Home > Uncategorized > No 301 love from Facebook

No 301 love from Facebook

July 7, 2007

After recently changing my feed over to FeedBurner I was happy to see that my latest “Note” had been imported into my Facebook profile.

(In case you’re not aware, Facebook has a cool feature which allows you to import posts from your blog into your profile which then become “Notes”.  They reprint the whole article but they do link back to the original permalink.  This way your Facebook friends can read your blog without actually having to leave the realm of Facebook.  And perhaps a more interesting feature, you can link who is in the Note.  A way of tagging the post with a person’s name but a strongly typed tag that links back to their profile.  This activity alone can possibly warrant a one-liner in their news feed and even their friends news feed.  Now your syndicated post, which is now a Note, could be read by people you don’t know looking for information about one of their Facebook friends, thus expanding the reach of your words or possibly even providing some useful information worth sharing to people who are interested.)

The new note was there and it got me thinking about my redirect issue with FeedBurner.  To support my RSS URL changing, I was now returning a HTTP status of 301 when my past URL was requested along with the location of my new URL.  I thought it would be nifty of FaceBook if they had made the request for RSS, received the 301, recorded the new location and modified my setting in profile.  They didn’t.  They still had my old URL listed.

If I knew what a 301 was and I had set it myself, which is the case here, then I would hope they would change the URL in my settings to be imported.

And if I didn’t know what was going on and my blog vendor modified my URL, then I would likely be unaware of anything changing unless my Notes had stopped importing.

I poked around in Facebook’s Terms of Use and I found this:

By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing.

Maybe changing the URL based on the 301 would be considered translating or reformatting?

This was not such a big issue to me as a user, but more as a site developer.  We added the blog post import feature on Channel 10 where I don’t believe we are recording changes sent via 301s.  Feed URLs are actually discovered and recorded via auto-discovery links once a blog URL is given, so there is even more freedom for the system to respect the 301 since the user never manually entered the original URL.

Funny, you wouldn’t think being on vacation would turn out a post on HTTP status codes…

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