Tag Archives: twitter

BurnURL: Social URL Shortening

BurnURL LogoSince TinyURL made the concept of URL-shortening huge, and since Twitter has made it more important than ever, there have been a lot of sites springing up and offering similar services. There’s the ultra-tiny is.gd, the statistic-centric TweetBurner, and a smattering of other TinyURL clones. Heck, it’s not that hard to roll your own private URL shortener if you have a reasonably short domain. (You could use GoCodes…)

Yet another shortener has sprung up, and this one is a bit different.

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Twhirl: A Lightweight Twitter Client

Twhirl is my Twitter client of choice. It’s lightweight and it has a respectful feature set. Twhirl runs on Adobe AIR, and therefore will work on Windows and Mac OS X. (Linux too, but if I remember correctly, Adobe AIR is a little buggy on Linux.)

Twhirl notifies you of incoming tweets, marks those you haven’t read yet, and offers Friendfeed support as well as Twitter. It has several URL shortening options built-in, including the very short Is.gd, and TwitPic support exists.

A handy “Retweet” function is included along with the Reply and Direct message buttons.

Nearly any day-to-day Twitter task can be done through Twhirl. It’s a simple and elegant solution for desktop Twitter usage, and one I highly recommend.

Tweet Later: Schedule Twitter Postings For the Future

Have you ever wanted to say something on Twitter, but not right at that moment? Maybe you wanted to wish your followers a happy new year right at midnight, for an obvious example.

Tweet Later allows you to do just that. After you tie at least one Twitter account to the service, you can create an infinite number of messages to be posted at a later date. Want to put your business Twitter on autopilot while you’re out of town? No problem.


The service does more than tweet scheduling, as an added bonus. It can auto-follow new followers, send new followers welcome messages, send you email digests of @replies, and track tweets with certain keywords. “Twitter Toolbox” would be a more accurate name.

While not everyone needs to schedule tweets, some people certainly have reason to, and Tweet Later would be a valuable asset to them.

“Twittar” Twitter Avatar Plugin

Smashing Magazine has released an interesting WordPress plugin called “Twittar.” The plugin, named for “Twitter Avatar,” is used in place of WordPress’s Gravatar template tag. When a comment is displayed, the plugin will check to see if the email address left matches a Twitter account, and will add the user’s avatar to the comment. Should they not have a Twitter account, it will check for a Gravatar instead.

This is an interesting idea, though some users have commented upon the plugin’s performance. It’s not terribly efficient, making two HTTP requests per comment server-side, and then the client loads the image. A solution is being considered, probably some sort of caching.

I quite like the idea, though I think it should have the option of changing the order of precedence for the avatars, so Gravatars could be favored over Twitter avatars. My Twitter avatar is the same as my Gravatar, but since Gravatars are more known for being “comment avatars,” it makes sense that some people would expect their Gravatar to load instead of their Twitter picture.

Start a Twitter Group With Twittbot

Twittbot is an interesting Twitter companion service that allows you to create Twitter groups. First you create a new Twitter account to represent your group. Then you head over to Twittbot and bind the Twitter account to a Twittbot, picking a security level (anyone can post, or just a few invited users can post). Now anyone (or anyone with permission, depending on your security type) can @reply your group account, and the message will be reposted to the group account.

I heard about this interesting service via Darren Rowse’s TwiTip blog, and decided to check it out. I set it up, and created the open @webmasterlinks group. The group is a place to share links that would be of interest to Webmaster-Source readers via Twitter. If you find something worthy of webmasters’ interest online, or if you create such a thing, by all means tweet it to @webmasterlinks. I follow the group, and if something catches my attention it may earn a mention on Webmaster-Source, or a retweet at least.

Magpie: A Potentially Bad Way to Monetize Twitter

I had a feeling it wouldn’t be too long until people starting looking for ways to make money off Twitter. Over the past few weeks I’ve watched Magpie spread through the Twitterverse, and seen users’ response to it.

They don’t like it.

The general idea behind Magpie is similar to that of Pay Per Post. You sign up, and set a post frequency. Then Magpie will add a paid tweet every x (the post frequency you set) tweets. The only disclosure is a “#magpie” hashtag at the start.

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Copyblogger Twitter Haiku Contest

Copyblogger is hosting a Twitter haiku contest with a MacBook Air as the first prize.

MacBook Air? I bet that got your attention.

Here’s how the contest works: You write a haiku, post it to your Twitter account, and copy/paste the haiku into a comment on the Copyblogger post along with a link to your tweet. Simple enough?

For those who never had to write a haiku in elementary school, a haiku is a short, three-line poem that generally doesn’t rhyme. There’s a certain pattern to it. The first line contains five syllables, the second line has seven, and the third line has five. The Copyblogger post gives a couple examples.

Whether you want to participate or not — come on, it’s a good chance to sharpen your writing skills — it’s still worth dropping by to view the comments, which are filled with haikus, many of which are witty and Mac/blogging/Twitter-related.

You have until November 16th, so you’d better get started.

Three Downloadable Twitter Bird Images

Twitter, it’s everywhere. Many bloggers add “follow me” links or “latest tweets” boxes to their blogs. And if you’re going to do that, why not add a Twitter bird nearby? It visually shows “this is related to Twitter,” and it draws the eye to it a little.

Here are a few free Twitter bird images to download and use as you will.

Productive Dreams

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Web Designers on Twitter (Plus Links)

You may have already heard about this post, it’s been all over the web the past week. (I think I already linked to it in a BlogBuzz entry too possibly.) Digital Labz has put together a roundup of web designers’ Twitter profiles, making it easy for you to go through the list and find some new people to follow on Twitter.

100 Web Designers to follow on Twitter

I’d already heard of many of the people on the list, though I wasn’t aware they had Twitter accounts. I spent about an hour going through the list and adding designers to my “follow” list. Collis Ta’eed, Jonathan Snook, Michael Martin, and David Airey are among the hundred in the roundup.

If you use Twitter at all, or if you’re just getting started with Twitter, this post is worth a look. And I’m not just saying that because I’m number eleven on the list. :D

Now, I can’t just give you a link to a post that you may or may not have read, can I? Here are a few other Twitter-related links to keep you busy:

Sideblogs: A Year Later

Around November 2007 (about a year ago), I added a “sideblog” to Webmaster-Source, where I could post “asides” — short updates that were, well, not long enough to merit an entire post. These little postings appear in the sidebar, as you can see (as of this writing).

Now, it’s been nearly a year since I added the feature, and I’ve added a total of 69 entries in the sideblog. I’ve posted updates about downtime, plugins being added to the WordPress/Extend respository, XKCD comics, links of interest, etc there. However, my postings there have slackened over the past months. I’ve been using my Twitter account for what I originally intended.

EDIT: What…? This post was originally three times this length! The majority of it is gone! I doubt I have a backup of it, but I’ll check…

EDIT: No, no backup. The post wasn’t saved properly because my internet connection was interrupted while writing. I’ll try to boil down my long-winded article into a few bullet points, since there’s no replacing the lost data. I doubt it will have the same impact as the full article though. :(

  • I use Twitter a lot.
  • I rarely update the sideblog.
  • Few people (like 3, to be exact) subscribe to the sideblog feed, but I have 420+/- followers on Twitter.
  • I’m planning a redesign of Webmaster-Source. Is it worth filling up a bunch of space just for the sideblog? Between Twitter and speedlinking with my BlogBuzz posts, is there really justification for it?
  • Why not have a small Twitter box in the footer or sidebar (like many other bloggers have) instead?
  • I wouldn’t delete the old posts from the sideblog, but I’d stop cluttering up the sidebar with them.

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