Group retweeting to one Twitter account isn’t particularly hard, there are plenty group tweeting apps around (though you have to pay for the best of them), and of course you can give everyone the password and let them swap between accounts on a free Twitter app like Tweetdeck. However, for those of you who don’t want to give everyone admin permission on a Twitter account, or who are, like me, too parsimonious to pay for a decent group app, here’s a little hack using Yahoo Pipes and Twitterfeed that allows a group of users to post to a combined second account from their own by simply favoriting a Tweet.
Here’s the Twitter Group Favorite Yahoo Pipe.
Here’s what’s going on:
A lot of people don’t know that Twitter provides a public RSS feed of every public user’s favorites. This has always struck me as a little odd, however, there it is, it works. Now, in my experience lots of people don’t use the favorite functionality much, and when they do they use it different ways. Some use it quite literally, starring their favorite Tweets in the way you might ‘plus one’ a comment even though there’s no explicit rating system in Twitter. Personally speaking, I tend to use it as an aide memoire for bookmarking good stuff or highlighting things to read later that look interesting, i.e. as a bookmarking tool like Delicious.
Anyway, this is a simple hack that takes Twitter favorites and allows you to automagically retweet them to another account. You can clone my pipe and add as many users or otherwise amend it as you see fit.
There are a couple of different URL formats that allow you to grab a user’s favorites, however, this is probably the easiest (obviously replacing the user names in my pipe with the ones of your choice).
Once you’ve replaced the users in my pipe with ones of your own you will have an RSS feed of a set of users favourites. The remainin modules in the pipe help sort the feed out.
My pipe has a Regex module which adds a RT@ to the user name (which is common courtesy), so you don’t have to do that either. It also sorts them into descending order by pubDate. When you’re happy with the output of the RSS feed, then grab the link to the RSS feed and head over to Twitterfeed.
I’m not going to walk you through Twitterfeed, but it’s pretty self-explanatory, and all you have to do is connect your new RSS feed of favorites with the Twitter account you want to send them to.
The end result is a simple one click way of retweeting links from a wide range of Twitter accounts to a single account without compromising security or using new software.
There are a couple of minor downsides – if you already use Twitter favorites for a less focussed purpose then this is perhaps not the best solution, and Twitter feed only updates once every half hour. However, on the plus side this is a bit of a time saver, it means people can spend time on their own account, retweeting to another account with a single click.
(If you haven’t used Yahoo Pipes before, you should they’re one of the few great things about Yahoo. If you want to use my simple pipe then you need to sign up, clone my pipe, and edit it for your own purposes.)