Some one was kind enough to Tweet a nice remark about this blog entry, RSS Magic – Feeding Multiple Twitter Accounts into Facebook:
Unfortunately, Twitter recently announced that RSS feeds are dead, although they are offering to let you download your tweets. The truth is, I’d rather have the RSS feed feature. IMHO, Twitter just shot itself in the foot.
Twitter officially unveiled version 1.1 of its API Wednesday, deprecating support for longstanding features such as RSS in the process…Twitter is ending support for RSS, XML and Atom…This is the sort of change that could have a much larger impact on the entire Twitter ecosystem. Sure, it might just be developers and power users complaining now — but if Twitter is serious about these resyndication rules — lots of very popular, very mainstream services could be affected. (Source: Mashable.com)
As such, there are several other approaches you can take but you have to think different. If you need something with an RSS feed, you need to ask yourself a simple question:
Are you willing to use another service–aside from Twitter–that generates an RSS feed?
If the answer is YES, then you can easily route content to different places, including Twitter and Facebook, unless these two venerable institutions suddenly decide to stop accepting RSS input. Two steps below outline how you can choose your social media tool and what you can do to still enjoy RSS Magic.
First, here are some social media options that generate an RSS feed that you can use in lieu of Twitter.
Step 1 – Choose your Social Media Tool
Option 1 – Plurk.com
Plurk is another social media tool that never quite took off but is still around. Fortunately, though, it still has an RSS feed AND allows you to post directly to Twitter and Facebook. While it lacks the user-base and audience that Twitter has, it’s a reliable service.
Here’s what the RSS feed looks like for “mguhlin” user:
There are several mobile apps (PlurQ for Android, SimplyPlurk (Free) on iOS devices) you can use, or just access it via Plurk mobile in your browser at http://plurk.com/m/username and it will work fine.
You can create as many Plurk accounts as you need to with various aliases, which is not unlike what you could do with Twitter.
Option 2 – Identi.ca
Although not as widely known in education circles, Identi.ca provides a neat service you can use as an alternative to Twitter that generate RSS and Atom feeds. And, you can get a free account.
Here’s what the RSS feed looks like for “mguhlin” user:
One of the things I do NOT like about Identi.ca–and which eventually resulted in me not using it on a regular basis–was that there was no easy way for me to update via my Android or iOS phone. Of course, on a tablet, you can just visit their web site but…it’s not the same as having an app. That said, if you’re sending updates out about your school, you may want to take the time to consider them carefully and send them from your laptop or desktop computer (smile).
Another neat point about Identi.ca is that–unlike Plurk–you can feed content into it via RSS feed (as shown above). That means, you can have your Identi.ca account subscribe to a blog or RSS feed, and that content gets auto-posted to your Identi.ca account, which in turn can post content to lots of other places (e.g. Twitter, Facebook). Unfortunately, Identi.ca can’t handle Evernote, Google+ or custom RSS feeds…just the easy stuff.
A few caveats about Options 1 and 2:
Mobile Option – Text OnlyI would select Options 1 and 2 if you’re primarily going to be updating from a computer (e.g. laptop, desktop, netbook) and NOT mobile. If you are mobile, Option 1 and 2 will only handle text, no pictures. There are workarounds but they are a pain.
What’s your point of origin?I like Option 1 – Plurk since it’s pretty versatile, and you can setup accounts just like with Twitter. Creating an RSS feed is easy. The main problem with both Options 1 and 2 is that you can’t auto-post content to them–such as from your blog via RSS. For me, who likes to see content get posted via Dlvr.it or IFTTT.com, this is a show-stopper. This is less so if you are just posting content and don’t mind using Plurk or Identi.ca as the point of origin.
Option 3 – Google +
If you haven’t used Google + then you’re obviously missing out on a nifty growing social network that has a nice desktop/laptop and tablet presence. In fact, I use Google+ more and more auto-post to Twitter and Facebook. When I post a blog entry, I have it set to automatically post to Google+. And, if you need an RSS feed for Google+, you can easily find one.
Here are 2 services that will let you create RSS feeds from Google+ updated content:
Step 2 – Feed Your RSS from the Social Media Options above to Anywhere
Create a dlvr.it or ifttt.com account. These services will allow you to re-direct your content from multiple social media accounts to your Facebook account. If you’re using Plurk, you can post directly to Twitter and Facebook simultaneously! If you’re using Identi.ca or Google+, an RSS feed channeled through Dlvr.it or ifttt.com will get the job done.
What’s neat about this approach is that you can easily blend in multiple RSS feeds–say, maybe pull in Plurk, Google+, identi.ca accounts for all teachers at your school. Then, subscribe to those accounts via RSS feed using Google Reader.
Once you’ve subscribed to all of them with GoogleReader, you can create a Google Reader RSS Bundle. Then people can subscribe to one feed–OPML file–that combines them all…
Using these “simple” techniques, you could also deliver content in a variety of ways to blogs, wikis, etc. that still accept RSS feeds or allow you to embed content.
Play around with this approach to select and shape content to re-distribute to others!
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