I’ve noticed that a lot of people use Twitter to promote their blogs and the blogs of their colleagues and friends. Twitter is a social network, so this is expected behavior. I find myself clicking on the TinyURLs in tweets out of curiosity more often than not. A tweet like this one from James Governor gets attention:
SAP – got sexy back? http://snurl.com/1v41w
It’s effective. Even though I subscribe to James’ feed, it caught my attention, and I clicked. He can’t make me read it though; it’s still open in a tab, waiting for me.
According to at least six other Twitterers I follow, it’s pretty good. They felt the need to tweet it as well. Twitter makes it tough to recognize a link you’ve already visited. TinyURL randomly generates a different URL for each tweet with a link, so there’s no way to know what page is behind the link. Plus, the 140 character limit makes the description cryptic. Case in point, this tweet also points to James’ post:
I didn’t know this and clicked through anyway, again out of curiosity. I know James is monkchips on Twitter, but I thought he might have some additional insight. Not this time chief. So James eventually got five pageviews from me by way of Twitter (I had to go back and check them), when he would have got none if I read his post in Reader. Not a big deal, just an interesting side effect.
Surprise, TinyURL makes Twitter a pageview machine. Jeremiah frequently promotes his posts, and a post today reveals that Twitter has become one of the top referrers to his blog. At least for now, Twitter has a cozy feeling, like you and your followers are sharing interesting articles. I see this turning into tweet spam soon, which will challenge my loose credo of “follow those who follow you”. We’ll see.
Anyway, through a Twitter exchange, Eddie reminded me that he uses twitterfeed to publish the OraNA.info feed to Twitter using the Twitter user orana. Background: Eddie uses OraNA to aggregate any and all news and blogs about Oracle into a single blog/feed. Very convenient. There are others that aggregate Oracle content, but I use Eddie’s.
This turns out to be a useful tool and example for several reasons. If you:
- Use Twitter and want to get Oracle content delivered as its published, just follow orana.
- Have a blog and want to publish it to Twitter, use twitterfeed to “feed your blog to twitter”.
- Don’t use Twitter, you should try it. Follow the right people and the right number of people, and it will take off for you.