Tag Archives: RSS

Blog blogging CMS ethics Facebook FeedBurner Google Google Plus iPhoto listserv mailing list Microsoft online-journalism Online News Photography Picasa Twitter Web2.0

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.

Picasa vs. iPhoto vs. Flickr vs. Panoramio

Ledges along Doan Brook in ClevelandEarlier I mentioned that I have some photos uploaded to Panoramio. I’ve also played with Flickr off and on, and have recently started uploading some photos there as well. To add to the confusion, I use Picasa to manage photos on my hard drive, and my wife uses iPhoto on her Mac. Picasa has a web albums feature, and I’m sure iPhoto has something similar with a .Mac account.

Why use four different services that overlap each other to such a degree? Picasa and iPhoto both do the important job of managing photos locally, Flickr seems to have the largest community and the most widgets written for it, and Panoramio integrates with Google Earth. Since I want to do all those things, I have to use them all.

There are ways to make them play nice together. You can use a Gmail account to email photos from Picasa to Flickr, and so far it seems to work fairly well. There are a few iPhoto plugins to upload to Flickr and you can use iPhoto to subscribe to Flickr photostreams. Google just bought Panoramio, so I’m sure there will be more integration there soon as well.

Even with all these options, there are some annoyances. Picasa’s keyword tagging is not very useful, it only allows one-word tags. I tried creating multi-word tags with dashes or by enclosing them in quotes, but Picasa ate the special characters. There’s also the complication of managing public photos vs private photos.

Still, it is amazing how well these different websites and programs work together, through the magic of RSS, web API, and plain old email.

If you’d like, you can see my Flickr photos here. You can also see my photos in Panoramio, or just look close enough in Google Earth, since a few of my photos now how up there.

Weekly listserv journal – RSS, ethics for online media, and camera phones

As part of a class project I’ve been reading the Online-News mailing list and responding to some of the issues and discussion brought up there.

I went ahead and looked up some info on RSS.  It seems pretty interesting-details can be found at http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss.  RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, a common format for content you want others to be able to pick up through their news sites, blogs, and web applications.  It’s a flavor of XML, which allows you to set up different channels and different items within the channel, with some other standard tags like creator and description.  It’s nice because it’s an open format, and it seems to be getting pretty big.  Like so many other things, there’s a set of dueling specifications for it, though some are backwards compatible with each other which is nice.  If more sites keep using it, I’m sure Microsoft will ad their own proprietary version to Office any day now.

One thing that’s interesting about this list is that people use it to announce papers, books, and projects.  For example, there’s “The current status and potential development of online news consumption: A structural approach” by An Nguyen at http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue8_9/nguyen/index.html, which makes the bland assertion that more news web sites are going up and more people are getting their news from the web.  That one was mentioned by someone who had read it; other times the writers themselves make announcements like Robert Berkman, who co-wrote Digital Dilemmas: Ethical Issues for Online Media Professionals.  This book likes kind of interesting, just because I’ve read a few journalism ethics books and they usually don’t have much on online journalism.  There are some important issues which are particularly pressing online as opposed to print–like reader privacy.

In other threads, some people have been discussing a poster called “JOE BIALEK” who seems to have appeared out of nowhere to write huge diatribes.  The name looked familiar to me and some of the other posters confirmed my suspicion-he’s a troll from Usenet and other forums who tries to start fights.  There was an interesting meta-thread about how these sorts of things happen.  Another thread was about the use of mobile phone cameras by reporters.  The first poster talked about how great it could be, but others quickly added there could be ethical concerns.  It might not be a great idea to let your reporter (who’s not a trained news photographer) take insensitive pictures of victims and post them without going through an editor first.