« Good Ol' Gal | Main | Mini-Review: "Crécy" by Warren Ellis »

Fun Hack: Retweet Your Favorites on Twitter

It all started with a simple question (as most great—and less-than-great—adventures do.) My friend Christian wond'red aloud on Twitter: "any way to tell who has favorited one's tweets (if anyone has)?"

Which took me through a series of twists, turns, and at least one significant misunderstanding. Which I'm not going to bother to recount! Cause it's boring! (Honesty in blogging is so refreshing, idn't it?)

Note: For those who'd like to read more about Twitter favorites, I'd recommend that you start here.

What I ended up with, however, is a way to share your favorites back to the community, so at least the folks you've favorited might see that fact, and get a tiny bit of Christian's desired ego-boo.. I've been doing just that for a little over a week now, and here's how you can, too.

One: First, head on over to the Yahoo! Pipe that I've created for this purpose: Feed your Favorites. Enter your Twitter name and password, and the Twitter name of the person for whom you'd like to fetch favorites.

Caveat Clickor: The pipe will produce an RSS feed, the url to which will contain the Twitter name and password that you enter in naked, unprotected plain text. So if that creeps you out for any reason, then run away now!)

Now, this Pipe is a little over-engineered. For our purposes, you probably want to fetch your own favorites, so the third text-entry box is probably extraneous. But I plan on extending it down the road to do some other cool things. So, for now, just go ahead and enter your own Twitter name in that third box, too. Then click 'Run Pipe'…

Two: From the resultant… um, results… that… result… from having clicked the button, you should see a 'More Options' link.

Pipes: Feed your Favorites

Click that, then click 'Get as RSS', which will return an RSS feed. You want to copy the URL for that feed and save it for the next step…

Three: Visit TwitterFeed and set up a new twitter feed, using the URL collected in Step Two.

I'm not going to go step-by-step into using TwitterFeed. It's pretty straightforward. But I have a couple of recommendations. I would recommend setting a patient interval for updates—I've got mine set to 6 hours. This has two benefits: it's easier on Mario's bandwidth; and it helps prevent near-instant re-tweeting. (I think sharing your Favorites is more impactful if ppl aren't seeing them hit your stream mere minutes after the original observation was made. It's noise at that point.)

Also… I recommend prefixing each tweet with the hashtag '#Favorited'. Please do this, even if you're amongst the possible majority of people who hate hashtags. Because then I can—to some degree—track the usage of this hack.

Finally, where Twitterfeed asks you to Include "Description Only" or "Title Only"… pick one or the other, but not both. For this feed, they're completely redundant, so only one is necessary. And check the checkbox to include an URL. So people can view the original tweet.

Four: Go and Favorite some tweets on Twitter! Then wait for whatever interval of time you specified in the Twitterfeed setup screen. Sometime during that interval, you will see exactly one (the newest) of the items you've favorited be re-posted to your Twitter-stream. It should look something like this:


After that first run, you should see up to 5 favorites tweeted each time Twitterfeed runs. (It depends on the number that you configured at twitterfeed.)

Five: If you continue to let this hack run, you should donate some sheckels to Twitterfeed, to ensure that it keeps on runnin'! Cause bandwidth ain't free, homes. There is a 'Donate' button on their site which—particularly if you followed Step Three, above—you couldn't have missed. I would just link straight to the Paypal donation form, but for some reason that feels kinda phish-ey to me, so go find the button and show Mario some love. (Yes, I did already.) He's built a fun and wicked-handy little service for us all.

Oh, and if anyone actually follows these directions and starts re-tweeting your favorites, please leave a comment below with your twittername so I can follow you!



This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 15, 2008 1:41 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Good Ol' Gal.

The next post in this blog is Mini-Review: "Crécy" by Warren Ellis.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.


Subscribe to feed Subscribe to my feed
Powered by FeedBurner
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.33