Twitter shovelware and other microblogging experiments

This post is part of a ‘blog carnival’. Read more at CarnivalOfJournalism.com. The story so far (in updates of 140 characters or less):

  1. I set up a Twitter account, toy with it for a few minutes, then ignore it.
  2. Months later, I return to my Twitter account to cover the Future of Newspapers conference – a perfect use for the technology.
  3. Following a tip from Martin Stabe, I use Twitterfeed to push my blog’s posts – and, equally importantly, comments – to my Twitter page, in the process probably doubling the total amount of ‘tweets’ overnight.
  4. At the same time, Martin comes at it from a different angle, and pushes his Twitter posts to his blog.
  5. Realise I am guilty of ‘Twitter-shovelware’
  6. Feel privately chuffed at inventing the phrase ‘Twitter-shovelware
  7. Think of a better use for Twitterfeed, and create a new Twitter account for my del.icio.us bookmarks tagged ‘onlinejournalism’. It already has an RSS feed, but feeding it to Twitter allows people to receive it on their mobiles or as a ‘river’ on their Twitter page.
  8. Realise I will probably annoy people who have to delete ten texts every day I do some bookmarking.
  9. Getting even more carried away, I realise I can also use Twitterfeed to create an aggregation of the 70+ online journalism-related RSS feeds I subscribe to.
  10. Decide to use Yahoo! Pipes as part of this, which has been on my ‘To Do’ list since May.
  11. Discover that Yahoo! Pipes not only generates an RSS feed, but also options for mobile and email alerts.
  12. But the process of setting up those alerts is not as usable as Twitter, so set up the Twitter ojblogaggregator account anyway (there are only around 20 feeds included so far, but will continue to add more as I iron out bugs).
  13. Also discover three other ‘online journalism’ Pipes, one of which has been created by a former student. Feel proud.
  14. Then realise he never finished it. Feel proud regardless.
  15. Also realise I can use ‘View Source’ to build on the work of the other OJ aggregator – and that anyone can do the same to build on mine.
  16. Result!
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10 thoughts on “Twitter shovelware and other microblogging experiments

  1. Martin

    I realised I was annoying regular blog readers (not to mention one aggregator site) with decontextualised Tweets on my blog, and have discontinued that particular experiment… It didn’t really make much sense…

    I might reinstate it in a slightly different form later: It might require some Pipes work!

    Reply
  2. Ryan Sholin

    I keep clicking through on the comments feed in your @paulbradshaw account.

    Seeing new comments on posts via Twitter is more useful/timely to me than subscribing to a feed for one post or feed for all comments on a particular blog.

    …which is an interesting note on how often I check Twitter these days vs. Google Reader.

    Reply
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