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How to Tweet your Favorite Tweets

As I experiment with favorite tweets to create a “best of twitter” shortlist I found there was no good way to (re)tweet these starred tweets. Favstar.fm and Twitter widgets are great ways to share favorites but there isn’t a good option if you want to send the tweet back out your twitter stream.

The obvious answer would be to push the RSS feed of your favorites through an RSS –> Twitter service, but that creates a problem

The Problem

The RSS feed of your favorite tweets doesn’t format the original author’s name properly. It doesn’t include an “@” sign so the orig author doesn’t know you favorited the tweet and others can’t click their name to follow them.

Example:

problemtweet

In this example I tried to resolve the issue by prefixing the feed with “FavTweet: @” but the prefix added a space. No good. We need to edit the RSS feed itself.

The Answer

If the answer lies in modifying the RSS feed prior to sending it to twitter. It’s time for some Yahoo Pipes intervention.

Update: I’ve abandoned Yahoo Pipes for a much easier and stable method using dlvr.it – Oct 2010

=========New Method=============

Create a dlvr.it account, add your Twitter favorites RSS feed. Once it is added go to the “Item Text” in the editing options and add “Favtweet @” and check the box for no space.

I’ve been using it for months and couldn’t be happier.

========== End of the New Update ==================

If you aren’t familar with Yahoo Pipes it is an amazing tool to reprogram the web. “Pipes is a powerful composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web.” It’s simply awesome.

So I’ve created a pipe that pulls your favorite tweets RSS feed, inserts a prefix and then formats the original author’s name properly. The output RSS feed is then pumped back into my Twitter stream with RSS2Twitter.

The final product looks like this:

solutiontweet

Now the author sees the tweet and anyone that views the tweet can click the @MaxLucado’s name to view his profile.

How To

Here’s how to set this up.

  1. Visit the Favorite Tweets Yahoo Pipe
  2. Enter your desired prefix text. (Default is FavTweet:)
  3. Enter your username
  4. Click “Run Pipe”
  5. RightClick “Get as RSS” and copy the link location
  6. Create a new Feed using RSS2Twitter.com (see screenshot below)
    1. This does require free registration. I’ve tested other RSS –> Twitter options and RSS2Twitter has fewer issues with the Yahoo Pipe feed.
    2. Setup your Twitter account with OAuth prior to creating the feed.
  7. Paste the RSS URL into the “RSS Feed URL” box
  8. Include only the title
  9. Choose the twitter account you wish to update.

rss2twitter_ss

If you are concerned with cluttering your stream you may want to setup a separate Twitter account to tweet your favorites. I have a broadcast account @tsudoshares, that tweets my favtweets, blog posts, diigo bookmarks, and Google Reader Shared items (Real-time Google Reader Shares to Twitter).

If you have suggestions or you are working on a better solution I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks to @Earth2Marsh for his original pipe and generous help.

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • earth2marsh November 23, 2009, 4:42 pm

    Great use of Pipes to get what you need to where you want it. Congrats!

    You might save some characters and replace FavTweet with RT or FT, and depend on your bio to explain how it works.

  • Keith November 23, 2009, 6:48 pm

    Marsh thank you. I really appreciate all your help. I hope others find it
    useful.

  • earth2marsh November 23, 2009, 9:42 pm

    Great use of Pipes to get what you need to where you want it. Congrats!

    You might save some characters and replace FavTweet with RT or FT, and depend on your bio to explain how it works.

  • Keith November 23, 2009, 11:48 pm

    Marsh thank you. I really appreciate all your help. I hope others find it
    useful.

  • MariSmith January 14, 2010, 10:33 pm

    Keith! Totally genius!! Thanks heaps for letting me know about this fabulous use of Twitter favorites on my Social Media Examiner post. You ROCK!!

  • Keith January 14, 2010, 11:40 pm

    Wow Mari. I'm honored you stopped by. Glad you liked my home baked app. Thank you for the kind words.

  • Mari Smith January 15, 2010, 3:33 am

    Keith! Totally genius!! Thanks heaps for letting me know about this fabulous use of Twitter favorites on my Social Media Examiner post. You ROCK!!

  • Keith January 15, 2010, 4:40 am

    Wow Mari. I'm honored you stopped by. Glad you liked my home baked app. Thank you for the kind words.

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