Automatically Tweeting Shared or Starred Items on Google Reader

May 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm Leave a comment


For all those who asked us whats the easiest way to stay in touch with all the tech buzz and share interesting articles without having to explicitly post them ….

  1. Use Google reader to subscribe to a wide range of news feeds
  2. Share/Star items while browsing feeds
  3. Set up Twitterfeed to automatically tweet the shared/starred items

Anyone who follows me on Google Reader, Twitter or Buzz will have access to whatever I share.

Implementation:

  1. There are a bunch of aggregators or feed readers out there but Google Reader is my favorite since it lets me synch with other things effortlessly.
    • Go to http://www.google.com/reader and sign in with your Google account
    • When you log in you will notice an Add Subscription button. On clicking on it, it will show you a search box to search for feeds. You can type keywords that interest you like say “Technology”. It will bring up a bunch of tech blogs or tech news sources like Technology News sections of  New York Times or CNN or Reuters. If you know of a website/blog you would like to subscribe to like Mashable or Techcrunch, type the name as a keyword. Click on the Subscribe button of each feed that shows up in the result to subscribe to it.

    • Here is a list of popular blogs to subscribe to http://technorati.com/blogs/top100/
    • All subscriptions will show up on your left hand side panel under Subscriptions. You can organize your subscriptions in folders like Technology, News, Fiction, Photography, Sports based on your interests. When you click on a folder, all news feeds from the blogs in that folder will show up on the right hand side.
    • Now you can access Google Reader anywhere, anytime through your web browser on your laptop/mobile device/notebook/tablet or any other gadget that can connect to the internet.
  1. The next step is to Share or Star items while browsing feeds:
    • Google reader has some neat browsing/reading features. For example, as you scroll down after looking through the title of the feed it will mark the ones you have scrolled past as “Read”. If there is anything you would like to read later you can “Star” it. If you would like to share it , you can click the “Share” or “Share with a Note” button. You can even add comments while sharing or you can “Like” a feed.

    • You can view all your Shared and Starred items by clicking on the “Shared Items” or “Starred Items” on the top left hand navigation panel just below the “Add Subscription” button
  1. Automatically tweeting/buzzing items you shared or starred
    • First step to sharing your “Shared” or “Starred” items with your social network is to first make your feed public. In order to do so go to “Reader Settings” and then go to the “Folders and Tags” tab in the Settings dashboard.  Activate your feed by checking the box next to “Your Starred items” and “Your Shared Items”. Then select “Public” in the dropdown menu.

Now your Google Reader Starred and Shared items RSS feed is active.  Click “View public page” to view your Starred and Shared items. Anyone who follows you on Google or Buzz will be able to see your feeds.

    • In order to Tweet your Shared/Starred items what you need to do is use a service called Twitterfeed. Twitterfeed will periodically check for your shared/starred items from your RSS feed and post your feeds on Twitter asynchronously.   You will need to
      • Create an account on the twitterfeed site
      • Get the RSS feed URL of your Shared/Starred items. You can find this on your public page as shown in the image above. You will see an “Atom Feed” link. Click on the link and copy the URL. It will be of this format: http://www.google.com/reader/public/atom/user%2F09997364830221729003%2Fstate%2Fcom.google%2Fstarred
      • In Twitterfeed you need to set up two things: 1. Create New Feed with the URL obtained in the previous step and 2. Enter your Twitter username to authorize Twitterfeed to post to Twitter. There are some other things you could configure on Twitterfeed like how often to poll your shared items URL, how many items to post at one time etc.

Now you can see your shared feeds on Twitter:

You can also set up Twitterfeed to update your status on Facebook like you set up Twitter.

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