Thursday, October 8, 2009

How to Use Twitterfeed to Automatically Send a Link Your Blog with Twitter

If you have read some of the previous posts on this site, you've seen how I've used Twitter with my site, and you may have even seen my article on how I associated my mailing list with Twitter so that both the mailing list audience and Twitter audience could be notified of a new blog post or news item at the same time.

This second solution didn't deal with the situation where I wanted the Twitter audience to get notified immediately and the mailing list audience to be notified later. It also didn't help me in a situation where a blog did not have a mailing list associated with it. I could have used my mailing list service create a new list that had no members, but could be used to send a post to Twitter, but that seemed to be a bit of overkill.

Fortunately, the service Twitterfeed solved both problems. Once you set it up, you can tell it to update your Twitter account any time your feed gets updated. If you use services like Feedburner, you can create specific feed for blogs, podcasts, or many other kinds of content. Once you log into Twitter feed, you can associate a feed with a specific Twitter account.

If you set things up right, updating your content, adding a blog posting for example, automatically updates the feed, and Twitterfeed automatically posts a message and a link back to that blog post.

To make it work smoothly takes a bit of practice. Twitter allows messages only 140 characters long, and the URL takes up about 25 spaces, so I make sure my title on the blog post is less than 115 spaces. I treat the title like a newspaper headline in that it explains the content of the post well enough so that someone can decide if it is worth reading.

For more background about Twitterfeed and their recently added features, check out the Twitterfeed blog.

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