So I had a difficult time trying to understand “Why Twitter”, even after I began using it. I like integration. Why have yet another method to stay connected, when we have blogging, social network sites, instant message networks up the wazoo, irc, etc and etc…?
So, I integrated twitter into my Drupal site using the aptly named module Twitter so that every time I post something new, it tweets out. Well this is a nice excuse as to “why use it”, but isn’t that just another way to do what is basically rss?
I continued on my Twitter adventure by installing a few basic desktop twitter clients, Twitux and gtwitter, but didn’t like the idea of running yet another little app to stay abreast of my news, friends and family. Seems like Pidgin does this fine already..OH WAIT!
So what is the point? In my neurotic need to simplify and centralize everything I went out looking and found me some Microblog-purple , aka: mbpurple. This is a great little plugin for Pidgin that integrates Twitter (and beta support for identi.ca and so forth) with my favorite multi-protocol instant-messaging/chat client! Yay! Another reason to play with Twitter. And seeing Twitter in action in the same context of instant messaging and chat protocols suddenly brought Twitter into the whole “sense making” world for me.
It’s a simple plugin, you get a new buddy-list category called “Twitter” with a new buddy called “Twitter” who’s incoming messages are any tweets that hit your account prepended with the name of the tweeter, and all of your tweets from other clients. You post to Twitter by sending a message through Pidgin. It even has a 140 character counter for you so that you don’t post over the limit. Simple!
You can install the current version (0.2.0 at the time of this writing) on Ubuntu 8.10 simply by opening a terminal and
sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
and adding these lines at the end
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/sugree/ubuntu intrepid main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/sugree/ubuntu intrepid main
or these for hardy
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/sugree/ubuntu hardy main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/sugree/ubuntu hardy main
save, exit gedit and run this in your terminal
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install pidgin-microblog
Easy! Open up Pidgin and go to the tools–>plug-ins menu to enable it as Twitgin, and Accounts–>ManageAccounts to add your twitter account, simple! I’m a fan of Pidgin plug-ins, so this one works for me. Now I have a new way to let people know when new content comes up on my site, a new way to stay in touch with friends, family and news, and it all seamlessly integrates with my existing setup, with no need to run any more apps on my system. Happy.
Know of any great Pidgin plugins or awesome twitter clients that you just need to let the world know about?
update: I just set up my pidgin to work with identi.ca, and things seem to seamlessly “just work”. I can post to identi.ca and have it cross post to twitter. Now I can achieve this chain: post to drupal —> message sent to identi.ca —> message cross posted to twitter —>notification sent to twitter widget and pidgin. The drawback? I have to have a separate tab for Identi.ca and Twitter in my Pidgin client. They won’t “become one” like with gwibber. Still, not to shabby 😀