Joomla TwitterTweet Documentation

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This documentation is valid for all versions of TwitterTweet (Joomla, K2, Zoo)

Installation

Install the plugin like any other extension. For details on how to install extensions, look at the installation guide at the Joomla community.

General Settings - Activating the plugin

The plugin is disabled by default after installation, so our first step is to activate and set up the plugin.
This is done in the plugin manager (Extensions -> Plug-in Manager).

Plugin Manager

You will be presented with a list of all the installed plugins. Look for the plugin name TwitterTweet Plugin, and click on the name to enter the settings.

In the plugin details, you'll find the setting for Enabled which you set to "enabled" to make the plugin active. The appearance of these settings are different between Joomla 1.5 (left picture) and Joomla 1.6 and higher (right picture) as seen bellow.

Joomla 1.5Joomla 1.7

General settings

Account details - alternative 1 basic login

Next step to make the plugin work is to enter your Twitter account details in the general settings.
Enter the exact Twitter username and Twitter password, that you're using to login to Twitter.

Please note that it in some Web browsers it could appear as if your login details are already set. Disregard this and enter them again, since your webbrowser remembers your Joomla login details, and think it is correct. So enter your Twitterdetails once and for all.

Joomla K2 Twitter Tweet

Account details - alternative 2 oAuth settings

This step is only necessary if your server doesn't accept alternative 1 basic login

If the plugin doesn't work after you've set up the login details according to alternative 1 above, then you need to setup an alternative way of login in to Twitter. Enter the advanced section of the plugin settings.

Advanced details

Click on the link "Creat your Twitter application", and you will be redirected to the Twitter App creation page. Sign in with your Twitter account details, and you'll see the application details page.

twitter details

Enter a name for your application, you could for example use the name of you website, and a description of your application.

Also enter the URL to your website, http://www.yourwebsite.com for example.

Follow the instructions on the page and click on "Create your Twitter application to continue.

The Callback URL will not be needed for this application

Change the permission settings

If you look under the oAuth setting section of your new Twitter application, the access level says Read-only. This means that you're only able to read from your account, and not write / post anything. We will have to change this.

oauth read only

Click on the Settings tab to change the access level.

settings tab

Scroll down to the Application Type part, and change this from Read only to Read and Write. Save your settings.

Create an access token

Go back to the details tab and scroll down to the bottom, and click on the button that says Create my access token. You have now prepared your Twitter application to be used by the TwitterTweet plugin.

Enter oAuth settings in the plugin

Copy the following codes, and paste them to the corresponding field in the TwitterTweet plugin advanced settings and save when you're done.

  • Consumer key
  • Consumer secret
  • Access token
  • Access token secret
Doublecheck that the Access level in the Twitter application says Read and Write.

General settings - Category ID

If you only want specific categories of articles (items) to be tweeted, this is where you set it. Enter the numerical ID of the categories you wish to tweet separated by comma. All other categories will be skipped. If you leave this blank, all categories will be tweeted.

For example; lets say you only want to tweet articles in the categories "Blog" (id 5), "Information" (id 12) and "News" (id 34). The setting in this field would be: 5,12,34

Don't put any spaces after the comma.

Where do I find a category ID?

In K2: go to K2 -> Categories and look in the rightmost column for ID. This i where you find the ID.

In Joomla: Go to Content-Categories and look in the ID-column.

General settings - Tweet only new articles?

This setting checks if your article is a new or an updated article. Since the plugin keeps track of the articles tweeted, an article will never be tweeted twice, so you could actually put this setting to No.

In order to avoid spamming Twitter everytime an articles is updated, the TwitterTweet allways checks if an article has been tweeted in the past to avoid duplicate tweeting.

General settings - Meta-tag as Hash-tag?

If you set this option, the plugin will use the meta-tags to create hastags in your tweet.

On K2 this works a bit differently since the K2 tags will be used for hash tags (see below).

Twitter tags

The first three tags will be translated to Twitter's hash-tags. Hashtags are used in Twitter to mark keywords or topics in tweets, and are often a good way to make your tweet seen by more people. Read more about the hashtags on Twitter.

Twitter

You can set a default hashtag in the setting to use the same tag for all your tweets.

General settings - Post items newer than

This setting controls how old the articles are allowed to be in order to get tweeted to Twitter. If you leave this blank, the article age doesn't matter.

Advanced Settings

Enter the advanced settings by clicking on the advanced settings tab.

Advanced settings

These settings should not be changed unless you really know what your're doing.

Delay between Tweets.

This setting makes sure that you don't send tweets to often. A setting of 15 will stop the TwitterTweet plugin from tweeting more than one Tweet per 15 minutes. Don't set this to a value less than 5, since your account will probably end up suspended for spamming.

Display ping messages

This should allways be set to no, unless you're really curious about what happens under the hood. The problem is that these messages are shown in frontend, so all your visitors will see these debugmessages and start wondering.

Save your settings

When you're done editing your settings, don't forget so save. The plugin will be up and running.

How does it work?

The Tweets are triggered in two ways:

a) when an item is saved

b) when an item gets visited in the frontend

When you first save an item, the plugin tweets the item if it is published. Items with scheduled publish aren't tweeted until they're displayed in the frontend.

Besides tweeting on save the plugin gets triggered everytime an article gets visited. For example, lets say you visit a K2 article on your website, what happens under the hood is the following:

  1. TwitterTweet makes a few checks before tweeting:
    1. Is this article already tweeted?
    2. Article published?
    3. Should article category be tweeted?
    4. Is article public or for registred users (no tweet)?
    5. Have I already tweeted within the delay time?
    6. Plus a few more checks....
  2. TwitterTweet creates a shortened version of your URL (tinyURL) to save space.
  3. TwitterTweet translates the first three tags to hashtags

The Tweet will be created by putting together the Article Title, tinyURL and hashtags. If the tweet is longer than 140 characters, the article title will be shortened.

Since the plugin is triggered by visits it will basically be a fully automated solution to help promoting your website. All you have to do is sit back and make the plugin do the work for you.

Daniel Eliasson

A programmer and webdesigner with over 15 years of experience in different programming languages with a toolbox consisting of: Objective C, JAVA, C++, PHP and many more techniques.

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