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SMF forum posts to Twitter / Facebook (without mods/coding!)

Started by Mr. Jinx, January 15, 2010, 10:10:01 AM

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Mr. Jinx

Twitter and Facebook are very populair platforms to spread the news. Wouldn't it be great if you could publish new forum topics to this platform? This way people can subscribe to your forum's Twitter / Facebook page so they always know what is going on. It might even get you new visitors and improve traffic to your site.

This tutorial will show you how to automatically sent new SMF topics to your Twitter or Facebook account without modifying your SMF code.

  • Compatible with all SMF 1.x and SMF 2.x versions
  • Unlike other mods, doesn't need any installation or code change
  • Keeps working even if you upgrade your forum
  • Completely free without anoying copyrights

Example: http://twitter.com/chelloo_com
All tweets you see there are new SMF topics, automatically imported by twitterfeed.

INDEX
1. How to setup an SMF Feed to Twitter
2. How to setup an SMF Feed to Facebook
3. RSS Feeds examples
4. Other Idea's



1. How to setup an SMF Feed to Twitter

  • If you don't already have it, open an account on Twitter.com
  • Next open a free account on Twitterfeed.com
    Note: This tutorial is about Twitterfeed, but users have reported other services that might be worth looking at: dlvr.it or twitterlive
  • Click on 'create new feed':

    Feed Name = Whatever you like
    RSS Feed URL = http://www.yoursite.com/forum/index.php?type=rss;action=.xml;sa=news
  • Click on 'Advanced Settings':

    I've set the posting frequency to every hour with a maximum of 5 posts.
    Don't worry that you are going to miss posts. It will catch up every hour.
    Post Content = title only (that should be enough for now)
  • Continue to step 2:

    Select 'Twitter'
  • In the last step you need to authenticate with Twitter:

    You don't need to worry about security. Twitterfeed.com is a well known free service and uses 'oauth'. You give the application the rights to post twitters without giving them your password.
    I recommend that you remove the UTM tags (twitterfeed / twitter) because this is not needed
  • Finally, click on 'Create Service' and you're done!


2. How to setup an SMF Feed to Facebook

  • If you don't already have it, open an account on Facebook.com
  • Next open a free account on Twitterfeed.com
  • Click on 'create new feed':

    Feed Name = Whatever you like
    RSS Feed URL = http://www.yoursite.com/forum/index.php?type=rss;action=.xml;sa=news
  • Click on 'Advanced Settings':

    I've set the posting frequency to every hour with a maximum of 5 posts.
    Don't worry that you are going to miss posts. It will catch up every hour.
    Post Content = title only (that should be enough for now)
  • Continue to step 2:

    Select 'Facebook'
  • In the last step you need to authenticate with Facebook:

    You don't need to worry about security. Twitterfeed.com is a well known free service. You give the twitterfeed application the rights to post to facebook using the facebook api without giving them your password.
  • On this page, once authenticated, you can also choose on which page you want to publish your SMF feed. You can publish on you own wall, but you can also publish on pages you created, or where you are administrator. It's not possible to publish a feed to a group.
  • Finally, click on 'Create Service' and you're done!


3. RSS Feeds examples

In the example I used 'http://www.yoursite.com/forum/index.php?type=rss;action=.xml;sa=news'
This feed will publish all new topics.
However you are free to customize this. The are lots of options you can use to format a RSS Feed.

note: Only use RSS feeds that are public. If you have a board that requires you to login to read topics the feed won't work because twitterfeed can't login.

Examples:

index.php?type=rss;action=.xml
This will publish all new topics and replies

index.php?type=rss;action=.xml;sa=news;boards=10
This will publish all new topics from board 10 only

index.php?type=rss;action=.xml;sa=news;boards=10,12,15
This will publish all new topics from board 10, 12 and 15 only

index.php?type=rss;action=.xml;sa=members
This will publish all new members.
Using the Post Prefix and Suffix in the advanced section on Twitterfeed you can make messages like "Welcome on our forum, username !

More RSS Feed options


4. Other Idea's

thnx Paracelsus for this tip!
If you want to include the boardname in every feed, that's possible.
First, you have to setup a seperate feed for each board using for example:
index.php?type=rss;action=.xml;sa=news;boards=10

Next, go to the advanced setting of each feed and add the board title to the 'Post Prefix'

Dzonny

Thanks for the tip.
Moved to Tips and Tricks board, as requested.

Joker™

awesome tip ...... started using it also :D

thanx for the tute
Github Profile
Android apps
Medium

How to enable Post Moderation

"For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimensions." - Laozi

All support seeking PM's get microwaved

Paracelsus

Good tip that I've actually been using for a while now.

What I usually do is to create a different feed on Twitterfeed for different board(s) and for each of them I have a unique prefix so that it looks more 'targeted' on Twitter (you can take a look at it at http://twitter.com/forumscp)

Charles52


Mr. Jinx

Quote from: Paracelsus on January 16, 2010, 11:50:26 AM
What I usually do is to create a different feed on Twitterfeed for different board(s) and for each of them I have a unique prefix so that it looks more 'targeted' on Twitter (you can take a look at it at http://twitter.com/forumscp)
That's a good idea indeed. You can do alot of nice things with this.

rd

It says you have like over 10 guests, but all of them are robots from twitter.

2by2host

As an alternative we would like to suggest using our Twitter mod for SMF. It works quite well and even supports Facebook.

Regards,
2by2host.com team

Mr. Jinx

Quote from: 2by2host on January 18, 2010, 03:57:26 PM
As an alternative we would like to suggest using our Twitter mod for SMF. It works quite well and even supports Facebook.

Regards,
2by2host.com team
That's a nice mod (used it before). However it will mess with your smf code, resulting in very slow posting. For me this was the main reason to not use it anymore. No hard feelings.
With rssfeeds, like described in this tutorial, there is no messing around with code and it doesn't slow down anything. Whatever you like!

ps1: I won't report your post to a moderator like you keep doing.
ps2: On a forum you shouldn't end every post with a greeting. This ain't email. You could use your signature for this.

Mr. Jinx

Quote from: mohd7590 on January 17, 2010, 01:11:58 PM
It says you have like over 10 guests, but all of them are robots from twitter.
The idea is by posting it to twitter, other people might subscibe to your twitter/facebook if it's interesting enough.
They will also find you if they search for keywords that match in twitter. Ofcourse this will take some time. It's just another way to let people know about your site instead of search enginges.

rroadkilll

What do I need to do on my forum to make this work?

I followed the above directions and nothing worked...

Joker™

Github Profile
Android apps
Medium

How to enable Post Moderation

"For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimensions." - Laozi

All support seeking PM's get microwaved

DoctorMalboro

is this legal? 'cause i don't wan't to be in a blacklist >:(

Prometheus Fire

am having trouble formatting my rss feed to be compatible with Pretty URLs Mod. I understand the standard way to exclude my test and admin boards, but since I have pretty urls installed my boards are no longer identified by number. This makes it hard to modify the rss url to exclude the boards that I use as my "junk drawer" that isn't visible to my users and guests.

If I can't figure out how to do those exclusions then it'll be tweeting links to my junk drawer.

gietl


gietl

Quote from: Prometheus Fire on January 20, 2010, 12:39:25 PM
am having trouble formatting my rss feed to be compatible with Pretty URLs Mod. I understand the standard way to exclude my test and admin boards, but since I have pretty urls installed my boards are no longer identified by number. This makes it hard to modify the rss url to exclude the boards that I use as my "junk drawer" that isn't visible to my users and guests.

If I can't figure out how to do those exclusions then it'll be tweeting links to my junk drawer.

Log in as admin, click on Boards (where you can move them around and all that) you should be able to determine the ID's from there. That's what I did and I use prettyurls as well.

Tanks

This is a great tip, but you might want to add that this will not work if guest can not see RSS then Twitter can not see it either ;)

Prometheus Fire

Are you using the long text names generated by prettyurls?

Are you able to give a sample of your rss url with the prettyurls in it so I can get an idea?

For the time being, I've turned off rewriting the boards in pretty and am using this url for my rss feed.
http://leafboxtea.com/index.php?type=rss;action=.xml;sa=news;boards=1,2,3,4,8,13,5,7,14,6

It checks out when I load it in a browser and a validator (well, there are errors, but nothing that should interfere with tweetfeed).

However, my test hasn't proven itself since tweetfeed has yet to push out my test posts.

gietl

Quote from: Prometheus Fire on January 20, 2010, 03:00:35 PM
Are you using the long text names generated by prettyurls?

Are you able to give a sample of your rss url with the prettyurls in it so I can get an idea?

For the time being, I've turned off rewriting the boards in pretty and am using this url for my rss feed.
http://leafboxtea.com/index.php?type=rss;action=.xml;sa=news;boards=1,2,3,4,8,13,5,7,14,6

It checks out when I load it in a browser and a validator (well, there are errors, but nothing that should interfere with tweetfeed).

However, my test hasn't proven itself since tweetfeed has yet to push out my test posts.

yes, it is working fine for me so far. I have it set to publish every hour and it just did not long ago. You could test the URL by copy and pating it into your browzer like firefox that supports RSS

~DS~

Does this work for FB Fan & group? Would like to see it publish to there instead of my own personal profile.
"There is no god, and that's the simple truth. If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again."
~Penn Jillette – God, NO! – 2011

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