I love seeing conversations develop on Twitter, and I especially love watching them develop into bigger projects — like blog posts.
I’ve gotten a ton of ideas from people posting questions or statements, and I want to source those ideas. I know you do, too (right? ahem: “Give Credit Where Credit’s Due“).
Trouble is, there hasn’t been a guide on how to include tweets in blog posts or on websites, and few tools to make that inclusion easy.
This week, Twitter released a new style guide and online resource for what to include when publishing tweets online. And while the tools that are available to embed Tweets have been around for a while, this seems to be a new push from Twitter to encourage journalists (including bloggers!) to follow some standard practices.
The new tool is called “Twitter for Newsrooms” and in this case, you’ll want to jump right to #Publish. According to the Display Guidelines, embedded tweets should have the following information (click here to see larger view):
So, if you’re using screengrab software to post tweets as images, you’re not getting all of that information in. Example:
See how the “links” that are highlighted in blue aren’t actually links? That’s no good.
Is it against the rules?
Well…it depends on what you consider a “rule.” It’s certainly against Twitter’s best practices.
Screengrabs don’t let you include live profile data, hyperlinks, action items, etc. So, of course, ideally, you’ll find and use a solution that lets you easily include all of that information.
Here’s the catch. The tools that are currently available aren’t perfect. They’re good, and coming close to great.
Here are two of the tools I like best. And I’d love to hear how you use these tools (or do custom work on your blog or website).
I use and love this plugin, although it’s gotten mixed reviews. When you embed a tweet, using shortcode, it appears like this:
See how all the actions we talked about are right there?
I just started playing with this new tool about a month ago, and I think it’s super cool. You pick a topic, a hashtag, etc. and actually create a crowdsourced page of information. Because you can embed the “story,” more and more journalists and brands are using it to gather quick reactions to different events:
Again, you can see that the major action items are still live links.
Of course, the plugin isn’t available for free WordPress blogs, Blogger or other templates, so that’s not a solution that works for everyone. And Storify’s embed code uses java script, which might cause issues on some blogs and/or browsers.
So if you can’t use either of the solutions above, you can use the Blackbird Pie tool itself (not the plugin). With the tool, you simply paste the URL of the tweet you’re looking to showcase, click “Bake It” and copy the embed code. You’ll be able to use that on any website. You may also want to try TweetPaste (I have never used it, but Twitter has referenced it before).
Why should you embed tweets?
Well, there are a few reasons.
- They look more professional.
- It’s easier to create multiple tweets in one post.
- It follows Twitter’s best practices, which is nice.
- It makes the tweets discoverable by Google and other search engines.
- It gives link love to the original tweet poster.
- It makes it easier for people to take action — RT, reply, etc. — right from your blog post.
- It makes it easier for people to follow the link to the actual status update on Twitter.
- It’s dynamic (if it’s updated, it will also update on your embed).