Introducing Retweet Anywhere for WordPress

Hey, guess what! I’ve just released a new WordPress plugin called Retweet Anywhere. It’s something I’ve been working on a few days, inspired by the previoulsy used Sociable and Tweetmeme plugins, allowing visitors to tweet my posts. What I didn’t like about those two is that Sociable simply redirects to twitter.com with a preset status, and Tweetmeme is not customizable enough in terms of application name, etc. Retweet Anywhere solves both issues.

Retweet Anywhere enables you to place retweet buttons, links, images, literally anywhere in your blog. The standard mode fades the background and shows a lightbox with the text input with a preset status, where all one has to do is click the tweet button. Everything happens via OAuth, so you’re never asking your visitors for their Twitter names or passwords, and your branded tweets are fired through their accounts tagged with your application name.

Retweet Anywhere allows visitors to modify the text they’re about to tweet. This enables them to address somebody in particular, or simply add a few hashtags. As the administrator you’re allowed to customize the format of the default text, using simple codes like %s and %l which end up in professional looking tweets, such as “Reading: Post Title http://example.org #hashtag (via @kovshenin)”. Now isn’t that awesome? You’re also allowed to shorten your links using your bit.ly account, then track your click through rate. Bang!

Retweet Anywhere

Moreover, you can place such retweet buttons, links or your own custom HTML anywhere in your posts, for instance: Thank you for retweeting this awesome post. It uses the WordPress shortcodes system, which enable you to place such links into your posts, pages and widgets. Speaking about widgets, here’s a surprise for you.. Retweet Anywhere comes with an awesome, fully customizable retweet widget which you can push into your sidebars in seconds, allowing your visitors to retweet your posts, pages, archives, with a single click of a mouse! Fantastic!

And of course, the plugin is totally free of charge, yup yup, all yours, GPL licensed! Download available at the WordPress plugin directory, right over here: Retweet Anywhere.

Now, for the more techy guys, let’s go over some details. The plugin comes bundled with the jQuery Facebox plugin, and uses the Twitter @Anywhere pack to display their tweetBox() inside Facebox, which makes it look very slick. The URL trimming is all happeneing on the server-side and fired via AJAX on your pages, this means that your page will not slow down. Furthermore, the already trimmed links are saved into custom fields to your posts and pages, which saves you time and bandwidth, next time somebody tries to shorten – simple, yet effective caching!

As usual, all your comments and thoughts are highly appreciated. Bugs will be fixed, functionality will be improved. All thanks to WordPress and @Anywhere. If you’re wondering about upcoming features then the only one I could mention at this stage is of course localization – Russian and a few other languages ;) More info, discussions, changelog, etc on the dev page.

Cheers, good luck and don’t forget to retweet this post!

Brand Your Tweets with Twitter Anywhere

What we’ve seen so far at Twitter @Anywhere is amazing! I’ve seen tonnes of websites implement Twitter functionality to ther websites without any hassle and it also seems to work well! Now that the documentation is being arranged, everything seems clear enough, this is yet another way of branded tweeting!

Branded tweeting? Huh? Well, this is a topic covered quite sime time ago, when companies (and individuals) wrote specific Twitter clients via the available OAuth libraries, that would send out tweets marked “via application”, where “application” could be the name of the company, linking to their website.

Such applications were standalone (Visual Basic, C#, etc) or web-based (perl, php), and some of them were not only meant to tweet, but sometimes looked like a full-feature Twitter client. But, the time has changed.

In order to brand the tweets, all you have to do now is register your application to use OAuth at dev.twitter.com and copy-paste an @anywhere snippet called tweetbox, somewhere on your website. It could also be a private area (or even a local html page), doesn’t matter.

The engineers at Twitter have worked out all the OAuth routine for you, and what you’re left with is an awesome tweet box, just like on twitter.com, through which tweets will be sent out “branded”, i.e. containing your application name in the “via …” clause.

This is certainly easier than how we had to do it earlier, and I’m expecting a huge impact on the Twitter clients list, which will increase dramatically, as more and more companies and individuals would like to see their names in the client section of every tweet. Of course this move is quite serious, as it may destroy some of the statistics that Twitter gather, where “web” used to take the lead.

Of course the @anywhere tweetbox is not a fully-functional Twitter client and we’d still like to use TweetDeck, Seesmic and other major ones for our convenience. Then again, what if the major ones start offering (perhaps not for free) branded tweeting themselves? I think that would be against their company policy and would result in a total mess ;)

P.S. You can now chirp me, which took me a few minutes to build with Twitter @Anywhere.

Cheers!

Setup Twitter @Anywhere for WordPress in Seconds!

That’s right, seconds! The twitter @Anywhere was introduced at SXSW conference and launched the dev tools a couple of days ago. It’s a simple javascript-driven set of tools that allows you to basically integrate Twitter functionality anywhere on your websites. Usage is as simple as loading a javascript file and launching a couple of js commands, which instantly give you the power of Twitter on your own blog. Personally, I’m amazed, and couldn’t help integrating it here on my blog. Hover your mouse over @kovshenin to see the hovercards in effect ;) Sweet eh?

It took me around 40 seconds to get this thing to work. This includes downloads and uploads file to the server ;) So open up your functions.php file and paste the following code:

$api_key = "Replace with your API key";
wp_enqueue_script("twitter-anywhere",
	"http://platform.twitter.com/anywhere.js?id={$api_key}&v=1");
add_action("wp_head", "twitter_anywhere");

function twitter_anywhere()
{
	echo '<script type="text/javascript">';
	echo 'twttr.anywhere(onAnywhereLoad);';
	echo 'function onAnywhereLoad(twitter) { twitter.hovercards(); }';
	echo '</script>';
}

That’s it. Literally. That’s all you have to do to fire your hovercards throughout your blog! Just make sure you get an API key before right over here. The Anywhere documentation is all javascript and pretty straightforward, I’m sure you’ll figure it out.

I also looked at the WordPress Plugin Directory for ones registered with the “anywhere” names and guess what! I found at least three of them – anywhere, twitter-anywhere and wp-twitter-anywhere ;) Why write a plugin for something that’s so dead simple? Oh well.. It’s funny how people rush to register WordPress plugin names when something new turns out. Same happened with Google Wave, and there’s still no good Wave plugin for WordPress ;)