I’ve seen a number of recent complaints about my Twitter Tools plugin’s capability to post to Twitter when you put a post on your blog. I’m somewhat sympathetic, it’s not a feature I use myself because I have similar thoughts on the topic.
I use Twitter Tools as an archiver – I want a copy of my Twitter content that I can work with locally, and that’s about all I really use it for. The additional features were added for the sake of completeness, as an exercise in working with the Twitter API, and due to requests from other users.
I’ve got a number of changes1 and new features I’m prepping for an update to Twitter Tools, should I include some editorializing on how people should use the broadcasting features
- Option to include @replies in the sidebar, make all @usernames clickable, make URLs in digests clickable, selective broadcasting of blog posts to Twitter, and a few more things I can’t recall at the moment. [back]
This post is part of the project: Twitter Tools. View the project timeline for more context on this post.
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I think people that broadcast too much will get unfollowed pretty quickly. I’m much more interested in bug fixes (the repost-on-update and the double tinyurl link) and maybe some indications on how to change the default URL shortening service (if it’s done on the TT side and not on the Twitter side)
Otherwise TT is great! Thanks for the ongoing work on it!
i love Twitter Tools and i use it to archive my tweets as well. i have TT on my sidebar and i do see @replies in my sidebar, too (the ones i send out, not the ones i receive). also in the sidebar, the @username is clickable, but not in the digest. you can see it when you go to my blog that i linked to.
one thing i’d like is to see if the digest cut off can be midnight, local time, not GMT time. what i do today is prepend my first tweet of the day with the date so i know where i started tweeting (in the daily digest).
thanks again for a wonderful plugin!
one feature I’d love to see is filtering out new post announcement made by Twitter Tools from the blog display
I’d like it to actually grab posts that I’ve made, since I use it for 3 different blogs (only use it for “archive posting” on one).
If it does already, mine doesn’t seem to.
Alex, Thanks for doing TwitterTools. Is quite handy. I am still trying to figure out how to archive weekly instead of daily so I can “give back”.
As far as editorializing, you would definitely be in the right to do that. It is your blog and if think it is important go for it.
I would not worry too much about it though. Twitter makes it easy for “we the people” to police anything we consider bad behavior. If anything you might want to include it as a tip on how not to lose all your followers. 🙂
I actually like getting the blog post update tweets from @jabancroft. I am backlogged in RSS this week but his posts are an excuse to take a break.
Thanks again for a really cool tool. I am looking forward to seeing the update.
Good work Alex 🙂
I wish you make it easy to change the shorten URL in the next version because in our country some shorten URL’s services are blocked like tinyurl.com.
First, I’m really enjoying Twitter Tools. Thank you! 🙂
Like the other comments, I am using it for the digest function only. I’ve had to do the loop category filter for my digests myself within the old fluid theme I’m limping on until WP2.5. It’s not really the job of the plug-in to hide posts form the main index loop but I wanted to mention I do not push digests to my main index.
The only thing I would add to your footnote is an option to specify a custom CSS for the entry when the archive digest is posted. It would be nice to have a namespace for how I wish to create or display those entries specifically. Ideally, this could be an item or word one could enter into a text field that someone could go back and support within their style.css for their theme.
I would like some control of Twitter Tools from within the editor, because when I edit an old post for some corruption I must remember to turn it off, or back on. I forget.
Perhaps a way to customise a new post announcement from the editor too.
Overall, a great tool. Thank you.
I was one of the individuals who emailed, and hopefully my email didn’t come off as a complaint. I was only suggesting a feature, but you are offering a great plugin for free, so obviously it is up to you whether you took that suggestion or not.
Reading through the list of comments here, I echo the sentiment about a seperate css file for customizing the appearance, the repost on Twitter update, and I am glad someone else here mentioned about posting to our blogs weekly, like I originally emailed. This is the feature I want the most.
I see the focus more on the community features of Twitter, and incorporating those into the plugin. I personally don’t have anyone following me, so that is not all that important to me as of now. But would be to most people.
Alex, thanks for Twitter tools. I use the broadcast function, but I post so infrequently, unless I’m testing, that it doesn’t matter to me.
I use three column WP themes, and on some of them the Twitter URLs flow outside of the sidebars. The only theme that effectively solves this issue is K2. Is it possible for you to shorten the URLs with ellipses? For example; http://www.twitter…, it would be most helpful.
Alex, thanks for Twitter Tools as well! I agree with a few other commenters here in that I think Twitter is very much self-policing. If someone annoys you with their twittering habits, it’s easy to unfollow them. It’s definitely not your responsibility to teach anyone who uses your plugin any sort of responsibility or behavior.
I actually think that sending a notification of a blog post to Twitter is extremely useful. As for guidelines, I’m not sure that is really necessary, people who use Twitter will ultimately try and create a network and learn what the people they follow, and are followed by, accept. I think as a general guideline saying you shouldn’t use it to simply spam folks with your blog posts may seem innocuous enough, but what if a network of people are using Twitter as a one-stop shopping for all of their particular communities updates.
As is often the case, there is seldom any one right way to use these tools, and if you didn’t include this feature in your plugin, it goes without saying that someone else would. Only thing is, I’m not so sure they will be quite the developer that you have proven to be 🙂
As for guidelines, well I guess that would be up to you, but why should you be strapped with that onus? Let other people figure the tool out from playing around in it, if people don’t like they way they use Twitter, they will probably no have much of a network, and will figure it out from there.
Thanks for the plugin,
Does Twitter Tools work with WordPress 2.5? All of a sudden after I upgraded today, it doesn’t appear to be pulling in my Twitter posts.
I used to use Twitter Tools to post an archive of my tweets on the blog. I thought it made the blog look too cluttered, and a couple of my friends who read my blog thought so to, so I turned it off.
Sometimes though, I do use it to tweet directly from within my blog.
Thanks for the plugin, as well. I’m trying to figure out the best way to use Twitter Tools, myself. I wouldn’t mind some guidance on “best practices,” but as many have mentioned, the community will probably police itself.
I recently began posting the tweets digest to my blog (would love to be able to control how often that posts – every two days, once per week – ! and whether to include @replies), and also the reverse. I asked my readers and followers to tell me what they thought. and have heard nothing yet. We’ll see.
Generally speaking, I love TT. There are a few quirks that mildly irritate me, and it would be nice if they could be fixed or turned into optional features.
0) I really would like to have incoming tweet be automatically categorized (I have a category “tweets” that I manually move them into every few days). Auto-tagging of the tweet summary would be nice, too. Basically, if any existing tags are found in the message, add them to the new message. I wouldn’t want it to create new tags out of the blue (that could introduce typos or other problems), but an option to have TT scan the imported tweets for existing keywords and tag the message with any that were found, would be a very helpful feature and save me a lot of time.
1) As mentioned above, URLs or anything really long in the sidebars messes up the theme pretty badly. It would be nice if URLs could be truncated, ideally at a user-configurable length (in case somebody wants long URLs, and somebody else is really short on space).
2) I recategorized all of the messages in my blog, and I did not discover that TT was sending a notification for each and every message that was edited. To quote a friend, I created a “Twitter-splosion”. On the plus side, I did pick up some traffic and comments on some of my oldest posts. The problem is that I did not expect TT to send an announcement when I edited an old post–only on new ones when they are first “published”. If that could be a configurable option, that would be GREAT! Perhaps on a post-by-post basis, too. A checkbox that says, “Announce update on Twitter” that sends out a notice that says the already published message was updated (not in those words, but that’s the idea).
3) I don’t think that you need to enforce any policies within the plugin. PERHAPS you could implement a flood-control feature that would help people like me who accidentally generate a whole slew of updates within a certain period of time. It should be configurable, though. A high traffic blog with multiple authors would have very different flood thresholds compared to my fairly low traffic site.
4) I like the idea that someone posted about having the cut-off time being local time. I notice that in FeedBurner, all of my Twitter updates come through 2-days behind the actual posting. I guess that FB picks cuts off at midnight, then TT posts some of the daily tweets, and then the latests tweets don’t get picked up by FB until another day later. It’s not a big deal, but it’s probably a bit confusing if anyone actually reads them.
5) One twist on the “daily vs. weekly” debate you might consider… I think it would be nice to have a collection of weekly archived tweets, but have it updated daily. In other words, lets say Monday is the start of the new week. So on Monday a new post is created. When Tuesday’s tweets are ready to be posted, the Monday post is updated and the modified date is updated (but on the original posting date so that RSS readers wouldn’t get confused). This process repeats so that all 7 days are collected together in a single post (reducing clutter in the blog), but still keeping things current. It’s probably overkill, and I don’t know how many people would use it. Personally, daily updates are probably the way I will go even with a weekly update option. It helps my blog avoid those stretches of emptiness.
Thanks again for this great tool–probably the best out of the ones I have tried so far.
it would be fantastic if updates could be displayed anywhere on a page and were not confined to a widget in the sidebar. any plans along these lines?
First off, I have to echo all the others and say THANKS!
As for whether or not you should editorialize *within* the plugin, I think that it’s something best left for blogs and blog comments. If you felt strongly about it, you could always link back to a post on your blog with the necessary “Twittiquette”
Since everyone else has taken an opportunity to mention a new feature or two I’d just like to second a couple that were mentioned previously:
1. Ability to turn off broadcasting on a post-by-post (edit-by-edit) basis. I recently re-categorized a bunch of posts and didn’t realize I was spamming my twitter peeps. 😉
2. Ability to edit the broadcast message.
All in all you’ve done fabulous work, not only with TT but many of your other plugins as well. Keep up the great work and thanks again on behalf of the WP community.
Thanks for the awesome plugin. It gets plenty of use from me!
I have to agree with a previous comment, that control over @ replies would be very nice.
Not only do I publish my tweets to my wp blog, but I then crosspost all of my blog entries to my livejournal. So as you can imagine, most people probably don’t care about my one-sided conversations that they see.
As you probably have seen on the WordPress forums, I wrote a tutorial on how to Ignore direct tweets and SEO URLs with Twitter Tools WordPress Plug-in on my blog, DesignWell.
Therefore, these are my top requests:
A. Ignore direct tweets (tweets beginning with ‘@’)
B. Shorten post title via index of last space before character limit
C. Link URLs in posts. Currently, my shortened URLs are not linking within the body of the post
I am not a fan of post each blog post to Twitter function. People should write their own tweets to Twitter with better content than “I just posted the post ‘Post title.'” Not that you should remove it.
I recommend that “best practices” should be commented on as a “very-informed” user of Twitter Tools, not as an author.
I’d love the ability to exclude certain categories from Twitter Tools when it posts new notifications to Twitter. So if I wanted category X to be excluded, any posts I made to that category would *not* be announced on Twitter.
Otherwise, your plugin is perfect!