Adding Twitter

Early on in the process of creating the Commons, I secured the Twitter account @HWDSBCommons to ensure that I owned the digital footprint for this tool (if you don’t take ownership of your name on the net, someone else will!)

I didn’t think much of the twitter account until the Commons when down one weekend and there was really no way to inform the community. I thought it might be helpful also if the Dev blog were to fire out new posts to the Twitter account, to differentiate news about the Commons for different learning styles.

In a meta-micro-blogging fashion, I thought it might be interesting to explain the Twitter Tools functionality as one of the first “micro-blog posts pointing to a macro-blog post” from the Commons Twitter account.

Twitter Tools is not enabled by default, but if you use Twitter, and would like your blog to automatically post to twitter every time you blog, or if you want to be able to tweet from the dashboard of your blog, we can enable this functionality for you.

Once the plug-in is active on your blog you will see this dialogue.

Clicking on that will take you to where you can create a Twitter “app”. In essence you are making your blog an app that can access Twitter and post tweets instead of logging into the Twitter site.

Once you are there, fill in the requisite information that appears in the Dashboard of your blog. Here’s a site that sets out the details in more granular ways:

Once you are done with the initial page, go the the Settings tab at the top of the website and change the Application type to Read and Write. Do this before creating the OAuth key or you will have a key that only allows Read access, instead of read and write access.

Once you have changed the settings, and potentially changed the avatar for your app (why not, if you have a pic lying around that would fit the role.)  You need to take all those secret codes and put them in the right boxes back on your Commons Blog Twitter Tools settings page. This is a good time to make sure that the Access level is set to READ and WRITE or the app will not work.

Once that’s done, you can go though and tweak the settings of the tool in the Settings > Twitter Tools menu.

You can have the blog send out a tweet every time you post, and you can have the blog create a post every time you tweet (or a daily or weekly digest of all your blogs).

As well as all of this functionality, you can also create a widget on the sidebar of your blog that shows your twitter feed to your blog audience. (If that’s all you want, twitter has widgets that you can embed in the Text Widget in the Appearance menu.

I can’t guarantee that we will post too often to the twitter account, but please feel free to follow us there.


Published by jarbenne

Jared Bennett is the Student Information System Consultant at Hamilton Wentworth District School Board.

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