I’ve been playing around with loads of different options to integrate twitter & wordpress during the past week or so, and there are some very advanced solutions out there, that can do a lot. For example, tweetsuite & twitter tools, which both provide multiple functions.
However, I don’t think it is necessary to over do it. For instance - I don’t think it is necessary to import all your tweets and post them as blog posts in digest form. I figure if someone who reads my blogs want to read my tweets, they’ll just head over to twitter and follow me there. All I needed along those lines was a sidebar widget so that my recent tweets were displayed, and it would be easy for someone to find me on twitter via my blog.
So, the 5 (simple yet functional) plugins I have installed are as follows:
- Twitpress by Thomas Purnell - this handy plugin allows you to automatically announce your blog posts via your twitter account - I find this much more acceptable than posting all your tweets as blog posts. You’re letting your friends & followers let you know you’ve updated, and they can then go ahead and check their feedreaders or visit your blog to read.
- MyTwitter by Erundur Anwamehtar - this plugin caches your tweets and displays them in your sidebar. This has the advantage of it not being blocked by filters which block the twitter site, such as my own work! It is very easily customisable, and allows you to manipulate the code used to display your tweets - which allowed me to add a ‘follow me’ button to the end of the widget - very handy! By the way, the beautiful button is by Siah Design, who has a whole selection of equally gorgeous ones!
- Twittar by Ricardo Sousa, Smashing Magazine - this one combines the brilliance of gravatar (which, lets face it, not everyone uses), with twitter avatars. Based on the email address, it will either pull the commenter’s twitter avatar or gravatar. Failing that, you can specify an icon to be used when neither exist. Again, this is customisable and easy to use.
- Automagic Twitter Profile URI by Benjamin Wittorf - This one is similar to the Twittar plugin, it looks up the commenter’s email address & checks if it is registered with twitter, then outputs a link to the user’s profile. Customisable of course, so you can specify exactly what is outputted (for example I have a twitterrific bird appear when a twitter user comments on my posts).
- Wordpress @username by Lantrix - Having this installed is just proof of my laziness whenever I type @zoecorkhill or similar in posts, it will automatically link to that user’s profile. This is really just to save me bothering to manually put in a link every time!
Each of these plugins has something in common: they each do just perform one function, but they do this very well. When you put them all together you have a seamless, but understated, integration between twitter & wordpress.