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Experimenting with Facebook Connect

Earlier today, we upgraded the software we use on NPR.org for commenting and other community tools. The upgrade addresses a number of bugs in the system, but it also includes our first experiment with Facebook Connect.

For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Facebook Connect is a way of letting Facebook users participate in other websites and share their content back to their Facebook accounts. In our first experiment, we've added a "Post this comment to Facebook" option to our comments. When you post a comment on NPR.org and click that option, you'll be able to connect your NPR.org account with your Facebook account and have your NPR.org cross-posted to your Facebook news feed.

For now, that's as far as we've taken it, and it's still not perfect - we've gotten it working in Safari and Firefox, but IE users may not be able to see the "Post this comment to Facebook" checkbox just yet. I'll let you know when that's resolved. Meanwhile, exploring the possibility of expanding this feature so you can cross-post NPR stories to Facebook when you click the "recommen" button, and perhaps even use your Facebook login and password to sign into the NPR Community. We're also exploring OpenID, Open Social and other tools that would allow people to sign into NPR via other websites and share their content more easily.

Anyway, I hope you find our first experiment with Facebook Connect useful. Please let us know what you think.

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