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Silent Facebook Messages? Why You May Not See Everything You’re Sent

Communication Concepts

December 20th, 2012

Facebook really loves to play Popularity Police. If you don’t like enough of a Page’s posts, they stop showing in your News Feed. If it doesn’t deem your post “important”, many of your friends won’t even see it.

Did you realize that Facebook also automatically filters what messages make it into your Messages “Inbox” folder? If Facebook doesn’t think a message is from someone you want to hear from, it gets sent into an “Other” folder. Did you even notice you had an “Other” folder? I know I didn’t.

Silent Facebook Messages

First, getting to the Messages page. You can either click on this:

Getting to Facebook Messages 1

 

Or this:

Getting to Facebook Messages 2

Which will bring you here:

Facebook Messages Tab

What I’d never noticed before was the “Other” text next to the “Inbox”. This is what it looks like when you click “Other”:

Facebook Messages Other Tab

As it turns out, Facebook has been quietly secreting away a number of messages, including some of those sent by people requesting friendship, as well as messages from Pages. (Did you even know Pages could send you messages? I didn’t. Probably because I’d never noticed I’d gotten any.)

There is a handy “Edit Preferences” link near the top which you may have noticed, but don’t get too excited. As you can see below, there is no way to turn off Facebook’s automatic filtering.

Facebook Automatic Message Filtering

You either get to “Mostly see messages from friends or people you may know” or “Mostly see messages from friends”.

What this means is that when I got a message from someone outside my known circles (another continent, no mutual friends, but still a legitimate message), it was tucked away in my Other folder without notification, and I didn’t even realize it was there. I’d been unintentionally ignoring this message for months.

There is also a “Spam” folder I wasn’t aware of:

Facebook Messages Spam Folder

You may want to poke around in it now and again to be on the safe side — although there was only one, definitely spam message in mine (and plenty of spam in my “Other” folder).

But here’s the punchline. Look what’s at the bottom of this quiet, non-notifying, largely unknown “Other” folder:

Facebook Site Governance Messages

Facebook was sending their Site Governance messages to the “Other” folder. No wonder none of us got them.

 

Displaying Custom WordPress Taxonomy List Items Without the Links

Tutorials

April 21st, 2011

Or: How to Strip <A> Tags From get_the_term_list

Okay, this one is a bit obscure and not terribly complex, but it took me a minute to solve, so here it is for the rest of the world.

I was working on a WordPress custom taxonomy as a way to store and display useful information about a post. Specifically, I was creating a “Venue” type to store nightclub names which could then be displayed easily throughout the theme’s code, as well as inserted via shortcode.

Creating the Custom Taxonomy

Creating the taxonomy itself wasn’t really that hard, and isn’t the main subject of this post, but for the sake of completeness, I’ll cover that briefly first.

function define_venue_taxonomy_cat() {
register_taxonomy('your-custom-taxonomy-name', 'page', array('hierarchical'=>true, 'label'=>'Taxo Name', 'query_var'=>true, 'rewrite'=>true) );
}

In the above code, I’m registering the taxonomy “your-custom-taxonomy-name” to attach to pages (as opposed to posts). I’m declaring it to be a hierarchical type, like WordPress’ native Categories, with the label “Taxo Name” showing up as the label above it in the admin. The “query_var” tells whether it should apply to custom post types, and “rewrite=>true” allows for pretty URLs such as “mysite.com/your-custom-taxonomy-name/item” instead of the default “mysite.com/?your-custom-taxonomy-name=item”.

This declaration in your functions.php file will register the taxonomy with the database and put a new meta box next to your pages.

For more info on custom taxonomies and how they work, check out custom taxonomies in the WordPress codex.

Outputting the Taxonomies Without Links

Now, I wanted to output the taxonomy info into the theme; i.e., I wanted the theme to display the name of the venue in various places. My only problem was that while the most obvious choice for this was WP function “get_the_term_list()“, it outputs the taxonomy terms as links, wrapped in <a> tags. After some mucking around, I discovered two possible solutions. Keep Reading

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