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Experimenting with LoudTwitter Twitter Tweets on My Blog

Articles about blogging tipsLast week I experimented with LoudTwitter, a tool used to post your Twitter tweets to your blog. I wasn’t sure it would work with a blog, but it does. However, with the number of complaints from readers, it was not welcome on this blog.

LoudTwitter publishes your Twitter tweets in a blog post once a day on your blog using XML-RPC. It will work on self-hosted versions of WordPress and blogs. Just sign up your blog and fill in the information, click through the email verification, set the time you want it posted, and it will automatically post that day’s worth of Twitter tweets on your blog.

It’s important to bring your Twitter posts into some social media services, and your blog posts and other social media services into Twitter, but I’m not sure if Twitter really belongs in a blog post unless you are very active on Twitter and the content within your tweets is extremely valuable to your readers. Having spent a lot of time digging through Twitter over the past year, I’m still hunting for timeless content. It’s there, but it’s like sifting for diamonds among the dust.

Here’s why my experiment didn’t work with LoudTwitter on this blog.

  1. Content Not Interesting or Valuable to Readers: While investment opportunities can be overheard at the right parties, if you are at the right party with the right people at the right time, most tweets have little value. A collection of tweets is just a one-sided conversation that may or may not be relevant to your blog’s focus and topic. No one cares much were you are, what you are eating, what television shows you are watching, or your views on politics unless they are friends, family, or obsessed with those particular things. These have nothing to do with your blog on car repair. Or jewelry making. Or building a business. Unless the Twitter content adds to and complements your blog content, it’s not interesting to the readers.
  2. Lack of Category Control: LoudTwitter has no method currently to post the Twitter Tweets to a specific blog post category. It just dumps your Twitter stream direction into a blog post called “Twitter Tweets” in your default post category. This means that if “uncategorized” is your default post category, it is found there. If LoudTwitter had category control, then the content could be put into a category of its own on your blog. You could move that category off your front page and even out of your blog post feed. Those digging for those tidbits of information found within your tweets could still find it, and those wanting to monitor your tweets on your blog could do so. There are better ways to monitor your tweets away from your blog and no one wants to see them as full blown blog posts. Really?
  3. No Control Over Post Titles: LoudTwitter publishes the post title as “Twitter Tweets”, though it does allow you to add content to the beginning and end of your blog post Twitter Tweet summaries. In your most recent post listing, the reader will see:

    Not very helpful post titles. WordPress won’t allow duplicate post title names, so the permalink becomes twitter-tweets-2, twitter-tweets-3, and so on. Not very SEO friendly nor informative.

  4. It’s a One-Sided Conversation: Not only are Twitter tweets probably not relevant to your blog’s content, it’s a one-sided conversation. Without the other side of the conversation, there is a huge loss of context. It’s like walking into a conversation just as someone says something that could be a foot-in-the-mouth comment if you don’t know what preceded it. It’s confusing and often useless information.
  5. No Editing Capability on Twitter: I work very hard to ensure my blog posts are as clean and neat as any term paper with careful attention to grammar and spelling – even though some slip through. However, Twitterers tend to tweet while walking down the street, talking on the phone, and doing other distracting things like driving which causes a lot of errors. They also abbreviate terms and phrases that might make no sense to the uninitiated. Once a tweet is released on Twitter, you can’t easily take it back and edit it. To then have it re-published on your blog compounds your gaf.
  6. No Tweets Today? Then What? Busy with recent speaking gigs and traveling, I’ve been offline more than on, so what happens when you aren’t twittering? What’s published on your blog? This Twitter Tweets is an example of what happens. I don’t quite understand why there are two tweets when I wasn’t on Twitter, but there it is. Literally nothing is posted. What good is a wasted empty post? It doesn’t serve your readers. A conditional option would be beneficial to restrict LoudTwitter (or its equivalent) to not publish if you have less than 2 tweets in a day.

Here is an example of the one-sided conversation from my recent experiment.

# 11:46 Idiot Alert: I recorded video atbwe08 vertical not horizontal. ARGH! How do I flip or rotate digital video?
# 11:59 @vegasgeek yep!!! :D Lay down video – new style. Everyone lays down. So used to still, didn’t think about horz vs vert. SIGH.
# 11:59 @wiredprworks Will be posting how WordPress changed your life video and video of talk after weekend’swordcampportland. Going to ROCK!
# 12:20 @GlendaWH Hey, my new dear friend! lorelleonwordpress at gmail – Your video is ~3 minutes on how WordPress changed your life!
# 12:21 @vegasgeek LOL That’s the solution for sure. But I like the idea of 200 people laying down to watch much better. Fun atwordcampportland!
# 12:53 @bkajino Can’t wait forwordcampportland You know I’m also talking about Woopra??? Will have some goodies for those attending, I hope!
# 12:54 OMG Did you all see that I’m on the cover of Blogger and Podcaster Magazine?! Bunch of my articles in there. Wow! Didn’t know untilbwe08
# 13:11 @GlendaWH Can’t find your card – found Darrell’s so I emailed him with notes. CAn’t wait!!!
# 13:18 Ever have one of those days when you wonder why you blog? Back frombwe08 I shouldn’t but tired out. Need kick. :D
# 14:21 @WatershedStudio Blogger and Podcaster Rock Star? right? :D I was so stunned to see my name on the cover. I’m just little ol’ me.
# 14:22 @gregbd Right, but not separate. Your blog is yr online resume today. Social business model circles around it. Start blog first then social
# 14:45 Idiot Alert Off. FOUND IT! How to flip a vertical video back to horizontal. is.gd/31N1 Simple and easy! Whew.
# 14:56 Michael Moore giving away next movie tinyurl.com/5dkqm8 Slacker Uprising. Another example of how free giveaways make money?
# 16:13 @vegasgeek What dates are you thinking for WordCamp Vegas? WordCamp Denver scheduling for Jan and don’t want to overlap.
# 20:28 4 WordCamps this weekend: Portland, Toronto, Utah, Vancouver(BC) WordPresswordcamp weekend!
# 22:06 @MikePerry Thanks. It was a surprise to me atbwe08. Great timing. :D Blogger and Podcaster Magazine doing some interesting stuff lately.
# 22:07 YEAH! Raw fooder! Check out the raw food porn book “Raw” by Charlie Trotter. Too much trouble to cook but sexy pics. :D
# 22:08 @vegasgeek Denver wanted the same dates for their WordCamp. Will let them know and maybe they can change them. Thanks much!
# 22:14 @gregbd BuddyPress WordPress Theme on steroids is doing that as are others. Connecting the dots. We need more dot connectors to stop scatter.

Can you really follow it? Does it really add value to this blog?

Twitter is invaluable. With help from those following me, I was able to quickly find a method to flip videos I’d made at Blog World Expo from vertical to horizontal. I was also able to help WordPress and users find the help and information they needed. I was also easily able to promote my upcoming events and speaking gigs as well as other WordPress events.

It’s the value of my tweets and using LoudTwitter on my blog that I question. If you are hosting Twitter tweets with any service on your blog, is it really helpful? Do you have category and post title control? Does it really benefit your readers?


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

23 Comments

  1. Posted October 1, 2008 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Well Lorelle, I’m glad you said it and not me, because this is a much longer version of what I was going to say in a comment the second time I saw twitter tweets on your blog. I don’t know if it’s blaring music or the sight of a list of those disconnected blurbs on twitter which makes me click away faster.

  2. Posted October 1, 2008 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Whether Twitter “digest” posts add value to a blog definitely depends on your audience. Josh Bancroft wrote about his solution using some clever WordPress-ery where he posts a tweet digest, but those posts are excluded from his RSS feed.

    I generally don’t find value in after-the-fact Twitter posts. In fact, I’ve written some custom Yahoo pipes to filter Tweet posts out of some blogs I follow. Others might find them interesting, so one has to find the right balance for their audience.

  3. Posted October 1, 2008 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    If you’re wanting to do this sort of thing on a self-hosted WordPress blog, look at the Twitter Tools plugin instead. It can turn tweets into posts as well as reflect your new posts on Twitter automatically. It can do one-tweet = one-post, it can do summaries on a regular basis, it can do special categories for them, and many other things. It’s also not dependent upon a third party service, which is always nice.

  4. Posted October 1, 2008 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Oh thank goodness Lorelle! To be honest, I have so many blogs in my reader now, if a post is not immediately relevant to me personally, I just mark it as read. And your Tweets were just not relevant to me in any way. So glad you said it :-)
    I was wondering if it was just me, missing something, because I am brand new on Twitter and you know, it takes a while to get going on this stuff.
    I always look to you and your blog for blogging “how to’s” and am happy you experimented with this and reported on the results.
    Thanks again!

  5. Posted October 1, 2008 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    it was really boring :P

  6. Posted October 1, 2008 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Lorelle, I’ve resisted adding a Twitter feed to my blog, for many of the reasons you stated above. I was, however, interested to see how LoudTwitter would work out (as I commented on your article informing of us of the experiment). I’m more convinced now that (for me, at least; and, I suspect, for most people) a Twitter feed of any kind is WTF Blog Clutter!

    If people want to follow me on Twitter, there’s a badge on my site that will help them do so. I don’t Tweet that much, and when I do, about 50 percent of it is completely meaningless unless the reader is following me AND the person to whom I’m “tweeting”. Even then, you need to know the context of the conversation. So how is seeing only half of those conversations better? In my view, it isn’t.

  7. Posted October 1, 2008 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I have a handful of bloggers in my feed reader whose tweets come show up with their regular posts. To be honest, I don’t really see the point. I nearly every case, I’m already following those bloggers on Twitter. It just seems unnecessary.

  8. Posted October 1, 2008 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I was gonna suggest TwitterTools instead. You have the option of publishing a digest of tweets, like you did with LoudTwitter, but you can also put them in your sidebar or elsewhere in your layout (which excludes them from your RSS feed). I have mine at the top of my layout (http://www.the-frame.com/blog), so anyone who actually comes to my site will see the latest thing I tweeted – you can have it display however many tweets you want, but for my implementation, one was best – but it doesn’t bother anyone who reads via RSS at all.

  9. katesaltfleet
    Posted October 1, 2008 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    I’m so glad you took the twitter thing off your blog. It was starting to drive me mad! I follow you on Twitter, and I think that using Tweetfeeder to show your blog posts on Twitter works, but somehow doing it the other way round doesn’t work nearly as well. Like Kestrel said, if someone wants to follow you on Twitter, they can opt in.

  10. Posted October 1, 2008 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    It makes no sense to twitter feed your blog because there is no value in it for the blog audience. But I believe it should be the other way around where you RSS your twitter with whatever you do on the web.

    I don’t use Twitter as it is traditionally used (give details of every second of your life to the world), but I feed it with my web wanderings.

  11. Posted October 1, 2008 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    You said “Twitter is invaluable.”

    I beg to differ.

    I tried it.

    I didn’t like it, so it has no value to me, since I don’t use it. If anything, it reduces value in my view when blogs that I otherwise like go gaga over it.

  12. Posted October 1, 2008 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    @ Mike Goad:

    I did say that Twitter tweets on your blog were a bit of a waste of time and clutter, but as a service in and of itself, Twitter works if you learn how to use it and make it work for you. :D Millions are connecting in ways that they would have never connected before. That makes it powerful stuff and shouldn’t be underestimated.

  13. Posted October 1, 2008 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure that Twitter does something for those who use it. Since I am retired and have never been one to “stay connected,” using it to connect in ways I’ve “never connected before” holds no attraction. In my view, too many people are already way too distracted and Twitter is one more distraction to add to the mix.

    That being said, I have — and had — no intent in knocking it’s value to others. It was just the phrase, “Twitter is invaluable,” that for some reason got my attention. I had visions of people all over the place, texting and twitting away — the guy in the doctor’s office playing with his cell-phone — the person in the next cube who was supposed to have next week’s schedule done yesterday, the engineer on a commuter train, the wait person who I gave my order to 20 minutes ago and I haven’t seen since.

    Twitter responsibly.

  14. Posted October 2, 2008 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I am new to WordPress and your blog and found it annoying myself. However if it was in its own category and not included in all the regular blog listings then those that have built a relationship with you can find value in it. Not sure if you can exclude a category in a hosted blog though.

  15. greybucket
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Gotta agree with the others… to some, having a blog means being affiliated with every form of social website out there… myspace, facebook, windows live, twitter, etc etc. Sometimes simple is the way to go

  16. Posted October 3, 2008 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting. I’m involved with http:fearlesscity.ca a nonprofit art project that uses live media and posting to a WP.com blog would very much help us, but it needs to be tested first.

    Thanks for covering this.

  17. Posted October 22, 2008 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    I post my tweets to my blog as my “lifelog” for a couple of reasons.

    First, I want an archive copy of them that I control. Twitter recently made it so that you could no longer access further than about 10 pages back in your tweet history. For me, that was thousands of tweets that just vanished. Now that I’m logging them to my blog, I still have them.

    Second, my tweets are an important log of “what I was doing” that day, at least to me. Part of the reason I write my blog is to document my life, and my thoughts. Since I write a whole lot more every day on Twitter than I do on my actual blog, I wanted to not lose that stuff I was writing.

    As Chris Kalini recent said when asked if he regretted blogging about being laid off from Jive, I want my grandkids to be able to read my blog, and get to know me that way. My tweets are a big part of that.

  18. Posted October 29, 2008 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the write up. I was going to try this today to post my day’s tweets from a conference to my blog, but now I can see it isn’t worth it. Thanks for saving me the time! I’ll find another way instead.

  19. Posted January 1, 2009 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Hi Mike,

    “…I had visions of people all over the place, texting and twitting away — the guy in the doctor’s office playing with his cell-phone — the person in the next cube who was supposed to have next week’s schedule done yesterday, the engineer on a commuter train, the wait person who I gave my order to 20 minutes ago and I haven’t seen since…”

    But you never know… That guy getting his critical blood test results before he talks to his Doctor. That person in the cube double checking if everyone can get to the vital meeting at twelve. The engineer on a commuter train checking those load bearing figures. The person you gave your order to who just got news of a lead for financing for his start up idea…

    They may be annoying to you and sometimes they are inappropriate (I hope you have got served by now :-))

    But who knows…..

    Alll the best

  20. rushrabbit
    Posted March 8, 2009 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    I was searching wordpress for a way to put twitter updates on my blog, but after reading your article about it I’m not so sure anymore. I think putting every little thought that pops into my mind might be a little too much of an overkill for my kind of content (cycling, adventure, and travel). anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts, its very helpful information.

    Myles

  21. sadas
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    is there something like @loudtwitter that will post tweets to blog only weekly

  22. Posted May 28, 2009 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Thanks a lot for the post. Was searching for a way to link my tweets with blogger and post them as a blog post. Just set it up and the test post worked perfectly. So now I have linked my tweets with Facebook and Blogger. And now trying to figure out if there is a way to link it to my gtalk status message as well, that will be really cool :)

  23. Posted September 28, 2009 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    This is really interesting – I have just suspended LoudTwitter because I was worried that my (admittedly much smaller) readership were going to get irritated by the tweet posts. I agree that posting every single tweet is a bit much (and redundant for the people who already follow me on Twitter) but I still think there is some value in it. I often tweet about what I am actually up to, day to day, and since my blog is a personal blog followed by those who know and care about me (and who aren’t on Twitter), those tweets could be of interest.

    I know I miss tweets posted by those I follow so even if I follow someone on Twitter and their blog, I would want to catch up on their important tweets. So what I would really like is a service which delivers weekly tweets, unpublished (in draft form) so I can trim out the unnecessary stuff and just post the ‘important’ tweets. I could then tweak the post titles, edit out the @ replies (which LoudTwitter does also, incidentally) and hopefully make the whole thing more interesting for my readers. If anyone knows of a service that can do this on a WordPress.com blog, let me know!! :-)


4 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Cosa ha fatto Lorelle ? Ha installato un plugin di wordpress ceh le ofriva la possibilità di poter integrare i Tweets di Twitter nel suo blog. Il risultato dell’esperimento non è stato quanto si aspettasse – infatti è stato un fallimento descritto in questo post. [...]

  2. [...] Another blogger experimented with having their tweets show up in their blog, but eventually decided against it. The first reason for eventually deciding against including the tweets states, “Content Not Interesting or Valuable to Readers,” and the examples they link to bear this out to be the case. However, I wonder if they would have overcome this issue if they had decided to have two Twitter accounts — a main account and a noise account — like I do, though this does lead to other non-blog related management issues of its own. « Status Updates for 2009-01-02 [...]

  3. [...] reading Lorelle’s post, I decided that rather than risk getting on your nerves, I would cease the posts for the time [...]

  4. […] Experimenting with LoudTwitter Twitter Tweets on My Blog Glenda Watson Hyatt: How WordPress Changes Her Life Daily […]

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