Last night I started thinking about the content I am creating on Twitter and how I’d like to keep a copy of that data.
My initial thought is to create a plugin that would check my Twitter (JSON – yay!) feed every hour or so and save a copy of new tweets in a new database table. That way I can load the data locally for my site (not rely on Twitter to serve up the data in a widget) and do fun stuff with it. Of course, there are some benefits to letting Twitter serve up the data into a widget, but I like owning my data.
Derek saw the tweet on this and left a comment with a slightly different implementation idea. His implementation would create posts of tweets instead of storing them in a separate table. The benefit is allowing direct commenting on the tweets on your blog. The drawback is that the tweets are now included in all blog content, RSS feeds, etc.1
Which way would you want this to work, and why? (Note: I’m more interested in your arguments than your final decision). The comments are open.
- It’s generally easier to add things in than rip them out. [back]
This post is part of the project: Twitter Tools. View the project timeline for more context on this post.
hmmm. i would love to see something like the ” Daily del.icio.us Links” or an “Asides” type integration that posts the tweet by pulling in the latest tweets in the last hour. you could tag it as “twitter” and it could style different like an aside and can even turn off commenting on those type of posts. but that’s me. i would like my twitters to be a part of my content, searchable, etc.
can you not change the rss feeds to exclude a tag/category?
I agree with alba, I would want this to be a digest of twitter activity. A daily round up. If it could be an aside, that is even better. I don’t really want people to comment on my tweets, that is why they are tweets in the first place.
del.icio.us links are a little different in that they are pushed from the del.icio.us server. In this regard, you would need to have a cron job I believe. Not everyone has hosting that allows for precise cron jobs. Also, not everyone has enough hits.
Tweets could be set to any category id, and then the asides would take care of the rest.
Isn’t a tweet just a blog post without a title and a 140-character limit? I guess I’m having trouble seeing how it’s any different than the “asides” that people incorporate into their blogs. I guess the idea of “blogging” a title-less post on a separate website and then using hacks to incorporate it back into the blog seems a bit ridiculous to me.
To me what would make more sense is adding a Twitter-like feature into WP. When the blog owner is logged in, a blog entry field appears at the top of the blog that is only visible to the owner. The entry field would have a hidden auto-generated title, the entry textarea would have a 140-char limit, and the category is set to “Twitter.” When it’s saved, Twitter is pinged and updated through the API. Essentially it’s turning Twitter into another Technorati.
I’ve often thought this is how blogging software should have been developed. The post title (and permalink) should be auto-generated but can be overridden should the user optionally decide on a title. In other words, the default blogging behavior is like Twitter with the option to write more robust posts like blog posts are now.
I’m thinking that storing them in a different table would be best. That why people could, if they want to, have another process that creates digests and make that a post on their blog.
That might be too many steps though. 🙂 But the idea of having my tweets in a table I can do whatever I like with is compelling.
I’d like to see them dropped in as posts, as long as we can specify the category — that way they can be filtered and treated however we like…
It’d be great to have the option of either generating individual posts, or a day’s archive…
When given a choice between two options, most people want “both”.
I lean towards Patrick’s thoughts. I went along and joined the herd and created a Twitter account mainly to support my Lifestream. But I think this is functionality that makes much more sense to be incorporated as a plugin within my site. I like storing them in a seperate table from posts with their own feed. These aren’t posts, but quick blurbs on what we are doing, quick streams of consciousness, or links with our own quick comment.
If there’s the ability to post within the WP Admin page and store in a local table as well as Twitter’s server via an API to take advantage of the social aspects of Twitter then I’m all for it.
I’ve seen another plugin called fquick which I was thinking of trying as well.
I quite liked Jermey Keith’s Lifestream idea (as Mark mentions above). I know Chris J Davis tried to do a WP implementation – but it never really worked for joe-public.
By giving each tweet it’s own post (in WP), you’d have more control how it is displayed/represented.
As long as the tweets are categorised/tagged properly, they can be filtered out accordingly.
I personally would prefer storage in it’s own table, that way I can pull it into my header the way I use the js that twitter provides now. Then instead of a link to twitter I can create a special page on my site that includes all of my twitts.
On the other hand, I could do the same thing with it being pulled in as posts and would give me more flexibility for the future. But the task would be rather complicated.
So, you’re right I want both.
However, I think the majority of people that will want to use this plugin will need it to be simple. Modifying theme files to filter and sort isn’t something the masses will like. I would presume that a sidebar widget would get huge acceptance.
I am torn, really. If the data was added to the WordPress database then it could be easily intermixed with existing blog entries, and use the WP category hierarchy for archiving and searching for such entries.
However, if the data was added to a completely separate table, then it would be “easier” to play with on the side, without fear of tainting the WP tables. Additionally, by adding the data to a separate table, displaying the tweets is slightly more difficult for people that do not know much about SQL.
If I were to choose between the two, I would go for the latter. This way, the tweets could go in to a table that could be used to consolidate other similar data, which might be used to construct a more robust Lifestream-like page.
Just my $0.02.
Have a look at Jeremy Keith’s lifestream. It sounds vaguely similar….
Well, yes, I think that I’d want both, but for very different reasons.
If I want my tweets to act like salt and pepper on my blog — where I can sprinkle them wherever — I think a separate table makes the most sense.
OTOH (and I really want this) if I’d rather use WP more as a Tumblelog — i.e. posts with no titles — I’d love to use Twitter as an input method that’s equal to a native posting UI… using Twitter you get the benefit of using Jabber, SMS and the web UI, let alone the API. And, as a separate modification of a WP install, I could run it independent from my main blog, giving me the freedom to experiment while still having my regular blog that might show off a tweet here and there but wouldn’t use that content as the *primary* content.
That’s where I’m at anyway.
I love your plugin, and I’m sorry if this isn’t the right place to comment or inquire about features (I know it’s an old post), but I’m just dying to know if there might be a way to exclude, from the tweets that get posted as a digest, any and all posts that begin with “@.”
When I first started using Twitter Tools, I really wasn’t participating in the community of Twitter (that took awhile for me to grasp), and I liked having some coherent, reasonably interesting content automatically appearing on my blog even if I didn’t have time to do a proper blog post. (Because some days that just can’t be done.)
But since I started using, with some frequency, the “@” function to participate in conversations on Twitter, I wince in horror at what gets posted to my blog, which isn’t going to make a lick of sense to anyone who isn’t already participating in Twitter. (In which case, they’d probably prefer to follow those lines of conversation through the Twitter interface!)
I would really, really LOVE having that as a feature. (Alas, messing around with your code in order to try to customize it would be WAY over my head.) Just an option where you could check off, “exclude @ replies.” I think that would be genius.
Thanks for your great work!
You may like to take a look at this post. http://www.henshall.[...]and-my-blog/ This is how I use Delicious and Twitter
I use TwitterTools. I also use the Category Excluder to remove the daily twitter posts from my home page RSS feed and archives. However, now all my Tweets are searchable from my blog!
I’ve also added to the side bar an RSS of search.twitter.com of all @stuarthenshall comments on twitter. They may not be in context of a post; they are part of my online public conversational life.
There are some other changes I am writing up in a new blog post.
[…] Proper Behavior for a Twitter Archiver WordPress Plugin Posted by root 14 minutes ago (https://alexking.org) I don 39 t really want people to comment on my tweets that is why they are tweets in the first i 39 m thinking that storing them in a different table would be best proudly powered by wordpress and hosted by austin web development Discuss | Bury | News | Proper Behavior for a Twitter Archiver WordPress Plugin […]
@sogrady Tweet archiving was the original purpose of Twitter Tools. http://t.co/LmuMWJWD
@alexkingorg: totally forgot about that since the Twitter auth change broke my instance. need to re-enable it.
@sogrady The current version doesn’t reach back in history, but perhaps we can create an add-on for the next-gen version to do that.
[…] to Twitter I soon realized that I wanted to keep a copy of that content. Twitter Tools was born shortly thereafter. Since that time Twitter has evolved, WordPress has evolved, and my vision of how best to integrate […]