THE BLOG
07/24/2013 06:10 pm ET Updated Sep 23, 2013

Facebook Object Debugger Is a Blogger's Best Friend

If you're a blogger, content-marketer, community-manager, website admin, online writer, site-owner, or online editor, I am sure you've had the experience of your share of Facebook breaking. And, by breaking I mean it just shows up as a source URL without the article Title, Description, or a lovely selection of pulled images -- sort of like this:

brokenURL

Well, there are several ways of fixing this (assuming the site is up and running -- the above example isn't), one of which is to take that source URL and run it through a URL-shortening service such as Bit.ly, TinyURL, or rnnr in order to reboot Facebook's site- and page-inspection. Or, you can harness the fearsome power of Facebook's very own Facebook Object Debugger, part of the Facebook Developers toolkit.

debug

It's truly a panacea -- and for several reasons: First, it reboots the cached metadata, thumbnails, page title, and description -- which is really what you want. And if that's really what you want then you're done -- you can stop reading now bookmark first and go try it out now -- go thee to fix you your blog post preview (and, you're welcome).

First, there's proof that metadata isn't just interesting to the NSA, and metadata and meta tags are still important to the proper description of not only sites but all your discrete pages as well (from my site, chrisabraham.com)

rawOpenGraph

Then, you can see what Facebook has been able to extract from your page or your site -- this helps you sort out whether your blog or site is properly tagged, named, and structured in such a way that Facebook can automagically grok what you're up to -- here's another example from my site:

objectProperties

The rest of the info is very geeky but it can sort you out if your site is doing some strange thing such as an unexpected canonical redirect -- it allows you to know how your site is responding (with a response code of 200) and if your featured URL and the real URL match up (useful but not something most people need to know, unless Facebook throws you an error)

scrapeInfo

And, finally, the Facebook Graph rabbit-hole -- go ahead and click through one or both of the URLs and you'll see that the Internet is just HTML, code, scripts, CSS, and metadata -- and aren't you lucky that Firefox, IE, Chrome, and Safari do such a nice job of making all that rude text pretty?

uRLs

Good luck and may all of your blog posts render beautifully on Facebook!