For several years FeedBurner has been an important and widely-used tool for RSS feed publishers to track and analyze who’s following them and reading their weblog or other content published over RSS. Owned by Google since mid-2007, FeedBurner has slowly been integrated into Google’s larger basket of services such as allowing you to easily include Google AdSense ads in content published via RSS with AdSense for Feeds.
Now Google has added a new and useful capability for feeds that are managed by FeedBurner: automatically sending a message over your Twitter account when you publish a new post. These days it’s becoming more common for weblogs and other content creators to have Twitter accounts dedicated to their site. Ours is linked from the little blue bird at the top-right of the page at http://twitter.com/allthingsrss.
Since we also use FeedBurner to manage our feed, it was quick and easy to enable automatic Twittering when we write a new post here. Just go to the FeedBurner management page for your feed, click on the “Publicize” tab across the top then click “Socialize” from the list of services column on the left. From there click “Add a Twitter account” to connect your blog to your Twitter account.
Below that are various options for choosing how you want the Twitter post to appear. We choose to have Google tweet both the post title and a small excerpt of the post content and add the #RSS hashtag at the end.
Google also recently launched its own URL shortening service, goo.gl, and it is used to link back to your post on the blog from the tweet.
Note that this option is called “Socialize” and not “Twitter”. For sure Google will eventually add other social media sites to the mix, not the least of which would be Facebook the other 800-pound gorilla in this area.