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 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.
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.
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
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.
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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:
Now the author sees the tweet and anyone that views the tweet can click the @MaxLucado’s name to view his profile.
Here’s how to set this up.
- Visit the Favorite Tweets Yahoo Pipe
- Enter your desired prefix text. (Default is FavTweet:)
- Enter your username
- Click “Run Pipe”
- RightClick “Get as RSS” and copy the link location
- Create a new Feed using RSS2Twitter.com (see screenshot below)
- This does require free registration. I’ve tested other RSS –> Twitter options and RSS2Twitter has fewer issues with the Yahoo Pipe feed.
- Setup your Twitter account with OAuth prior to creating the feed.
- Paste the RSS URL into the “RSS Feed URL” box
- Include only the title
- Choose the twitter account you wish to update.
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.