How To: Import Links From StumbleUpon To WordPress

In new WordPress 3.8 systems, there are no ‘Links’ objects anymore. Instead, posts may be flagged as posts, links, notes or other such thing. Pretty neat, but if you rely on ye olde link object, and did not update an older installation, you’re pretty much on your own.

This is, naturally, only the visible part of something dug deeper in WordPress core. Some aspects of these ongoing changes can be read up here:

Snap A Site

 

Some more insight on how this happened is gathered by Lorelle:

Snap A Site

 

Let’s spare ourselves aeons of discussing normalization, sound object models and the like. This is wordpress.

 

You may call my personal view on keeping links in a table of their own somewhat conservative. No matter what Google may think about link juice being spilt all over the place, there still may be visitors who value a good and easy assessible list of recommendations. Also, there are other scenarios that call for an easy way to read and search in resources someone else found useful as well.

Take www.stumbleUpon.com as an example. A very cool website, that just totally fails at giving an easy way to make use of your personal collection of likes: there’s precisely one RSS feed per user, and it contains your 20 newest stumbles, at best. There is no way of knowing if the person behind this collection simply stopped at 20, or if the link you need so dearly is out of reach at position 21. Also, there is no easy way to search in your likes on stumbleUpon: no categories, a very slow search function, and a confusing search result list… So this is a scenario that led me wanting my own link database.

There’s a way. And, for good or bad, there’s no coding involved.

Now finally, these are the steps needed to get your Stumbles into WordPress 3.8.x:

  1. In your Firefox browser:
    Get StumbleUpon’s Firefox tool bar.
  2. Still in your Firefox browser:
    Save your likes as bookmarks.
  3. Again in Firefox:
    Install an OPML add-on, export them to an OPML file.
    Make sure to keep your categories.
  4. In WordPress:
    install Link Library.
    Import Blogroll With Categories. The regular OPML importer does not account for categories, which is… well…
    Import your OPML file
  5. Still in WordPress:
    Set up your link list via Link Library.

And you’re done. I know, the list is pretty brief. I think that’s a good thing.


In my case, I needed to enable shortcodes in widgets (functions.php), since I wanted a search function and a category list in a sidebar to filter my 300-and-some links:

add_filter('widget_text', 'do_shortcode');

Also, to avoid trouble with the built-in screenshot tool in link library, I installed Snap-A-Site and manipulated the database a bit:

UPDATE wp_links SET link_image = CONCAT ("http://s.wordpress.com/mshots/v1/",link_url,"?w=200&h=150")


Please feel free to comment on this! I’m still looking for a convenient way to directly connect to my likes via API or wherever StumbleUpon hides away my data. It seems they harvest the web rather than feeding it. I hope I’m mistaken.