Thursday, March 18, 2010

What's up with those duplicate tweets from @basilsblog and @IMAO_ ?

On teh Twitter earlier today, I promised I'd solve a mystery.

Oh, it's not a big mystery. Or even an important one. But, it was nagging at some of the people that follow me on teh Twitter. And I promised I'd answer their questions.

Shayne Rivers was the first to ask: Ok, what is up with @basilsblog and @IMAO_'s twitter feeds?

Here's what he was talking about. These tweets came across:

That prompted the "What's up with that?" question. And Rick Sheridan wondered, too.

And, since teh Twitter is limited to 140 characters, there wasn't really enough room to explain.

So, here on this little blog, I'll explain it all. Especially, since this little blog is part of the confusion.

First, some background.

It's possible to have a blog automatically update a Twitter account every time a new post appears. Many, many blogs do this, including IMAO and this little blog. And both Frank and I use Feedburner to perform this little blog-Twitter magic.

The thing is, it doesn't matter who writes the post, one specific Twitter account is updated. I have my Twitter account,, automatically updated every time a post is published. And Frank J has his Twitter account,, updated every time a post is published.

And it doesn't matter who writes the post.

You see, I occasionally post stuff at IMAO. The thing is, I also post the same stuff here. Of course, I post stuff here that I don't publish at IMAO.

That's actually common: bloggers posting the same content at multiple places. But, it's unusual at IMAO:

  • Frank J also writes a Pajamas Media column, and doesn't post that content at IMAO. Rather, he'll write a post at IMAO saying, "Hey, I wrote something at Pajamas Media! Yay!" Or something along that line.
  • Same thing with SarahK. She'll write stuff at her regular blog, mountaineer musings, or at tWits, or at one of her other blogs. And she won't cross-post. But she will say, "Hey, I wrote something at some other place" or something.
  • Harvey is the same way. Stuff he writes at IMAO won't show up at Bad Example, though he'll often post "Hey, go read that" kinda stuff.

The rest of the IMAO bloggers (Laurence Simon, spacemonkey, RightWingDuck, Cadet Happy) actually don't write there much any more. I don't know why. Well, I think I know why one doesn't. But I can't figure out why the others don't. I wish they would. They're good.

Me? I'm not actually part of the IMAO crew. Not officially. I've posted more there than some of the MIA bloggers. And, more than SarahK, too, I think. But, I'm actually a guest blogger, posting as long as Frank sees fit to allow me to. Or until I get hit by a bus or something.

The point is (yes, I have one) that there is nothing exclusive about what I post. At least, unless and until Frank says he wants it that way. I write posts for my blog, and will occasionally cross-post at IMAO, since Frank allows it.

When I publish a post here, this little blog notifies Feedburner, which posts to teh Twitter. And when anyone (Frank, Sarah, Harvey, me, anyone else) writes something at IMAO, that blog is set up to notify Feedburner, which, in turn, posts it to teh Twitter.

When I write a post for both blogs, both notify Feedburner, and Feedburner posts a notice to each Twitter account.

That's why you might see back-to-back identical tweets from @basilsblog and @IMAO_ on teh Twitter.

Mystery solved.

And it only took just a little over 140 characters to do it.

1 comment:

  1. I wasn't gonna ask, but now I'm glad someone did. Makes sense now...


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