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How to Post from Google Plus to Twitter and Facebook

From More Around Mystic, CT

I have a problem: some people are following me on Twitter, some friends and family are only on Facebook, and others are using Google+. Personally, I like using Google+ most – I like the UI and using my Circles to share certain things with just family, and G+ ties into Picasa really well. I’m also probably a little biased.

I just don’t have time to manually post everything I want to share with all of these people in all three places. So I decided to write all my inane ramblings into Google+, and from there automatically update Twitter and Facebook.


Before I start, I feel like I have to add a disclaimer: Please don’t spam Twitter and FB by shoveling all sorts of autogenerated content into your feed, with no intention fo actually interacting with people. No one wants that, you will lose all your friends, and even your dog will stop loving you. Be judicious.

Here’s how you can automatically post from Google+ to Twitter:

Step 1: Get an RSS feed of your public Google+ posts.

Many sites offer RSS feeds, usually you just have to look for the little orange icon, or a link that says “subscribe”. Google+, at this point, does not – but it does offer an API, so it’s not too hard to write a Python or PHP script to convert. Actually, many developers have stepped in to offer RSS feed services – I found a good list of them here.

A word of caution: these services may be unreliable, they may come and go, developers may run out of money or go crazy and post weird stuff on everyone’s feeds. If you don’t want to take the risk, you should probably write your own code using the Google+ API or wait for Google+ to support RSS.

Step 2: Take your RSS feed and add it to FeedBurner.

FeedBurner is a feed management system run by Google. It lets you do all sorts of fun things with your RSS feeds, including posting to Twitter (Step 3). First, go to http://feedburner.google.com/, there should be a text area titles “Burn a feed right this instant. Type your blog or feed address here:”. Do that. FeedBurner will walk you through a couple of simple steps.

Step 3: Set up FeedBurner to post to Twitter.

Click the “Publicize” tab and look for the “Socialize” option in the menu. There you’ll see an option to add your Twitter account. Click the button, authorize FeedBurner in Twitter, and you are ready to go.

By the way, FeedBurner also offers some interesting analytics options so you can see how many people click through from Twitter, Facebook, or wherever else they might see your feed.

How to update Facebook too:

Actually, I already had Twitter updating Facebook – that’s easy to do, simply go to http://twitter.com/settings/profile and connect your Facebook account. This has a drawback, though, in that it squeezes my G+ posts through the 140-character wringer of Twitter before passing it on to Facebook.

Facebook does have a few apps that are able to publish an RSS feed directly to your wall. RSS Graffiti looks like a likely candidate, with lots of positive reviews, but I haven’t actually tried it. The list of permissions the app demands scared me away.

Hopefully this is useful and I’m not annoying my friends with too many reposts. If you feel the need to stop following me on Twitter since you’ve already seen my hilarious anecdotes on G+ (or vice versa), I’ll understand. I should also add that I’ll read any comments and probably reply in all three systems – I don’t want to force everyone to use G+ to talk to me.

One big drawback to this setup is that I can’t share privately across the three social networks. If I post pictures of my kid playing at the park to just my Friends and Family circles, I don’t have a way to post that to my network in Facebook. Drop me a note if you’ve figured that one out.

Sifting through 1100+ photos

My Nikon D60 is set to continuous release mode. This is great, because it allows me to capture ambient-light images of normally motion-blur-prone children. I took some photos at my nephew’s first soccer game and the continuous shutter works really well for action photos too. Instead of snapping one shot and finding out later I was too slow or the kids too fidgety, I can snap a few and pick out the good one later.

So a shot like this is culled out of a series of blurred frames:

Looking up

The not-so-great part of this technique is what happens after a week visiting family across the country. I have 1100+ photos to sift through, and that’s after some in-camera deletion of obviously useless shots.

I use Picasa to manage the photos on my hard drive, it’s fast and has a nice UI. My usual tactic is to make a couple passes through, starring good shots. Then I make a final pass through the starred photos where I might crop or adjust levels a bit (that’s the Tuning tab in Picasa) and finally export to a folder. From there I can upload to Flickr, Facebook, Panoramio, and any of the other places I find myself sharing photos.

Anyone have any helpful tips for speeding up this workflow? Any actual professional photographers out there who deal with this on a regular basis? I remember similar problems when I worked in newsrooms but that was a while back and I don’t remember a good solution existing at the time.

My Photography Featured on Flickr?

Small steel mill building set aside for a future museum This is cool – I’m not sure how the honor is bestowed, but I happened to be looking through Flickr’s Places feature and noticed that I’m a featured photographer for Cleveland.  You may have to reload a couple times, they only display two users at a time and there are at least 6 or so featured.

Perhaps not real fame but these are the sorts of inconsequential online vanity things that make me happy. I’d actually be even happier to know that I was chosen complete algorithmically, rather than by human editors, because it means some code somewhere though my pictures were good in some flawed, but slightly more objective way.

This is also an example of why I’m still using Flickr more than Google’s Picasa, even though I use the Picasa application to organize all the photos on my hard drive and the face tagging feature is really impressive.

Speaking of featured photographers (and yet another photo sharing website), check out Vinay’s photos on SmugMug. I just found out about his site and have been enjoying the pics.