How to Add Twitter as a RSS Feed on Wizzley

by JoHarrington

A Tweets RSS feed can add value for the reader to your article. It provides constantly updating content on your page.

Twitter is one of the biggest social networking platforms on the web today. News often breaks there before it does in the mainstream media.

You can ensure that Tweets (the Twitter messages) are automatically displayed on your Wizzley page. All you need to do is add relevant RSS feeds and display them on your page.

As soon as Twitter knows, so then too will your readers on Wizzley. It's fresh content, sometimes by the minute.

RSS Feeds Fresh Content

A bonus for any Wizzle!

Fresh, up to date content is always a great advantage on any Wizzley page; and nothing gives more up to the minute news than Twitter.

The feed module on Wizzley allows  you to add Tweets as RSS. Updated as the account holder posts to their stream, you can make certain that your readers know exactly what's going on there.

Let me walk you through how it's done.

What is RSS?

It's a stream of news or content alerts, updating automatically when they are added to the source.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a way of alerting your readers that new content has arrived.

Check out Google News. That page is one big RSS feed, prettily formatted but nevertheless a mass of alerts. As is, I believe, the topics page here at Wizzley.

Wherever the logo is found, then it can be clicked for the RSS feed URL. This is a great way of knowing when your favorite authors have added another article; or merely being able to glance through headlines.

Typically, people will use an RSS feed reader of some description. This can be a bespoke program, like Feedreader, or they can be channeled into your e-mail account.

The most popular application of all, Feedburner, has been swallowed by the Google monopoly.  It now forms part of the Google Reader, which had previously been chasing it in terms of users.  It all still does the same thing.

The first time that you click on a RSS feed logo, you will be asked where you wish to direct your feed. Thereafter, your computer's software will remember and add all future streams there.

Another popular, and more common, way to display RSS is to embed them into a webpage. This happens a lot at Wizzley, as I will demonstrate right here.

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Why Should You Add a Tweets RSS Feed?

It is the best way to provide your readers with absolutely the most current information out there.

Twitter is increasingly overtaking mainstream news outlets as the way to learn what's going on in the world.

Media bias has become apparent to all in high profile scandals, like Rupert Murdoch exerting undue influence over politicians. This has resulted in a climate of distrust in the printed word.

Yet others prefer on-line news curators for mere convenience. It's also the cheaper option, if the individual is already connected to the internet.

Twitter answers all of these issues. In the mass of alerts and 140 characters descriptions of the world, eye-witnesses can give us information before journalists have even touched their keyboards.

  • On May 1st 2011, it was Twitter which broke the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed.
  • On August 23rd 2011, live Tweets from people experiencing an earthquake was the first indication that a big one was occurring in North America.
  • On February 23rd 2012, Twitter announced Whitney Houston's death, before any news journalist even knew.

These are just three examples, but where Twitter really comes into its own is in describing events as they happen.  The Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street and much more have unfolded in real time via Tweets sent by people who were actually there.

If you want the most up-to-date news and information on your Wizzley page, then you should consider including a RSS feed from a carefully selected Twitter account for this very reason.

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How to Find Your RSS Twitter Feed URL

Don't be scared! Even computer illiterate people will find this one easy!

I'm going to demonstrate how to create a Wizzley Twitter feed with some simple step by step moves. Reproduce this in your own page to insert a Tweet feed into a module.

Step One: Find the Twitter Account

Open up the Twitter page that you want streamed.

Find the account name in the header bar. I've highlighted it in orange in my example. It will be prefixed by an @ symbol.

For our official account, it's @wizzleynews NOT Wizzley.

Step Two: Open a Wizzley Feed Module

Select Feeds from the top, right-hand module list. I've highlighted it in orange here too.

This will open up a module editor which asks you for a URL to be added.

It's not just Twitter that can be streamed in here. Anywhere with a RSS logo will produce a URL, which can be slotted into this module.

In this way, it embeds feeds from anywhere, in the same way as your RSS reader programs.

Just take the time to add in a title and subtitle, if required, then select how many feeds you wish to display.

Step Three: Add a Tweet RSS URL

The URL for a Twitter RSS feed is this:

http://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_name=

All you need to do is to add the account name to the end.  In our case, it will be wizzleynews:

http://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_name=WizzleyNews


I recommend unticking the box with 'description', as that makes the feed look very repetitive. There are no descriptions on Twitter, as it only has 140 characters!  So the Wizzley feeds module will compensate by duplicating the header again.

How my Wizzley Feeds Module Looks

Feeds Module with Tweets URL
Feeds Module with Tweets URL
Jo Harrington/Wizzley

Each of the feed items then become links back to the actual Tweet. This is a little strange for Tweets directing you elsewhere (as with Wizzley, which will send us right back here), but it is brilliant for those entering into conversations or doing live updates from their location.

I hope that was useful and here is the finished product!

My Latest Wizzley Tips (Via RSS!)

This will automatically update with articles from my own Wizzley stream.
Writing for Wizzley (or anywhere online) is such a learning experience. Every fifty pages I pause to record and share my lessons. Welcome to Wizzley Tips and Tricks! (...
My entire life is governed by an Excel spreadsheet. It's where I note all that I research, write, earn and plan for more. My gift to you is a writers' spreadsheet of y...
I've been writing on Wizzley for over two years. Every fifty articles, I pause to take stock and share all I've learned so far. Welcome to my Wizzley Tips and Tricks. ...
You may also call this the Wizzley fifty article challenge. Or how Jo Harrington would have done it, if she was at the beginning again with all she knows now. (by JoHa...
Updated: 11/02/2013, JoHarrington
 
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Comments


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JoHarrington on 02/26/2014

You're welcome. Though I've since heard that there have been some changes to the Twitter algorithm. This may not work so well anymore.

If you find that is the case, let me know and I'll tat with it the code.

Telesto on 02/26/2014

Wow! Thank you.

JoHarrington on 11/06/2012

Oh wow! I did not know that you could search keywords for feeds. Nice one! That will definitely come in useful. Thanks. :)

humagaia on 11/06/2012

Jo, to expand on your explanation, there is an even simpler way of obtaining breaking news from Twitter that cuts across all screen names. If you want specific news about the topic of your article (keywords specific or choice), try this one:

http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q="keywords"
where "keywords" is one or more words with '+' instead of spaces.
Thus:
http://search.twitter.com/search.atom... might get you some specific tweets about Twitter RSS feeds (although unlikely as not many people would tweet about this).
However,
http://search.twitter.com/search.atom...
http://search.twitter.com/search.atom...
http://search.twitter.com/search.atom...
http://search.twitter.com/search.atom...
http://search.twitter.com/search.atom...
http://search.twitter.com/search.atom...
would likely give you a head start on reporting any natural disaster.

JoHarrington on 09/21/2012

Yes, I did. Which stream are you looking at? And I'll tell you how I did it.

Sheri_Oz on 09/21/2012

Did you set up different streams for different categories of articles?

JoHarrington on 04/09/2012

Brenda - Good luck and yes, please do shout up if you have any difficulty. I'd be happy to help with your coding. :)

Dustytoes - Yay! I'm glad to have highlighted a new tool for you to use. Let me know if there's anything that I didn't cover in my step by step. It's good to be useful.

dustytoes on 04/09/2012

I have used the RSS module to add my blogs to Wizzley, but never knew about using Twitter this way. I love Twitter and may try this suggestion. Your explanation is excellent!

BrendaReeves on 04/09/2012

I'm going to give this a try Jo. I'll let you know if I have any trouble with it. Thanks for the tips.

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