Neville Hobson

Live blog with Twitter plugin for WordPress

A couple of weeks ago, I took part in an interesting experiment with Twitter – contribute to a book one tweet at a time.

The book project – Social Media Marketing GPS – is the brainchild of Toby Bloomberg and I was thrilled to be part of it.

But I wish Iâ€d known about the Twitter LiveBlog plugin for WordPress at the time.

What this clever plugin does it notice all the tweets you write after the one in which you include a code string, and adds those tweets to a blog post.

To end the Twitter live blogging session, you add a closing code in a tweet.

So not only do you get the individual tweets, you also get all those tweets aggregated into a single blog post in chronological order, as the screenshot suggests, automatically published by the plugin to your blog and updated as you continue tweeting.

Itâ€s that last bit – the updating – that makes this automated process extremely worthwhile for things like the Twitter book experiment I mentioned. It would be useful in any situation where you wish to use Twitter as a means to create a stream of commentary in 140 characters each time and automatically capture that stream in a blog post, presented in a natural way, ie chronological, rather than the reverse-chronological way of Twitter.

It brings to mind one such Twitter session I did in November 2007: live tweet a government apology about data losses and then add all the tweets into a blog post: a wholly manual process that was prone to errors and extremely time consuming.

The Twitter LiveBlog plugin is simple to use, although maybe too simple for me as I misunderstood the instructions when I started.

The only thing Iâ€d like to see with the plugin is some means to let it know which blog you want to publish your Twitter-post to.

For instance, in my experiment, I installed the plugin on my tech blog, the output from which the screenshot at top is taken.

But Iâ€m more likely to want to use my primary blog (this one); if I install the plugin here as well, I would imagine that tweets I make with the plugin codes will result in posts appearing on both blogs.

In any event, I think itâ€s a terrific plugin and thanks to Mashuqur Rahman for developing it.

Incidentally, I found out about the plugin from a Twitter LiveBlog post from Cuba (a great example of how this plugin can be used) that I came across while researching about Cuban rums.


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