How to Sync RSS Feeds with Twitter

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23 June 2009

How to Sync RSS Feeds with Twitter

Twitter is a worldwide known micro-blogging platform. It allows to send 140-characters messages (so-called tweets) to a public timeline for other users to read, and each member can follow other users to be constantly updated about their notices.

twitterfeed

Twitter is also widely used as an aggregator as it’s easy to send tweets automatically through API functions and services based on them.


The simplest way to synchronize a blog or a news site with Twitter is sending notices fetched from an RSS feed.

But how can this be done? The answer is simple: TwitterFeed. This service offers the ability to sync an RSS feed with Twitter, any website based on laconi.ca (an open source alternative to Twitter) such as identi.ca and TorrentTwitter, and via HelloTxt or Ping.fm.

First of all, let’s see what we need:
  • Our RSS feed URL

  • An account on one of the platforms mentioned above

The first step is to register on TwitterFeed. If we have an OpenID, let’s login with it (if you do, keep in mind to always use the same OpenID or obviously your feeds won’t be displayed).

Once you’re logged in, go to the My Feeds page and click Create New Feed. Now you have to authenticate with your Twitter and let TwitterFeed know about your account data. Click on “Authenticate at Twitter”, then in the page that appears choose “Authorize”, and you’re done.

In the controls below, choose the update frequency (I like to set it to every 30 mins) and the number of entries to transfer at once. Also, I like to set the include field to title only, since tweets can contain a maximum of 140 characters, so descriptions will be likely to be truncated and so they won’t look so useful in most cases — but that’s just your choice of course. Then you have to choose your preferred shorten link service: for most of those, TwitterFeed will allow you to choose your API key (you have to be a registered member on the service you choose in order to obtain it), and by inserting it your short URLs linking to RSS entries will be added to your account as soon as new tweets are posted.

The Post new items based on select menu determines how TwitterFeed knows when your feed contains new entries. Selecting pubDate will check for the pubDate node in your entries, whereas GUID checks for an unique identifier that must be fetched in a GUID tag on each entry. Most RSS feeds, for example WordPress generated ones, already contain this tag. If you’re using a custom feed, you’ll have to add it on your own.

The prefix field allows you to enter a text which will be prefixed for each tweet. This is especially useful when dealing with laconi.ca installs (such as identi.ca or TorrentTwitter) that looks for hashtags and group names in your notices. For example, if you want all your entries to be added in the group “music” and tagged as “jazz”, just add “!music #jazz” in your prefix text.

Filter by keywords looks for specific keywords in RSS titles and descriptions and leaves entries out if they contain those words. This, combined with the prefix text feature descripted above and the ability to create multiple TwitterFeed entries for the same feed, allows you to specify proper categories and tags for each tweet.

Now that you compiled the form, cilck on Update and we’re done! TwitterFeed will take some minutes to analyze your feed and, as soon as it’s done, it will instantly post the most recent entry to Twitter or whatever service you’ve chosen. Now get some coffee or tea and enjoy your automatically updated micro-blogging account page!

By the way, don’t forget to make a donation to TwitterFeed if you can, as they host hundreds of thousands of feeds for free and they look like nice guys on the forums.

1 comments:

Agung on January 5, 2010 at 3:12 PM said...

Kok halaman tukeran link ga ada isinya.
Coba kunjungi situs saya, http://computerforfun.co.cc.

Klo tertarik tukeran link dgn sy, tlg ksh tau ya.
Thanks..


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