these things to 450 instead of 400. They are looking stubby. There. Once again, finally again, I know you can’t tell that I did anything. But trust me, the embedded twitter boxes looked a little weird for a bit.

So, in short: Embedded tweets look great in WordPress 3.4, so long as you paste in plain text on single lines, and do it from within the WordPress editor itself (either the “Visual” or “HTML” editors will work), but the process doesn’t work when posting from Windows Live Writer. And that’s a shame. I don’t know if I’ll use this feature that much if I have to compose from within the WordPress editor. Anyway, good night!

I’m Going to Change My Name to BusyDad, Because I’ve Been So Busy

I’ve done a crazy amount of writing this week. You probably didn’t read it, because I just kept posting, posting, posting. I was also linking, linking, linking. It was annoying, oying, oying.

In case you missed/ignored/disbelieved what I claimed to be up to, here is a list-style post about my online activities this week.

First, here on this blog where I blog things:

  1. I cleared my entire backlog of Backpacking Dad’s Overdue Reviews posts, finally reviewing a pillow, a face-washing thing, and a back massager. I have none left. My conscience is now cleanish.
  2. I finally wrote about a trip I took to Chicago, where I got to play with power tools. I also let a home improvement dude give you home improvement tips. Again…cleanish.
  3. I dad-blogged, and felt good about it.
  4. I tried to imagine what Buffy would have been like with an alternate cast.
  5. I got a very nerdy new backpack.

Second, I got a new job blogging at Babble, because I don’t have enough writing to do (*cough* dissertation *cough*). I call it “Parenting Off the Map, with Backpacking Dad”, and this week:

  1. I told you to make your kids feel stupid.
  2. I told you that front-carriers are totally un-sexy.

Third, I started Stumbling things on StumbleUpon.

  1. If you already follow me on Twitter, you have seen many of my Stumbly links. However, I’m going to try not to send every single one to Twitter, because that is super-annoying. If you want to follow me on StumbleUpon, I can be found here.
  2. I will be Stumbling my own posts there too, because that’s not lame. It’s not. It’s not. Dude, it’s not. (Now it just sounds like I’m saying “It’s snot” over and over.)

Fourth, I have new Internet addictions:

  1. Bandwagon, a web-series with Emma Caulfield (you may know her as “Anya” from Buffy).
  2. Kingdom Rush, a web-game that has you placing towers along paths to defend your territory against invaders. I can’t stop.
  3. Sword and Laser, a podcast with Veronica Belmont in which many science fiction and fantasy things are discussed, in obsessive depth.

I’ve also been out of the house on several occasions this week. I’ve been trying to install a sliding screen door, which has of course turned into three separate trips to the hardware store because a) They don’t have one b) They have one but it’s too tall for the opening c) They have another one that claims to be short enough for the opening but is a god damned liar.

We went to a park in Los Gatos that has a steam train you can ride, and a carousel. And we played frisbee in a field where the geese had just been. You could tell they had just been there because of all the green poo.

Today, I wore Adrian in the backpack while we went to the farmer’s/farmers/famers’ market. He’s not too heavy. He’s not too big. I’m not done yet.

We’ve been getting a lot of cucumbers and cherry tomatoes from the planters we have in the backyard (and we ate all the peaches and I made no peach jam this year). Cucumbers, we believe, are better on sandwiches than lettuce. Stop using lettuce. Switch to sliced cucumbers.

So…how’s you?


I Went to a Live @Nerdist Show and All I Got Was a Chris Hardwick on My Back

So…let me explain.

No, it is too much. Lemme sum up.

  1. I started listening to the Nerdist podcast a couple of months ago. I listened to the entire back catalog in about three weeks, just before they cracked the 100th episode mark. I am a fan. Some of my favourite people show up to do interviews, they talk about geeky things and comedy (I am turning into a comedy nerd) and Chris and Matt and Jonah are just great at what they do. I listen to a few other podcasts now (more on my new podcasting obsession later), but The Nerdist is by far my favourite. I also read the blog, and spend some time on Twitter trying to get famous people to go on the show. Sometimes this works.
  2. The Nerdist is Chris Hardwick, host of G4’s WebSoup, stand-up comic, panelist on Chelsea Lately, and now author of The Nerdist Way. He also used to be roommates with Wil Wheaton, who I once convinced to babysit Erin so I could go read some comic books.
  3. A regular thing at the California Academy of the Sciences in Golden Gate Park is “Nightlife”, a nighttime series of “lectures” that is really just an excuse to go party at a really amazing building in San Francisco. It is $12 to get in.
  4. I have had $12.
  5. I went to the show, in which Chris sat opposite Veronica Belmont, such an early adopter that her Twitter handle is just “Veronica”, and spoke with her about nerdy things: Google+, podcasting, Internet culture, gaming, Game of Thrones/True Blood, and why kids on an airplane are a young nerd’s worst nightmare (there weren’t many parents in the room, so this went over well).
  6. IMG-20110818-00117

  7. I sat in the front row, stage right. We were in African Hall, which features displays of stuffed animals behind glass. I was sitting next to one of the windows, at the side of the hall. Some of the animals, though, are not stuffed. At one point during the interview, Chris pointed straight at my head and yelled “Those lizards are alive!!” You should be able to hear this on the podcast when the show goes up. Now, imagine me, sitting there listening and watching, when all of a sudden, dude points at my face and starts yelling at me. I couldn’t even understand the words he was saying at first because I was so surprised. Good times.
  8. After the interview ended, Chris stayed to meet fans and I lingered for a handshake and a photo. Sending tweets to people you admire is one thing; going up to them and actually speaking is another, and I was getting really nervous about it. But when my turn came I said, “Hi, I’m Shawn. I go by @BackpackingDad on Twitter….” and he recognized me and said “Yes! You’ve been trying to get people on the podcast…with moderate success!” When you hear Emma Caulfield on the podcast later? Yeah, I did that. I also get to claim credit for the Neil Gaiman interview, though not really.
  9. I asked if I could take a picture with him, and he said “Sure!” but when I went to do my one-handed self-shot (every picture ever of me and another person seems to be this same move), he gestured to one of the other people waiting and asked them to take the picture instead. “Okay…” I thought, wondering if it was a germs thing, or maybe I smelled bad, or I’d given off that crazy-stalker vibe, and he wanted to keep some distance between us in the photo. But no. Because the next thing I know, Chris Hardwick has climbed up on to the stage we were standing next to, then clambered up onto my back, exclaiming “I’m like one of your kids!”IMG-20110818-00122
  10. The End.

Go subscribe to the Nerdist Podcast now. Thank me later. Beware of hitchhiking Hardwicks.