WordPress Twitter Integration

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 

I discovered TwitterFeed and I was happy.  It does a nice job of formatting blog entries to tweets.  I set it up then went back to it later after I changed my login for twitter and whoops.  You can only log in with OpenID.

Uh oh.  OpenID. Why?  Why do this?  It is a solution in search of a problem.  It is very clever and worse than useless.  It must be a support nightmare.  So instead of having my browser automagically insert my passwords (and instead of having my browser’s convenient password store “show passwords” option to help me figure out what they are all in one convenient place) I have to remember some random URL from a totally random company I’ve never heard of, do not have any reason to trust, and would never use for anything else.

Great.

Security!  Plus they use some idiotic picture picker thing instead of a password.  Why?  Why?

These things are great in theory, but worse than useless in practice.

Time to find another blog->twitter tool.  Hello hellotxt.com

Simple username/password login.  Browser remembers it for me.  Sign up once, done.

Of course this makes me enter my username and password for my twitter account, but I’m signing up with hellotxt so I’m already trusting them with a user/pass combination and at least I know something about them and I’m trading some security for some function, unlike the OpenID provider that’s just creepily asking to be my Big Id Brother to vouch for me when I go to the bar (and what happens when vidoop’s lights get turned out or the servers fail? No more logins?)

Anyway, hellotxt has a service called hellotxtfeed which uses a feed as input and then ping.fm like syndicates it out to all your hungry fans on every service who are just waiting with baited breath to hear how your most recent poop came out.

In the end though, I prefer having things run on my own servers because even if hellotxt isn’t a single point of failure like vidoop yearns to be, most “pre-revenue” companies don’t make it.  So I use a nice clean open source solution:  Alex King’s excellent TwitterTools plug in.   It has a lot of great features for bidirection integration between blogs and twitter including the digest posts it is creating on this site.  The only bug I’ve found is that sometimes twitter.com seems to reject login.   For me it has just cleared up randomly, so I’m happy enough to assume it is twitter.com, at least as long as it continues working.

Posted at 01:19:09 UTC

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