HOW TO:Connect LinkedIn to Twitter

Posted on December 11, 2008. Filed under: Observations, Social Media, Technology, twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Someone recently expressed the hope that some day there would be a way to connect LinkedIn contacts to Twitter.  Actually what they asked was if there was an application that did this.

I set to thinking about this and after a few hours figured out the solution – ok when you see the solution you will probably wonder why it took me several hours – I was doing other things at the same time.

So here it is, in all of its ugliness, its not the neatest work around but it does actually work.

First thing I suggest you do is create an alternate email address with one of the following services:

  • Yahoo
  • Hotmail
  • AOL
  • MSN
  • Gmail

Why these, because they are the ones supported by Twitter for contact import.  If you already have an account with one of these services you can use that but bear in mind you are going to add your LinkedIn contacts to it and then you would have to figure out who of your contacts came from LinkedIn and who already existed, hence my suggestion that you create a new account. I have only tested this with Gmail, I don’t know if the other webmail services support contact importing, so from here on it only applies to Gmail.

Ok having setup your new email account (or not). Go to LinkedIn.  Go to Contacts. Scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find “Export Connections”.  Clicking that will take you to a screen like this:

li_export1

Select Microsoft Outlook – .csv file.  Save the file somewhere you can find it again.

Go to your Gmail account and select Contacts and then Import (should be on the top right hand side of your screen).  Import the file from LinkedIn.

Now you can return to Twitter.  Go to “Find People” and enter the details for the account you setup:

twit_findWhich will look something like the image above.

Twitter will then import your contacts and show you how many are currently using Twitter.  Of the 454 contacts I imported 88 were using Twitter.  Having selected which ones you want to follow you are then shown a list of those contacts who are not on Twitter.  You can choose to email them an invite or skip that stage.

And there you have it, your LinkedIn contacts are now being followed on Twitter.  Overall I would say it took me a little under 5 mins to carry out these steps, of course it will depend on how many LinkedIn contacts you have.

Know a more graceful way to achieve this, tried it with another email service, let me know.

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Tweetlater adds new features

Posted on November 17, 2008. Filed under: Social Media, Technology, twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , |

twlogoTweetlater is a Twitter integrated tool that allows users to do exactly what the name implies, Tweet Later. Other features include the ability to auto-follow other Twitter users and to Post blog articles later.

There is much written about auto-responders and their place in Twitter. Some people feel they are very useful, some feel that they are so un-human that it takes the Social completely out of Social Networking. Guy Kawasaki admits that he autofollows everyone on Twitter that follows him. Others send an auto-response with a link to a welcome video (an idea I quite like) but it isn’t for everyone. Some users feel it is rather like going to a mixer and having a taped message that you play to people who come up to you and say hi.

Now the developers of Tweetlater have expanded their offering, taking their tool from being a one-trick pony to something that has real potential. Twitter used to have a feature that allowed you to track particular topics and be alerted via email or IM. This functionality doesn’t exist in the main Twitter.com tool anymore but others have provided it Tweetbeep has had this functionality for a while. This is all it does and it does it well. Allowing a user to define alerts, how often the Twitter stream should be scanned and whether @replies, specific users and even location specific information should be excluded or not.

Tweetlater’s keyword alerts has a less friendly UI than TweetBeep’s. It basically allows for the same functionality but only if you are familiar with Boolean operators – the standard in advanced searches. While they do provide a link to a how-to for people who aren’t used to using these it would be nicer if they simply built the functionality into the UI.

The other new feature that Tweetlater has built which is interesting is the @replies digest. This allows you to have an email sent to you with all the @replies to your account at user specified intervals. This is a great feature for people who get a lot of replies to their tweets and who don’t get the opportunity to be logged into Twitter all day scanning for replies.

With an option to have the digest sent at intervals ranging from once an hour to once a day its flexible enough to keep up with most users. I can see this feature being really useful for users who are travelling and don’t want to arrive at their destination and have to scroll through pages of @replies looking for specific Tweets.

I think the addition of features to the Tweetlater toolbox is a good move. There have been many cases of one trick ponies in the Twitterverse that have already ceased functioning. Like any new offering there is still some work to be done on the UI, especially for the Twitter alerts, but if they keep adding to the tools, Tweetlater could become the ultimate one stop shop for serious Twitter users.

What do you think? Do you want a one-stop shop for Twitter tools?

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