Like it or not, Twitter has become a huge phenomenon. Some even say this micro-blogging platform has threatened the life of blogs, especially those personal ones.
Of course I won’t say it goes as far as that, but it’s a good idea to keep both of them close together, so that either side does not miss out on anything.
If it’s just twittering you want, then be sure to check out this post on twitter services or these twitter tools that will get you into the twitter elite. If however you want your blog and twitter account to seamlessly merge into a single platform to get your word out, here are a bunch of twitter extenders that will effortlessly popularise your blog among all your twitter followers, and beyond.
You may already be using some sort of Twitter plugin on your WordPress blog, but the time has come to switch to something else. Developed by Dan Zarella, TweetSuite takes the concept of Tweetbacks to the next level.
TweetSuite adds server side tweetbacks to your posts, so if someone tweets about your post, it adds it to the list. Users get to retweet any of the tweetbacks, or can click on the ‘tweet this’ button to announce your post in their twitter feed. The “tweet this” button is completely automated, with title truncating and URL shortening so the user doesn’t have to do anything but click on the update button.
TweetSuite also includes a bunch of widgets for your sidebar, including ‘most tweeted’, ‘recently tweeted’, and others. You can of course automatically set TweetSuite to tweet any of your new posts to your own Twitter feed. I have yet to come across a more complete twitter plugin for WordPress.
Gravatars are a great addition to any blog, giving the blog a much better visual appeal. However, non-technology blogs find it hard to implement them as most of the users are not techie enough to create a gravatar of their own. This results in a lot of ‘blank’ avatars in the comments field.
Created by Ricardo Sousa, especially for Smashing Magazine, ‘Twittar’ aims to increase the possibility of finding an avatar by linking the email address used with a Twitter account. The plugin will, in the first instance, look for a Twitter avatar but failing that it will look for a gravatar. Considering that Twitter already has millions of users, many of whom are not tech savvy, the likelihood of finding an avatar is greatly increased.
Sure you advertise your RSS feed readers, but what about the 1000’s of Twitter followers that you have? Prominently displaying them will surely increase the importance of your blog. TwitterCounter for WordPress integrates the TwitterCounter badges in your WordPress blog.
Of course, this plugin is basically the same as the HTML code generated by TwitterCounter, so if you are adept at editing your site’s code you can get this counter there itself.
Check out Jimmy’s story on TwitterCounter.
Anyone and everyone who uses Twitter periodically sends out interesting links to their followers. These links are not pointing to your site, so other than creating goodwill among your followers, they offer no ‘return’ for your blog.
How does one share interesting links, as well as making sure that your blog gets something out of it?
which leads to :
TweetSplit is an interesting concept, as it embeds the external page, inside of your URL. The user will see the intended page, but also see an unobtrusive bar at the top reminding the user who it is that brought them to the page. You could embed any graphic or even an ad at the top (don’t over-do it!) to make the best of Twitter.
The next time someone retweet’s your links, you can be sure that those new visitors will be seeing your branding on the landing page.
The standard comment field in most WordPress blogs shows the name, email and URL. Well now since most people have a Twitter account as well, shouldn’t that also be included in the feature set? A lot of coders have included a second URL feed for people to add their Twitter IDs, but it is not a very elegant way to do so.
Twitip ID takes away all of the pain and provides a simple way to add a Twitter ID to the comment posted. It will display the @username and link it up with the Twitter account. It requires minimal fiddling around in the comments.php file so anyone with a little skill should be able to implement it.
The habit of Twitter has been carried to the blogs, and now when we reply to someone in our blog comments, we usually use @nickname to address the person. Twitter style links will search for @nickname’s URL in the comments list of the current post, and convert that @nickname to a clickable link. Of course, this has nothing to do with Twitter as such, but it does bring the two conceptually closer together.
A simple plugin that will automatically link any @username in your post to the Twitter account. For instance, all I would need to do is insert @makeuseof and it will link that to twitter.com/makeuseof without any user interaction.
That should definitely get your blog or Twitter feed the recognition it deserves. Of course, Twitter, WordPress, and the community that surrounds it are always evolving. So if you find an interesting way to bridge the gap between blogs and Twitter, do let us know in the comments.