Twitter is one of the fastest growing methods for communicating or “curating” the endless stream of data being generated daily online.Â For the same reason that blogging took hold at such a feverish pace – for its tendency to consistently encourage and offer fresh content and then push that content through an RSS feed – Twitter strips away all the extras and offers the distilled goods in a micro sound bite portions.
Like WordPress, a good part of Twitter’s continued growth and success can be attributed to the third party developments that allow people to customize how they serve and receive the content.Â By hooking in to Twitter’s API, users can twit, retweet, update content in a wide variety of ways.
There are a number of excellent plugins and widgets for WordPress that serve different purposes.Â Here are some of the most popular:
Ned Kelly trailer Top Twitter Plugins for WordPress
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Tweet This creates a conspicuous button or link at the end of a WordPress post that automatically shortens the URL to your page so that you can better decide how to phrase your tweet and fit it within the 140 character limit.Â (Note: it is recommended that you do not use up the entire 140 characters available so as to leave room for those who want to retweet you)
TwitThis is similar to Tweet This in that is pre-shortens the URL of the page you are sending to Twitter.Â A slightly different implementation, however.Â See which of the two is better suited to your needs.Â Using both would be redundant and potentially problematic and confusing for your reader.
TweetSuite is the All-In-One-SEO-Pack equivalent for implement Twitter into your blog.Â Offering server-side TweetBacks, ReTweet-This buttons, a large Tweet-This Button and the option to automatically tweet new posts.Â use this last option with discretion especially if you run a busy blog.Â Power Tweeters recommend not posting more than once an hour.Â But Twitiquette (as Caroline Middlebrook calls it) is beyond the scope of this article.
Twitter Tools is a nice two-way plugin in that links your WP-blog to your Twitter account allowing you to pull your tweets into your blog and conversely create new tweets on blog posts and from within WordPress itself.
Twitter Feed adds the nice touch of using your OpenID to login in to your twitter stream, displays the URL for your blog’s RSS feed, and the ability to tell it how often to post your updates to Twitter.
WP TwiTip ID
There are also a variety of widgets for displaying your Twitterfeed in your sidebar.Â The simplest and perhaps most brutish way of handling this is to get the code from Twitter itself.Â Go to your profile at Twitter.com and look for the Tools section where you can generate the code to place in a Text widget.Â It may take some tweaking to get it to look right with your theme.Â Alternatively you can try the Twitter WordPress Sidebar Widget. Again try out arious options and see which works best for you.
Finally, if you are just getting accquainted with the Twitterverse, take a look at Tweetdeck
– a third party standalone program for accessing and organizing all your friends, messages, replies, and tweets on Twitter.Â You can set filters so that a column only displays messages by certain types of posters (for example “Music Industry” or “SEO masterminds”). There are new stand-alones coming out every day, but this should give you an idea of what an alternative interface can be.
Get A Running Start on the Mainstream
The IT prophets are starting to mumble about ways in which Twitter might replace Facebook and even Google Search altogether.Â If you aren’t hip to it yet, give it another look – you will still be far ahead of the mainstream and as you learn about the unwritten conventions for using it well, you will begin to tap into a very powerful new way to promote you precious content.