Forcing Facebook to Refresh its Cached Previews

Facebook iconAfter some searching, I discovered (thanks to Barbarian Blog) that it is possible to get Facebook to update the text excerpt and preview icon from shared web links by going to the following page:

… just enter your URL, and any Facebook entries pointing to the link will be updated with new content.

Great shot! Steve Cowan (nebula) at Lily Lounge

From “32 Shades of Gray” – here we can see a couple of sexy women dancing! sigh…

Oh, and Steve Cowan is throwing down some beats in the background. The live techno was very well received.

Photo by Jos Lightbringer

Steve Cowan (nebula) - Li'ly Lounge, Toronto

Site Status … When can we launch?

There are only a few things left to finish up before is ready to launch. We could launch today, but I feel that the site isn’t quite feature-complete. Here’s what we still have to do (roughly in order of priority)

  1. Wordpress LogoUpdate to WordPress 3.5.
    The new version offers lots of nice new features. It’s already in place at the test site, and once I test the new version of the twenty eleven theme with the child “jugger” theme we’ve created, and all the plug-ins we’re using, the update will be a go. Of course, in the interest of perfection, this means we must…

  2. Soundcloud "cloud" logoManually fix all existing SoundCloud references on the site to correspond with the new WordPress oEmbed methodology.
    If we want to do something with all that audio en masse in the future, it’s probably for the best if the embedding method is consistent.

  3. Audio WaveformDatabase-driven audio.
    The “Om Sets” page is a manually created table – some custom coding will be required to tag all of the audio resources so that it is automatically delivered and formatted correctly. Also, the “Audio” page is nothing more than posts that are in the “audio” category. We’ve been diligently adding that category to all posts that include music, but the delivery is lackluster.
    I want the “Audio” menu item to bring users to a page, which includes a slick table of all audio, automatically including every snippet that is posted. Sorted by artist for good measure. The plug-ins I’ve been investigating are “File Gallery” and “Media Library Assistant” although “Media Downloader” looks like it could be interesting.
    Including SoundCloud (or other third-party) hosted audio as part of the same schema would be a bit tricky, so we might have to limit this feature to locally-hosted audio. But for an audio-centric site, I maintain that third-party content hosting is generally a bad idea.

  4. Get Info IconFix the awkward handling of category descriptions.
    Presently category descriptions allow for a quick artist bio or sub-blog description. I have installed a plug-in to allow HTML within this field – a must-have for the likes of Boots Boogie’s bio, where I used the “small” tag so that, god willing, there is still room on the page for the first post.
    I’m thinking that this should somehow find its way into the sidebar. This will also call for some custom coding, but the result should be much prettier than the current implementation.

  5. Document IconMake sidebar links look clickable. The coloured text is not enough! Things like “View The Calendar” and “About Us” just don’t look like actual links where they are. Icons or buttons are required.

  6. A more distinctive font for article headers would be nice.
  7. That standard helvetica-ish thing looks just so … vanilla. Should be an easy fix, but I have to research to find either a pretty standard font or else something that can be delivered very quickly.

  8. iPhone IconMake site look acceptable on iPhone which presently looks pretty crappy – also need to check it out on Android and Windows phones. The “WPTouch” plug-in looks like a pretty cool option – need to test. Site looks pretty decent on iPad though.

  9. Tidy up the sharing buttons at the bottom of each post. I’d like to have a single “share” button which pops up a little AJAX window with Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter etc.


Any ideas / assistance here would really be appreciated. Thanks to all the web developers who have helped me so far, and any further advice would be very much appreciated. I’ll try to provide updates as I make progress.

Friends and Idols: A SoundCloud Set

Continuing to experiment with the new SoundCloud. I created a set with a few of my tracks in it alongside some friends’ and acquantainces’ tracks (and a couple mixes). Suddenly my play counts have skyrocketed (by the count on the player) although the stats page doesn’t reflect it yet. Perhaps SoundCloud is recommending the set, or tracks within it, as being related to other tracks they may be listening to. In any case this probably gets more plays for everybody who’s included.

So far it includes tracks from Steve Cowan (i.e. me – “nebula”), Arthur Oskan, E.R.A., Hawkeye and Cosmosuave, plus sets from Mike Gibbs and Sarah Shaw-Cowan. A good cross-section of Friends and Idols.

[update 2012-12-20: added two tracks by Flim]

Here’s the set. I will likely continue to add to it.

Trip the Light Fantastic’s Apocalypsemas

Trip The Light Fantastic Flyer
(Click to enlarge)

Trip the Light Fantastic & Boots Boogie present:


Either the world is ending or we have a holiday to celebrate. If the world ends, at least you’re in good company. If it doesn’t, it’s still an excellent excuse to dance like there’s no tomorrow. And what is more suiting for the end of the world than disco? (scary techno, but who wants that?)

  • The Noodlemen (Long Weekend Records)
  • Le Freak C’est Keek (Hipnosis)
  • Paul Revered (Hipnosis)
  • Boots Boogie (Trip the Light Fantastic/Dis’Function Fridays)
  • Jessica Kaera Cho (Vision of Paradise)

Continue reading