vrypan — panayotis vryonis
My blog is a digital scrapbook of ideas, thoughts and personal events. My home is vrypan.net.
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post to twitter, but keep your data under your control.

I've been using twitter since 2006, but I'm not a big fan of it. However, it has become my main way of sharing links and information, replacing other services, like delicious.

One of the things I don't like about twitter is the feeling that all this information that I've shared is somewhere "in there", but I don't really have access to it. It's practically impossible for me to search and use my tweets from 2 years ago. I also don't know what will happen in 5 or 10 years, if twitter decides to shut down -it's not the first time I use a service that is cool and hyped, and then, after some years no one cares about!

That's why I decided to set up a separate wordpress blog, used mainly to tweet. (Have a look at http://vrypan.net/asides/). Whenever I want to share something to twitter, I post it there, and it immediately appears on twitter. As an extra bonus, I have all my shared links and thoughts tagged, making them easier to search.

This set up lets me use twitter.com only as a distribution medium. The main source of information, my main repository, is my own blog, where I have full control. Twitter, facebook, friendfeed or buzz become just distribution media.

This is how I set up http://vrypan.net/asides/:

  1. I used the prologue theme. It's simple and let's me post from the homepage of my blog.

  2. I set up my feed on feedburner and activated the "socialize" option (under "publicize")

  3. I made sure my blog pings the feedburner ping server. (Go to Wordpress Settings->Writting->Update Services and add "http://ping.feedburner.google.com/")

That's it!

To be honest, I feel there are some more things that could be done, to better integrate with twitter. For example, I'd love a plug-in that "prepares" each post especially for twitter: - it would convert long URLs to short URLs only in the feed - if the post is longer than 140 chars, it would include a link back to the original post, but if it's up to 140 it wouldn't. (I'm not interested in driving traffic back to this blog, I've even disabled comments, there's no need to point back to it unless there is more information that doesn;t fit in 140 characters.) - it would create a special twitter feed with the above mentioned modifications, and leave the normal rss feed unmodified. I'd post to twitter using the "special" feed, and let other services, like RSS aggregators use the original feed.

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