Apologies for the hash tag in the title; wanted to make sure this got into the Localgovweb Twitter group…
One of the key issues I’ve seen with Twitter as a two way communication tool for organisations such as councils is the fact that you either need a bespoke desktop tool or browser plugin to get “live” updates from the people you are following; something that I am sure would not be possible in most organisations with stringent IT protocols. The only alternative is to keep refreshing your Twitter homepage at regular intervals however in the busy day to day life of a Comms team, I’m sure that this would not be feasible. The Twitter homepage does provide an RSS feed of your followers updates, however you need to provide your login credentials to see this. The ideal thing would be to have an email pop into your inbox every time there is an update. You can then set up email rules to file these to address at a later date. So how can we get these email updates?
I found the answer in this post: http://nik.me/access-authenticated-feeds-google-reader-using-yahoo-pipes. The Pipe that the author has created does the job very nicely and, using Yahoo’s built in email notification service, you can choose to have the results emailed as they come in or as a daily digest. This way the pipe feed will never be published, keeping your login credentials as confidential as possible. Still, as a precaution I took a clone of the pipe and used it from my own Yahoo login.
So this way Comms teams can keep abreast of anything INCOMING traffic on their companies Twitter stream at their leisure, without having to constantly check the homepage. This should also mean that they should not miss anything which may be regarded as direct correspondence and can reply accordingly.