Category Archives: twitter

How to: embed images in ‘tweet this’ links

This is the third in a series of posts introducing HTML. The first part tackled making a ‘Tweet this’ link in a blog post, and the second introduced Twitter’s Web Intents sort-of-API. If you haven’t read those, you might find it easier to start there.

You can also get all four tutorials in a small ebook.

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Stage 3: Adding an embedded image to a ‘Tweet this’ tweet

It’s widely known in the news industry that adding an image to a tweet can make a big difference in terms of how many times that tweet is retweeted. In fact, Twitter say it’s the single biggest factor.

Chart: tweets with images are 27 percent more likely to be retweeted

Chart: tweets with images are 27 percent more likely to be retweeted. Tweet this image

But adding an image to a ‘tweet this’ link isn’t as easy as you might expect.

The obvious way to do this, for example, would be to add an image link to your tweet – but Twitter will show that as a link, not an image.

Unless you use a particular type of image URL.

Finding the right Twitter image URL

This particular image URL is one generated by Twitter itself, after someone has tweeted the image.

Assuming no one has already done so, then, you’ll need to start by tweeting the image yourself.

Once you’ve done that, open the tweet. You can normally do this by clicking on the date or time next to it (for example “Jan 27″ or “1d” or “2h”).

The tweet URL will look something like https://twitter.com/paulbradshaw/status/560171610309926913.

It is important to note that this image has two URLs. One begins with pbs.twimg.com and another begins with pic.twitter.com. Only the second will be embedded when tweeted – this is the one you need.

If you right-click on the image, for example, to ‘Copy image URL’ you will get the wrong type of URL – the one beginning with pbs.twimg.com. Do not copy that link

Instead, while still on the tweet page, you need to click again on the image. This should bring up the tweet once more – only this time with the pic.twitter.com URL visible. Copy this link to use later.

If you cannot see the pic.twitter URL then try right-clicking on the tweet and selecting View source (or similar). Use CTRL+F to search for pic.twitter and you should be able to find the URL there.

Adding your image URL to the ‘tweet this’ link

From this point you can just follow the steps in the first post in this series only making sure to add the pic.twitter URL in the text= parameter along with any quote – and a space of course.

But I’ll recap them quickly here:
1. Create a URL beginning https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text= and add whatever text you want to appear in the tweet at the end of this URL. Then include a space and the link to the image that you copied.
2. Press Enter. A Twitter box should appear in the browser with the text you specified, and the link too. (Make sure you’re logged in)
3. The URL will have changed slightly, to replace spaces and other awkward characters. Copy that URL.
4. In your post, switch to HTML (Text) view and link a relevant phrase (like ‘Tweet this image’) by putting <a href="` - then your URL - then `" target="_blank"> before it, and </a> after it.
5. Preview the post and test the new link.

If you have any problems go back through the previous post’s more detailed instructions.

A good place to put your ‘Tweet this image’ link is in the caption to the image itself. You can see an example of this above, or on this post.

In the final part of this series of tutorials I’ll be covering how to style your ‘tweet this’ links so they stand out more – and learn about CSS in the process.

How-to: learn about APIs while making tweetable quotes

This is the second in a series of tutorials introducing HTML, CSS and APIs. You should probably start with the first one, here.

You can also get all four tutorials in a small ebook.

Sharelines

In the previous post I outlined how to create a ‘Tweet this’ link using HTML to open a new Twitter window containing any text you liked. In this post I’ll outline how to add links, hashtags and @names to that tweet – and along the way find out a bit about APIs. Continue reading

Tip: If your blog comments have moved to Twitter, embed tweets at the end of your posts

What happens when people comment on your blog – but it’s not on your blog?

More often than not people now comment on a blog post by tweeting – essentially microblogging – their response.

Those comments can be valuable – but they’re lost to anyone reading the original post and, indeed, yourself, unless you can later find it through search.

In ye olde days of blogging, blogged responses could be automatically added to your comments section via pingbacks. But microblogged responses don’t qualify for pingbacks.

So why not add them manually: embed those tweets at the end of your article by pasting the link to the tweet. WordPress will automatically turn that link into an embedded tweet.

You can then subhead those embedded tweets as ‘Comments‘, or add an ‘UPDATE‘.

For two examples see the end of this post on Curation, aggregation and why news organisations can’t be ‘the next LinkedIn’. Or this post on capitalisation in UK headlines, updated with a response from Guardian Style:

How do you find useful Twitter accounts? 5 tips for journalists

twitter network bluenose

A Twitter network identified by Bluenose

A version of this post originally appeared on Help Me Investigate Welfare.

Every so often on Help Me Investigate we compile a list* of people on Twitter to follow on particular issues. Here’s how we do it:

1. Search Twitter biographies only

The quickest way to kick off your Twitter list is to search Twitter biographies for users who mention the areas you’re interested in.

Twitter tool FollowerWonk has a facility for searching biographies on the site – make sure you select “search Twitter bios only” from the drop-down menu. Continue reading

The Scarcity Principle: writing online headlines which ‘click’

Increasingly, when journalists now write headlines for the web or for social media, they specify the medium or format involved. They shout VIDEO and AUDIO in caps at the start of the tweet or post; MAPPED or INFOGRAPHIC; INTERVIEW or LIVEBLOG.

Sometimes the medium or format is implied more subtly, with a call to action: we urge users to ‘Watch’, ‘See’ and ‘Listen’. But we also invite them to ‘Join’, ‘Meet’ and ‘Find out’.

Users choose the medium as well as the message

Why do we do this? Part of it is that we recognise that the medium is something special; that users often make a choice based on the medium itself.

But I think putting the medium/format front and centre is about more than just user preference: it’s about abundance and scarcity. Continue reading

Curation vs aggregation, and why news organisations can’t be ‘the next LinkedIn’

“We are not a magazine company,” he exclaims, unprompted. “We are a media company with a portfolio.”  “We want to build the next LinkedIn, the next Gilt [a US commerce site], the next Facebook,”

M Scott Havens, senior vice president of digital, Time Inc

What does it mean to be a platform? Time Inc’s M Scott Havens is the latest to express a desire to move into the platform industry, telling The Guardian:

“We want to build the next LinkedIn, the next Gilt [a US commerce site], the next Facebook,”

Platforms came up at the BBC ‘Revival of Local Journalism‘ event last week too. Why weren’t regional newspaper publishers doing more to become ‘platforms’ for their local communities? Continue reading

Famous Twitter users: who gets the most click-throughs – and why?

Famous Tweeters - percentage of followers clicking through

Famous Tweeters – percentage of followers clicking through

In the third and final post of this series Patrick Scott had a look at the click-through rate (CTR) of some famous individual Twitter users and found that those who do best tend to be political.

Follow @Patrick_E_Scott

In the first post of this series we saw that regional newspapers that tend to do well on Twitter follow a larger proportion of people relative to the number of people following them.

Conversely, in the second post of the series we saw that this ratio of followers to followed is less significant for magazines. The successful magazine accounts tended to be more personable than personal and gave their followers a clear engagement pathway to go down.

In this post we will see that, like the regional newspapers, famous individuals with a higher CTR tend to have a better followers to followed ratio, although there are a couple of notable exceptions to this. Continue reading