RSS to twitter and mailing list (email)

In one of my group’s website (operated using Google Sites), I post news and announcements to a page that has an RSS feed. I don’t expect people to visit the website on a daily basis to find updates. With the RSS feed, updates can come to them using their RSS aggregator or reader of choice, such as Google Reader. However, it seems that in the internet-user population, only a subset uses RSS to get their information aggregated. Some uses twitter, and many uses email. I’d like to get the updates out to as many people as possible. However, I don’t like to update each service by itself. My ideal workflow would be to send an email out with the news and the website, RSS feed, twitter, mailing list would be updated. Sending an email out that updates twitter and a mailing list would be easy. However, updating the website and RSS feed would be a lot more complicated, especially where you don’t have access to the site’s files via ftp or ssh (Google Sites is web-based).

The next best thing would be to update the website via the web interface. The RSS feed would get updated automatically. To get the news to Twitter, there is a free service called twitterfeed. To get the news to a mailing list, I relied on a cron job based on rss2email. Should I have it post to the organization’s fan page on facebook as well? I haven’t decided yet. What the heck, I’m updating a facebook Group’s page using RSS Graffiti.

Twitter in Pidgin

I liked Adium in Mac OS X because it allows me to use all IM services (AIM, facebook, etc.), IRC, and Twitter in one application. For some reason Pidgin (based on libpurple like Adium) did not have Twitter support natively. This site shows how, but it did not work. It appears pidgin-microblog in Ubuntu is deprecated. To get it to work, do

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ikuya-fruitsbasket/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pidgin-mbpurple

The front page of the project’s site mentions to use update to v0.3.0, so this is needed from the PPA.

web app to make screencasts: screenr + screenjelly

so these days everyone is making videos, especially tutorials on their computer. screenr and screenjelly are two services that allow you to make the screencasts easily. u go to their website, load their java app, select the screen space u want to record, and hit record. the first service gives u up to 5 minutes, and the 2nd to 3 minutes, plenty of time for a typical screencast. anything longer and u run into the danger of boring your audience.

after u record, u can post it on twitter easily or to other social media outlets such as youtube. gosh, it’s so easy. u don’t even need to install any additional software (if u have java already), don’t have to name and save files, don’t have to upload and store it somewhere. the process is so simple!

these services give web apps hopes!