14 December 2011

How to get Twitter RSS Feed (Since Twitter started hiding it)

After Twitter changed its user interface from its simple initial design it also decided to hide the public RSS feed which was available on all profiles. Although the RSS feed is no longer visible, the functionality is still fully working.

The URL for an RSS feed looks like this:


or alternatively with the atom extension:


The problem that remains is finding the number which corresponds to a Twitter username. You can find out this number by using the Twitter API however there is a website that does this for you. Visit the website below and enter a Twitter username then click "Get ID" and you will be presented with the identification number of that particular Twitter user.


So all you have to do now is replace that number into this URL (101086296 is my Twitter id):


and you will have an RSS/Atom feed for any Twitter account.

If you'd like to be updated on new blog posts please subscribe to my RSS feed and/or via email.  I'm also on Twitter @JensonTaylorFacebook and Google+.

21 July 2011

Automatically publish your Google+ Plus "Public" posts to Twitter (and Facebook)

How to post your Public Google Plus posts to Twitter (and Facebook)

This technique will only work for *Public* posts.
  1. Copy this URL but replace the ending number with your own Google Plus account number http://plusfeed.appspot.com/106166623138751182431
  2. Go to http://feedburner.google.com and sign in with your Google account.
  3. Paste the above URL in the area which says "Burn a feed right this instant." Here is a screenshot: 
  4. Click "Next" and you will see this screen:
  5. On the above screen click "Next" which will take you to the below screen:
  6. Click "Next" on the above screen and you will be presented with the following screen:
  7. Click "Next" on the above page, which will take you to this screen:
  8. On the above page click the "Publicize" tab
  9. Then click the "Socialize" link from the left hand side links
  10. Click the button which says "Add a Twitter account". Assuming you are logged in on Twitter confirm the authorization page presented by Twitter.
  11. On the "Socialize" adjust your settings as shown on the screen shot below:
  12. Click the "Activate" button at the bottom of the page. From now on all your "Public" messages on Google plus will be posted to Twitter. The message that is posted on twitter will include the beggining of your post with a link to your message on your Google+ profile. So hopefully your Twitter followers will gradually migrate to Google Plus. Note, there will be a delay from your messages being posted on Google Plus to them appearing on Twitter.
  13. To reduce the delay between posting something on Google Plus and it appearing on Twitter click on "PingShot" link on the left hand side, which will take you to the below page:
  14. Then click "Activate" to enable this feature, (above screen shot)
The automatic Twitter posting is now complete and ready to go, and all tweets will include a link to your message posted on Google Plus.

For those of you who want these messages to automatically post to Facebook as well, there are many options available to synchronize the two. I will mention two methods:

Method 1: If you're looking to automatically post all your Twitter updates straight to Facebook, the Twitter application (by Twitter) is the best option. It's really simple to use; just install the application and then click to allow Twitter to update your Facebook status.

Method 2: However I prefer that only some of my tweets to be automatically posted to my Facebook wall so I use an applications called Selective Tweet Status. This application will only post tweets that end in #fb to your Facebook profile. Once you go to this application's page, enter your Twitter username and click save. So for our automatic tweets that are generated from Google+ we need to add the three characters #fb to the end of our tweets. To do this:
  1. Go to http://feedburner.google.com
  2. Click on the appropriate link for your Google+ link. e.g.
  3. Click on the "Publicize" tab
  4. Click on "Socialize" from the left hand side links
  5. Enter #fb in the "Additional text" section. like the screen shot below:
  6. Make sure the drop down menu below it is set to "end of the post"
  7. Click the "Save" button at the bottom of the page.
  8. Enjoy! (Usually your updates will appear on Facebook within 2 minutes of them being posted on Twitter, however sometimes when Twitter is having difficulties (fail whale..) it can take quite a bit longer.)
If your tweets do not appear on your Facebook status it could be because your tweets are set to private or due to spamming type behaviour Twitter has stopped your tweets from appearing in search. The selective tweets application uses Twitter search mechanism to locate the tweets that are destined for Facebook. For more info see http://apps.facebook.com/selectivetwitter/help

The major "Plus" of this method is that posts made on Google+ are automatically posted to both Facebook and Twitter with a link back to your Google+ post. So Google+ remains your main communication head quarters while Twitter and Facebook just act as mediums for letting people who are not yet on Google+ what's happening. So the people on Facebook and Twitter will get the information but with a delay. You can read the instruction on link below to get your Google+ posts to instantly post to Facebook, however messages longer than 47 characters will be chopped and there will be no link back to your Google+ post on Facebook. 

I have enabled both approaches on my profile, i.e. the nice but delayed approach described here as well as the instant but limited approach described in the above link. So my Facebook page shows each message twice. Once it displays a chopped message and then after a delay a more complete message is posted. The way I view Google+ is my updates' center. The fact that my posts are spammed shared on other social networks is just a bonus. If people reply to my posts on other social networks I will receive their messages on my mobile phone so I will still interact with users from other social networks but the interaction will be more one way in the sense that I respond to people who have interacted with me explicitly as opposed to me commenting on their photos or wall posts or reacting to someone's tweets, because I will not spend much time on those networks, now that Google+ does a better job for my needs.

Personally I don't like the approaches that I have suggested at all because it relies on too many unreliable services and the slow updates, however so far it has worked perfectly for me. Google has indicated that they will provide xml/rss feed for Google+ so once that feature is available we can cut out the third party website. I will update you on this as soon as it becomes available.

P.S. Don't forget to subscribe to this blog via email or feed

20 July 2011

Automatically publish your Google+ Plus posts to Facebook

Updating your Facebook status via Google Plus+

  1. Access Facebook
  2. Go to http://facebook.com/mobile
  3. Copy your email address unique (underneath where it says "Upload via Email")
  4. Go to the circle's page on Google+ and create a circle called "Facebook Status"
  5. Add the e-mail from Facebook in your new circle(Facebook Status)
  6. When you want to publish something on Facebook, simply add the circle.(and don't forget to tick the checkbox which says "Also email 1 person not yet using Google+ yet")
  • Photos are not uploaded on Facebook
  • Works with public posts as well (As long as you include the "Facebook Status" circle)
  • Your posts on Facebook will take the default permission("Everyone" or "Friends of Friends" or "Friends Only")
  • UPDATE: If the message is longer than 47 characters you will see the first 44 characters followed by three dots in your Facebook status. (I have informed Google+ of this problem and I hope they will solve it)

22 June 2011

Firebird/Interbase SQL Add/Update/Alter Column/Field Type and Default Value

Note: Using double quotes for a string(varchar) fails! (not sure if this has anything to do with the utility I use to connect to the DB or the Firebird database itself.
ALTER TABLE my_table_name ADD my_column_name Varchar(30) default 'Not Processed' NOT NULL;


Changing the length of the email field varchar to 45 (In the users table).

ALTER TABLE users ALTER COLUMN email_address TYPE VarChar(45);