• Creating a Dreamwidth-to-Twitter Crossposter

    With the recent decisions and actions taken by LiveJournal’s owners, many people are migrating their personal blogs to Dreamwidth, a “LiveJournal-like” blog that uses a very similar interface and can import existing LJ posts, comments, and settings to make the transition easier.

    Unfortunately, Dreamwidth lacks some features of LiveJournal, including direct Twitter integration. But if you would like to have a script that will automatically post a tweet to your followers, there’s an easy workaround, thanks to a handy website called IFTTT (or, “If This, Then That”). IFTTT requires creating a free login, but is more than useful enough to be worth it.

    The following steps assume you already have Dreamwidth, Twitter, and IFTTT accounts up and running.

    Step One: Find Your Dreamwidth RSS Feed

    Find your Dreamwidth RSS feed.A website’s RSS feed (short for “RDF Site Summary” or “Really Simple Syndication”) is a tagged XML file of posts made to that website, designed to make it easy for other services to “consume” the page.

    Every time you post to your Dreamwidth account, your RSS feed updates, and that will be the trigger for IFTTT to send a post to Twitter. Most Dreamwidth styles have a button labeled “RSS” somewhere on your blog posts page. You can either click through the button, or right-click (contextual click) to find and copy the feed URL. If you can’t find it, try simply appending “/data/rss” to the end of your Dreamwidth account’s URL.

     

    Step Two: Create a New IFTTT Applet

    On IFTTT, go to the user menu on the upper right and select the “New Applet” option. That will take you to the “Applet Maker” screen.
    Start a new applet on IFTTT.

     

    Step Three: Choose the RSS Feed Source

    Click on the blue “+this” link to choose a source, and from there click on “Feed” to select the RSS feed option.
    The IFTTT Applet Maker page.

    Select the RSS feed option.

    New feed item trigger selectionThat will take you to the “Choose Trigger” page. Select “New feed item” to have the service scan for new post entries, and when prompted, copy and paste the RSS feed link from your Dreamwidth account (found in Step One) into the Feed URL field.

     

    Step Four: Choose the Twitter Posting Result

    Submitting the feed URL should take you to the next step of the IFTTT applet builder, giving you a prompt that looks like this:
     
    "If (feed) then +" button
     
    Click on the blue “+that” link to select your output destination, and then select “Twitter” as your action service.
     
    Choose the Twitter output destination.

    "Post a Tweet" selection and options.
     
    This will send you to a screen asking what action you want to perform on Twitter. Select “Post a Tweet,” which will take you to a screen showing your various posting options.

    A simple entry of “{{EntryTitle}} {{EntryUrl}}” will tweet the title of your Dreamwidth post followed by a link to that post, but you have several other options as well, including a timestamp (“{{EntryPublished}}”) or free text of your choice.

    For my own Dreamwidth account, I entered “Dreamwidth: {{EntryTitle}} {{EntryUrl}}”, which produces a result like this:
    My auto-posted tweet!

     

    Step Five: Finish!

    Finish your applet!
    Once you have your tweet format set up the way you want it, click on “Create action” and you’re done! You’ll be given the chance to review your applet and make any final edits you might want. Once you approve the applet, it will go into the “My Applets” library. Then all you have to do is add a new post to your Dreamwidth journal, and your Twitter followers will be notified.

    This same method can be used to create a wide variety of “cross-posters,” which is handy for anyone who runs more than one blog or other content creation service. The results may vary from service to service— different blogs have different methods of consuming and posting RSS feeds— but it is very flexible tool.

    -The Gneech

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  • Patreon Fluffery

    Patreon_Banner_Revised_highres

    One of my goals with the new year has been to beef up my Patreon campaign a bit, as it was originally assembled in a fairly slapdash “This is good for a start and we’ll see how it goes!” way. To that end, I started poking around Patreon to find campaigns that were working well, ones that weren’t, and others in “my space” generally to look for best practices.

    I was surprised (but pleased) to see that my campaign was actually pretty healthy compared to most– there are a depressing number of “no supporters, no pledges” campaigns out there. That said, there’s still plenty of room for improvement! Four-digit campaigns, while rare, are certainly out there, and many of them are comparable to mine in output and bennies, which gives me hope that I can get there myself!

    So over the course of this week I have been working on updating, tweaking, and “fluffing” my Patreon campaign, including adding a new banner that showcases my art and trying to diversify both the goals and bennies, while being careful not to over-promise on things I couldn’t deliver.

    I’m quite pleased with the results! But I’m also curious and eager for feedback and suggestions. Whattya think? I’d love to hear from you.

    -The Gneech

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  • Comments Temporarily Disabled

    Gneech.com is getting hammered by spam commenters for some reason, so I am disabling comments on the website for now. All of my posts are copied over to the-gneech.livejournal.com, and comments are welcome there in the interim. I’ll turn comments back on here when the anti-spam plugins have caught up with the latest round of jerks.

    -The Gneech

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  • Comments Kerfluffle

    EDIT: Okay, gneech.com seems to be fixed for now. Still debugging shortstorygeeks.com.

    I have received reports of my various sites blocking comments and informing the would-be commenter that they’re marked as SPAM. In order to test this, could I get any willing readers to post a comment to this thread at gneech.com and/or this thread at shortstorygeeks.com? Deep thoughts not necessary … “Testing, testing!” will do the job.

    Thanks!

    -The Gneech

    PS: If your attempt at a comment doesn’t work, please e-mail me at thegneech@gmail.com.

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  • “Blackbird Singing” Published!

    As you might imagine, I’ve been very distracted recently, and so this piece of news almost slipped through the cracks — but I can’t let that happen! Bad Dog Books has released Roar, Volume 3, which includes my latest short story, “Blackbird Singing In the Dead of Night.” It’s a murder mystery starring Squash and Stretch, Suburban Jungle’s pair of mustelid gumshoes, and was a lot of fun to write.

    Among other things, this is a biggie because it’s my first piece of prose fiction to be published by someone other than myself, and so is a step into new territory for me. Time to update the bibliography!

    This is the latest in a series of big changes that have come at me fast and furious, with very little time to process one before I’m in the midst of another. I’ve passed so many crossroads in the past year-or-so that I’m amazed I haven’t stepped sideways into another dimension.

    A week from today will be another one: Thursday the 17th is when we bring down the curtain on NeverNever for what I expect to be the final time. It’s been a long and twisty journey, and in many ways it feels like the last steps are the hardest, but I’m happy to see it get a proper finish and I’m grateful for all the hard work Sue, Richard, Higgins, and Tiffany have put in to help bring it to fruition over the years. Of course that also means that it’s time to crank out Attack of the War-Cats as fast as I can to get it done by Confuzzled. My usual book printer has unexpectedly gone belly-up on me, and the plan I was looking at with Amazon appears to have developed a few holes as well, so I’m now scrambling to figure out what to do on that front. I’m sure I’ll find something, it’s just a matter of being able to sit down and hash it out.

    What comes next from there? I’m not sure. The ending of NeverNever is significant in the larger picture of my “creative life” because it will be the first time in a long time that I didn’t have a comic running in some form, even if that form was sporadic updates. I was expecting the new steampunk comic to pick up more-or-less on the heels of NN shutting down, but as time goes on I’m finding it harder and harder to stick with that, for a variety of reasons that I don’t really want to go into here. So I’m trying to decide what to do next.

    Right now I suspect that the next step will be more short fiction. I have some ideas burgeoning for Roar Vol. 4, and I also think short stories could be a good way to flesh out some of the myriad “characters in search of a plot” ideas I’ve got going, from Brigid and Greg to Not-Dead Darby and the Reagent Man. It might also work to get the juices flowing on the steampunk comic idea, for that matter. The main thing is to keep moving; I’ve been treading water for far too long now, and it’s time to start making progress again!

    -The Gneech

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  • Every Third Comment

    hi How are you going?

    this are just the answer i needed! This looks a very useful resource

    <THREE LINES OF BADLY FORMATTED HTML LINKING TO FOUR DIFFERENT THINGS>

    My ratio is improving … originally all of the comments I received were like this!

    -The Gneech

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