For a large chunk of the last couple of years I have used Google Alerts about Windows 7 and Windows Vista to create content for this site. They seemed to make sense, were relative and contained fresh sites and info.
I stopped using the Google Alerts a few months ago and decided that I was going to focus on content that I would create based on the current news and other things that caught my eye online.
In that same time frame I have become very active on Twitter and use that medium for posting links that come out of my browsing and RSS feeds. Those links have been well received and create a lot of conversations both on and off Twitter.
I have been thinking about incorporating those links into this site but have not quite come across the right tool to do it. You see I just don’t tweet links – I have a few personal and professional links in the mix as well. One of the plugins I use on this site is the terrific Twitter Tools by Alex King.
Twitter tools has options where you can make each Tweet a post on your blog; make a daily post with all of your days tweets; or post a weekly summary of your tweets.
- Each tweet into a blog post is way too much – I have almost 12,500 tweets as I write this so that is way to many blog posts plus this site is not Twitter.
- A daily summary might be useful – just the right amount – especially if I just posted the specific tweets with links in them that I tweeted.
- A weekly summary could work as well but might turn into a very long posting itself.
So I decided a daily summary would be perfect for this new site content. However, my challenge was that Twitter Tools posts live to your blog – no chance to edit the content before it goes live and I want to be able to remove the tweets that do not have links in them.
This is where the Twitter Tools hack comes in. Since there is not an option to post a draft instead of posting directly to the blog I went into the main file for the Twitter Tools plugin (twitter-tools.php) and edited out the references to publishing the post and replaced the action with making the post a draft.
There are two instances in this file that you must replace in order to make Twitter Tools post the summary as a draft. Do a search for ‘publish’ and replace the two instances with ‘draft’.
I edited the file live on my server and then just saved the changes. With the plugin already activated it was a matter of just going into the Twitter Tools settings and establishing a daily post of my tweets.
I then access that draft post with Windows Liver Writer, which is my preferred editor, and format it the way I want it and then post it to the site.
You could also edit it directly in the WordPress Post edit interface – just depends on what your preference is.
With that I have an easy method to further share the links I post to Twitter throughout my day and it also creates an archive of those links as well. Maybe the draft option can be a future update to Alex’s Twitter Tools.