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Auto Updates to Twitter?

Social Media
Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, March 19, 2009
2:21 am

If you follow me on Twitter (@mgd), a few times a day you will receive a tweet from me of the form "Dixon Delicious: Why IBM Wants Sun – BusinessWeek http://ow.ly/154F".  I do this to share web sites I visit that may have relevance to others.  Such links, which I first post to Delicious, are automatically posted to Twitter by an RSS-to-Twitter service named HootSuite.

A few days ago, a person who follows me on Twitter suggested that "sending your delicious links to twitter in a batch is sort of poor form, if you don’t mind me saying so."  After a polite exchange of direct messages, he also offered, "worked out what bothers me about dixon delicious. it comes through in a single burst…. usually three in a row."

To help illustrate how these messages are generated, I created the little diagram below to show how my updates automatically wind up on Twitter.

  1. I use the Delicious Booksmarks Firefox plugin to save links to websites I may want to return to or that I think may be interest to friends and colleagues. 
  2. I use the ScribeFire Firefox to create posts to the Discovering Identity blog.  
  3. ScribeFire uploads my posts to blogs.sun.com
  4. … and posts a link on Delicious using tags I have specified.
  5. Each day at 1:00 am, Delicious automatically creates a post to my blog containing all the links I have uploaded to Delicous in the previous day. This is a composite of all the links I have directly posted to Delicious, plus any links posted to Delicious by ScribeFire.
  6. HootSuite monitors the RSS feeds from my Delicious account
  7. … and the Discovering Identity Blog
  8. … and periodically posts new entries to Twitter

It appears that the HootSuite RSS-to-Twitter mechanism is quite "bursty."  It doesn’t necessarily post the Delicious links immmediately when I post them, but may post a batch of links at once.

So, what do you think?  Is this too automated? Is it in poor taste to provide this method to put content onto Twitter?

I’d appreciate your feedback.

Thanks! 

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