2010-05-28

Connecting twitter and buzz

The forward way (twitter→buzz) is easy (but not configurable): Just connect your twitter account on the buzz settings.

To send informations back, it is harder: buzz and twitter don't cooperate directly, so one needs an auxiliary server (e.g. twitterfeed.com, which regularly looks for new posts on buzz and sends them to twitter).

This leads to a very predictable problem: Messages will bounce between buzz ind twitter in an infinite loop. This is alleviated by the fact that twitterfeed relays only one message per hour (but this also makes debugging the problem much harder). Googling for this gave several approaches:
  1. Give up (the most frequently chosen one).

    This is bad, since now (and for the foreseeable future) twitter will have much more readers than buzz. By giving up one would restrict one's readership to people with google accounts. Personal discussions showed me that people are reluctant to create accounts on google due to the recent privacy discussions.
  2. Use a fourth party solution (e.g. yahoo pipes - I'm too lazy to try this).
  3. Disable the import twitter→buzz

    This obviously breaks the loop, but makes twitter the main aggregator for everything. Since twitter is less user-friendly than buzz, this would require me to care about both services manually. But it might be the only working solution.
  4. Use the filter option in twitterfeed (this excludes posts containing at least one in a list of words from being relayed).

    This variant looks useful at the first glance, but isn't that much:
    buzz imports the tweet without adding anything to the content (it displays the word "twitter" on the buzz page, but this is not included into the message itself).
    twitterfeed, OTOH, relays only the pure content of the message, and prepend or append arbitrary strings, and can filter for the presence of words (i.e. not arbitrary strings).

    Using this, one might include "foo" at every buzz→twitter transfer, and kill messages containing "foo". This would break the loop only after the message has circled around once.

    Another option would be filtering for "bit.ly", which is used by twitterfeed to squish the message below 140 bytes. This fails for another reason: the "bit.ly" part is near the end of the message and gets chopped off before filtering and importing (and a new "bit.ly" is appended at the end after filtering and importing).

    Looped messages contain my name twice in a row (separated with a space), but since the filtering works only for words, not strings (space is the OR operator there), I cannot filter for that either.
For now, I have to stick with the third variant.

Edit (2011-06-20): In the meantime I learned that twitterfeed's filters are positive-only, i.e. I can't say "transmit all messages which don't contain the word".

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