Borderless Communicator Hudson Barton and I both follow our Twitter friends using a nifty third party Skype utility called Twitter4Skype. Basically you set up Twitter4Skype as a Skype Contact and enter your account information. Going forward, whenever you are logged onto Skype and a Tweet arrives from one of those whom you are “Following”, it will pop up in a Twitter4Skype chat window. And, of course, your messages placed into a Twitter4Skype chat window become “Tweets” seen all your Twitter Followers.
We both have had many requests for instruction on how to set up Twitter4Skkype. Hudson has authored for Skype Journal a review of Twitter4Skype with all the details:
Twitter4Skype: A Review
by Hudson Barton
One of my favorite online tools is “Twitter4Skype”. Not very many people know about “T4S”, but if you are a fan of both Skype and Twitter, your life will be made much happier and more productive if you use this little robot. It does not require you to download any software. There are no additional processes to clog up your computer. There are no additional windows for you to deal with. Everything runs within Skype as a normal Skype chat session. It could not be simpler.
- First, the robot posts your tweets directly into your twitter account from Skype. When you IM into your Twitter4Skype chat session, the message appears automatically in your Twitter feed.
- Second, the robot gathers tweets of everyone whom you are following and posts them to you in the same Skype chat session.
- Using “Add a Contact”, search for and add “twitter4skype” as a Skype contact.
- Open a chat session with “twitter4skype”
- Type the following into the chat window (to tell the robot about your your Twitter account and give the robot permission to access it):
- /account (shift+return)
- twitteraccountname (shift+return)
- twitteraccountpassword (return)
- The robot should return: “twitter4skype Registration complete!”
- The next time you write a chat message to “twitter4skype”, the entry will appear on your Twitter account and a confirmation of your posting will appear in the chat. Note that only the first 140 characters of your posting will be received by Twitter, so keep it short and sweet.
- You will begin to receive your friends’ twitters in the one-to-one Skype chat session with T4S.
- Try adding another Skype contact to the chat you are having with T4S. You have now established a one-way group Twitter feed. What you (and only you) post into that chat will be distributed to Twitter and to the other members of the chat. Incoming tweets will be distributed to all chat participants.
- Try adding the T4S contact to another group chat: You have just established a special relationship between Twitter and yourself that distributes your posts (and only your posts) from that chat into your Twitter stream. Incoming tweets are not posted into this extra chat, but go to your main T4S chat only.
Tricks for keeping twitter4skype healthy and happy:
Twitter4skype is running on a server in Tokyo Japan. Its reliability and the stability of the server have been improving, but like everything in our technological world (especially free services), it sometimes disappoints. Although you might glean the following tips from the Twitter4Skype help screen (accessed by typing “#help” in the chat), here is how to avoid some common problems:
- Situation: T4S appears to be offline. Occasionally T4S will appear to be offline when it is actually online. You will not be able to receive your Twitter feed in this state and you will not be able to post your own twitter either. You can “wake up” T4S” by calling it. When you do, your queued incoming tweets will be posted to you immediately, and afterwards you will be able to post your own tweets. If this does not work, then T4S is actually offline rather than only appearing so.
- Situation: T4S appears to be online but is unresponsive. Occasionally T4S will “forget” its relationship with you. Although it is online, you are not receiving incoming tweets and it will not post your outgoing tweets. You can force T4S to reset your relationship by typing “#on” into the T4S chat window. T4S will respond with a “welcome back” message.
What the Robot can’t do:
Twitter4Skype is a simple robot. It knows only the tricks outlined above. Here are some tricks I wish it could do additionally:
- My Twitter use is evolving toward two separate accounts; one for personal and one for business to reflect my multiple personalities. But I really want to run only one Skype account and have both twitter accounts feed into it. So, with my second twitter account I would like to create a second T4S account and run it inside the same Skype name with separate T4S chats. Unfortunately, that is impossible. One T4S account per Skype name is the limit.
- Twitter4Skype is all about following and being followed by Twitter users. Now imagine you could follow and be followed by Skype users in the same way (without sharing contact information). Skype users are already connected to a universe of some 36 million other active Skype users worldwide. So why can’t Skype establish a network of followers within its own system. A percentage of those contacts will lead to shared Skype contact information, and those relationships will lead to increased Skype calling. A pseudo Skype chat established for this purpose would be one way to implement the concept.
One additional point: If you have set up your Twitter feed to send tweets into your Facebook status message, then entering a message into a Twitter4Skype session will also pass it along to become your “current” Facebook status message. Same applies if you have linked Friend feed to your Twitter messages. (Unfortunately nobody has offered a means to pass your tweets along to your Skype Mood Message.)
And, when I am away from my office, I am able to follow my Twitter activity as a “twitter4skype” chat session in iSkoot on my BlackBerry.
Tags: Hudson Barton, Borderless Communicator, twitter4skype, Twitter, Facebook, BlackBerry, iSkoot