I am a heavy Twitter user and I am quickly approaching my 150,000th tweet since I joined in June of 2008.
Now I really enjoy engaging with everyone on Twitter across a wide variety of subjects and it is an awesome tool for that but all of those 150,000 tweets are not just conversations.
Back in early 2009 I decided to begin sharing links to interesting and relevant tech related stories through my Twitter account @WinObs. Everything was manual back them with every tweet being hand typed and the links being pasted in. At that point I was not collecting what I shared in any other location except for my Twitter account.
I also had a tendency in those days to send my shared links in a flurry of tweets when I had the time to sit down and share them. It was enough to overwhelm many of my Twitter followers depending on their follower count.
After some timely feedback from those same followers I started to look into a way to space those tweeted links out and to also begin curating them in one location. That would allow someone who enjoyed the links but not the volume in their Twitter stream to get the links and not the overload.
It was about August of 2009 that I began using Google Reader to bring in all the RSS feeds from sites I regularly shared from and as a result of Starring an item there it created an RSS feed of those shared stories and links. Now I had a place where others could see what I was sharing at their leisure but I still needed an option to control the pace links were being shared out to Twitter.
Yes, it was time to automate.
Initially I used TwitterFeed to grab my Starred Items RSS feed from Google Reader and later moved over to dlvr.it which was very similar to TwitterFeed in the services it offered but it gave me more options for free than TwitterFeed did.
So with the help of dlvr.it I could slowly share links, one every 15 minutes, to my Twitter account and it grabbed the links I shared in Google Reader from the Starred Items RSS feed without any problems.
Then this past March Google announced that Google Reader was a victim of Spring Cleaning at the company and would be shut down on 01 July 2013.
It was about that time that everyone who used Google Reader began scrambling to find alternatives for the service.
Unfortunately, Feedly does not support an RSS feed output of my Saved for Later links although they have said it is coming down the road and that has been my final roadblock in getting back to my full sharing and curating of links.
Well as of today, with all of my RSS feeds being cutover to the Feedly Cloud, I finalized my sharing process to bring back my full ability to not only share links via Twitter at a steady pace but to also curate all of those links in one location.
So with that let me share with you the tools I now use and the methodology to my Tweeted Links Madness in this post Google Reader Era.
- I review my RSS feeds from Feedly either via the web or using the Nextgen Reader App on Windows Phone or Windows 8. Any link I want to share I mark it as Saved for Later.
- I set up a IFTTT.com recipe called Feedly Saved for Later items to Buffer and this is what grabs items I want to share from Feedly and gets them queued up for Twitter based on a schedule I have set up in Buffer.
- I then created another IFTTT.com recipe called Feedly Saved for Later Items to Delicious that takes those same links and sends them to my Delicious link blog. My Delicious blog is where I get an RSS feed of the last 30(*) links I marked Saved for Later from Feedly.
- I then use a WordPress plugin called RSS Digest at my WindowsObserver.com WiKi site to grab the RSS link of my Saved for Later items from Feedly which Delicious generates. That plugin allows me to schedule the automatic daily publication of my @WinObs Tweeted Link summaries. The plugin allows me to customize the output of that daily blog post so it is formatted in the style I prefer.
Then the cycle starts all over again the next day or actually the cycle just continues as the sharing of links keeps occurring.
So now if you have ever wondered whether I sleep or not due to the fact I always seem to be tweeting links my secret is out.
In this global expanse we live in there is always someone awake and reading Twitter somewhere in the world who just might want to check out some links so keeping them flowing is always my goal.
Note: The idea for getting an RSS feed of my Saved for Later links from Delicious is from an article I saw at Doktor Spinn.
(*) Update: Thanks to research by Marjolein Hoekstra (@CleverClogs) she found an undocumented API item that allows you to modify the number of feed items that Delicious will display in your RSS feed. The default is 10 items but if you add ?count=nn to the end of your Delicious RSS feed link it will modify the number of items displayed. Just change the nn to whatever number you want. Thanks for the awesome tip!