9 minute guide to creating an auto-update Twitter for your newspaper

by Shawn Smith on April 15, 2008

that's what she twittered shirt - Flickr photo by Robert Scoble

Image by Robert Scoble

You’ve heard about it, and sometimes feel somewhat scandalous when using the word – TWITTER !

This microblogging service is all the rage on the social mediascape and you can dig into it’s awesome power to promote your newspaper’s online content in fewer than 20 minutes! (I know I said 9 minutes in the headline, but for people that need to create an OpenID account, it might take a little more time).

Why start twittering?

Twitter is, imho, the most powerful social media tool for content syndication. If you want to get your content in front of as many eyes as possible, Twitter is a tool that can help you achieve the goal.

The greatest part about what you’ll learn in my screencast is once you set up your Twitter account, you can let it operate on its own if you want to.

What you’ll learn from the screencast :

  • How to create a Twitter account
  • How to use RSS to automatically update your Twitter
  • The joy of telling others you’re a Twitter master

Detailed step-by-step instructions are included below the video.


How to Create an Auto-Update Twitter Account from shawn smith on Vimeo .

How to create an automatically-updating Twitter account for your newspaper

I encourage you to work with your staffers on finding ways to interact on Twitter, but since most staffs don’t have much time for social networking, starting with this auto account is a good way to get your feet wet with social content syndication.

Here’s how to start :

  1. Get yourself an email address, which you’ll need to create a Twitter account. You can register a free one with Gmail .
  2. Create a Twitter account at Twitter.com .
  3. Fill in the profile of your news org’s account, upload a photo and change the background. Make sure on the profile information you’ve provided a link back to the appropriate URL for your content.
  4. Get yourself an OpenID. You can use your Yahoo! username or get an OpenID from ClaimID or MyOpenID .
  5. Find an RSS feed from your news org that you want to syndicate.
  6. Login to Twitterfeed with your OpenID.
  7. Create a new Twitterfeed and fill in your Twitter account details and RSS feed.
  8. Start enjoying a Twitter account on auto-pilot!

Thanks for checking out this quick guide on creating an auto Twitter account. If you’re bit by the Twitter bug and want to learn more, check out my ultimate guide to Twitter tools and resources for journalists !

Are using Twitter for your news org? Point me at it! Here’s a couple lists of news orgs using Twitter: Graphic Designr and Red66.