Syndicating Posts from Your Personal Website to Twitter and Mastodon

The hellsite has a new king. And so, many are moving from Twitter to other social networks like micro.blog or Mastodon or are at least trying out those other options while waiting how things might develop.

Cross-posting – or not?

One of the first questions that comes to mind is: how can I post on both Twitter and Mastodon so that I don’t have to post my status updates separately? A good idea and something that can be done in various ways.

There are, however, a few problems that come with cross-posting from one platform to another. For one, it can look a little weird when your posts on one platform obviously look like they have been written for another platform. Your tweets might contain user handles from Mastodon that don’t exist on Twitter or a Mastodon post could contain a “RT” (for retweet) or quoted tweets. This can look like you don’t really care about the people spending time on the other platform. But especially the user handles can be problematic because people might not know what to do with them or why they look so differently.

But even if you are fine with all that, cross-posting doesn’t solve one of the biggest problems when it comes to posting content online: if you post your thoughts into a silo like Twitter, they are, to a certain extent, out of your control. You can delete (or maybe even edit) them, yes. But when a platform goes down, you end up with the problem of having to export and backup your data again.

POSSE

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to post tweets, toots, or other status updates on your own site first? Especially the more important ones that you want to preserve? At least, your own site will be with you even when Twitter goes away or your account suddenly gets suspended. This is one of the basic principles of the IndieWeb: publish on your own site, syndicate elsewhere. Or short: POSSE.

You can see an example here on my site. I am syndicating all posts of my microblog section to Twitter, micro.blog, and Mastodon.

The first thing you need to do to achieve all this is to create a section on your site that you can use to post short status updates. This microblogging section then needs an RSS feed. Mine is this one, for example. Whenever you post a status, a new item will be added to the feed. And we can then use the feed to send new items to Mastodon, Twitter, or any other platform.

I won’t cover in this post how you can set up an RSS feed for your site. Yet it shouldn’t be that hard to find solutions online for whatever you are using under the hood of your site. And for the sake of brevity, I will also focus on syndicating your posts to Twitter and Mastodon only.

Syndication with IFTTT

With an RSS feed in place, the next step is now to use a service that will send new feed items to the different platforms. We’ll use IFTTT for that, so you will need at least a free account there. Of course, you could also use Zapier or any other automation tool that you prefer.

Let’s start with how you can set things up for Twitter.

Syndicating to Twitter

The first step is to create a new Applet:

Screenshot of IFTTT: New Applet

Now, under “If this”, select “Add” to add a trigger and search for and select “RSS Feed”. Select “New feed item”, which creates a trigger that fires every time a new item is added to your feed. Paste in your RSS feed URL and finish this step via the “Create trigger” button.

Screenshot of IFTTT: Create RSS Trigger

Next, we need to define what should happen when the trigger fires. Select “Add” next to “Then that” and search for and select “Twitter”. Select “Post a tweet” or also “Post a tweet with image”. Connect your Twitter account. For the Tweet text, you can use the fields that are available under “Add ingredient”. You can use {{EntryTitle}},{{EntryUrl}}, or {{EntryContent}}, for example.

Screenshot of IFTTT: Post A Tweet

Select continue, rename your applet if you want to, and complete the process with the “finish” button. And you’re done! 🙌

If you have a free account, your applet will only run once every hour or so. But whenever there is a new item, IFTTT will automatically post a tweet for you.

Syndicating to Mastodon

With Mastodon, setting up syndication is a little bit trickier. That’s simply because there is no built-in integration for Mastodon in IFTTT. Thankfully, I found a helpful article by Kelson Vibber about “How to Post to Mastodon From Anything Using IFTTT”.

You can still post to Mastodon using a feature called Webhooks. IFTTT Webhooks let you create Applets that can make or receive any kind of web request. So first, we need to activate that.

Go to IFTTT Webhooks and activate the feature by clicking on “Connect“ button.

Now we need to make sure IFTTT is allowed to make a request to post stuff. For this, we need to add IFTTT as an application in the settings of your Mastodon account. Go to Preferences > Development/Your Applications (e.g. on mastodon.social you’ll find it here). Add a new application and enter a name for it. Under Application website, you need to add the full URL of your IFTTT Webhook. You’ll find it on the Webhooks Settings page. From the checkboxes below, only select write:statuses.

Screenshot Mastodon Settings: New Application

Now, everything is ready to create our applet. The first step is the same like in the Twitter example. Create a new Applet and add your RSS feed as the trigger. Now comes the juicy part: Select “Add” next to “Then that” and search for “Webhooks”, select it, and then choose “Make a web request”.

Screenshot of IFTTT - Create a Webhook web request

Now you need to add the details of the request to Mastodon.

The “URL” should look like this:

https://mastodon.example.com/api/v1/statuses?access_token=1234567890

Make sure to replace the mastodon.example.com with the domain of your instance’s server! Also replace 1234567890 at the end of the URL with the access token of the application you created in Mastodon in the settings. To find the token, click on the Application and look for “Your access token”.

The “Method” should be POST.

For the “Content Type”, select application/x-www-form-urlencoded.

Ignore “Additional Headers”. For the ”Body” of the Request, use something like

status={{EntryContent}}

You can also add other ingredients like the URL or date of the post. Just make sure to include the status= part so that everything is working properly.

Lastly, select continue, rename your applet if you want to, and complete the process with the “finish” button.

And you’re done again!

Now, whenever you post a status update on your own site, it will show up (after a little delay) on both platforms. 🎉

Screenshot of a successful test toot

~

68 Webmentions

Photo of Louis Derrac (BOT) ⏭;️; ????;
Louis Derrac (BOT) ⏭;️; ????;
[Veille] Syndicating Posts from Your Personal Website to Twitter and Mastodon · Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer matthiasott.com/notes/syndicat… 🗃;️;Toute ma veille commentée veille.louisderrac.com
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#WikiParty@michaelgraaf@campaign.openworlds.info
RT @matthiasott@mastodon.social ✍;️; New post: Syndicating Posts from Your Personal Website to Twitter and Mastodon #TwitterTakeover #IndieWeb matthiasott.com/notes/syndicat… mastodon.social/@matthiasott/1…
Photo of Matthias Ott—bring back @mmatuzo
Matthias Ott—bring back @mmatuzo
however, microblog on my own personal website more and syndicate the posts to different platforms. #IndieWeb FTW! I wrote about it here: matthiasott.com/notes/syndicat… (2/2)
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Angie Radtke
With joomla this works great. We have an extension that saves us the use of an extra account. extly.com/docs/perfect_p… good work @AndreaGentil
Photo of David Bisset
David Bisset
Syndicating posts from tour personal website to @Twitter, micro.blog and Mastodon (just one way to do this, layed out well by @m_ott) matthiasott.com/notes/syndicat…
Photo of Matthias Ott—bring back @mmatuzo
Matthias Ott—bring back @mmatuzo
Another option: publish on your on site, syndicate elsewhere (what the IndieWeb community around @t and others calls POSSE), e.g. matthiasott.com/notes/syndicat…
Photo of Juan Fernandes
Juan Fernandes
Just read: Syndicating Posts from Your Personal Website to Twitter and Mastodon · Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer matthiasott.com/notes/syndicat…
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FaebornNetworks
this is definitely getting interesting; one issue though is the number of people still on Twitter, either because their followers are, or because they don't know any better.
Photo of Max Böck—bring back @mmatuzo
Max Böck—bring back @mmatuzo
thanks for sharing! my post is a bit older at this point, but should still work. here's another good approach using IFTT by @m_ott matthiasott.com/notes/syndicat…
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feedlesearch
Syndicating Posts from Your Personal Website to Twitter and @joinmastodon - a great application of RSS feeds! matthiasott.com/notes/syndicat… by @m_ott
Photo of Anna Monus
Anna Monus
About the importance of content ownership and how to syndicate short-form content by @m_ott #contentcreation matthiasott.com/notes/syndicat…
Photo of Max Böck—bring back @mmatuzo
Max Böck—bring back @mmatuzo
Mastodon requires a webhook for syndication from what I know. Here's a setup using IFTTT to do that: matthiasott.com/notes/syndicat…
Photo of Bico de Gás
Bico de Gás
Syndicating Posts from Your Personal Website to Twitter and Mastodon · Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer matthiasott.com/notes/syndicat…
Photo of Jeremy Keith
Jeremy Keith
Syndicating Posts from Your Personal Website to Twitter and Mastodon · Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer November 7th, 2022 A very timely post on using If This Then That to automatically post notes from your own site (via RSS) to Twitter and Mastodon. I’ve set this up for my Mastodon profile.
Photo of Adactio Links
Adactio Links
Syndicating Posts from Your Personal Website to Twitter and Mastodon · Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer matthiasott.com/notes/syndicat…
Photo of @matthiasott
@matthiasott
Ha, it worked! Thanks, @matthiasott for sharing how to connection an RSS feed with Mastodon via IFTTT: https://matthiasott.com/notes/syndicating-posts-personal-website-twitter-mastodon Syndicating Posts from Your Personal Website to Twitter and Mastodon · Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer
Photo of @matthiasott
@matthiasott
J'ai réussi à automatiser le partage de ma veille et de mes articles (via flux RSS) sur Masto grâce à cet article https://matthiasott.com/notes/syndicating-posts-personal-website-twitter-mastodon Thanks @matthiasott this is great !
Photo of @nhoizey
@nhoizey
@nhoizey Bon déjà ça va pas être possible avec Zapier, enfin pas avec un compte gratuit. Pour utiliser les webhooks, faut un compte premium et si j'ai rien contre payer pour un service… payer 20€/mois pour auto poster quelques posts de blog sur Mastodon, c'est cher payé je trouve. Je vais regarder IFTTT du coup.
Photo of @GoOz
@GoOz
@GoOz ah oui, ça fait cher… 😔; De mon côté, je vais essayer de repartir de mon script Node qui poste sur Twitter pour faire de même sur Mastodon.
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@matthiasott
@nhoizey @matthiasott Merci je regarderai ça 💕;
Photo of Jeremy Keith
Jeremy Keith

Syndicating to Mastodon

I’ve been contemplating a checkbox. The label for this checkbox reads: This is a bot account Let me back up… In what seems like decades ago, but was in fact just a few weeks, Elon Musk bought Twitter and began burning it to the ground. His admirers insist he’s playing some form of four-dimensional chess, but to the rest of us, his actions are indistinguishable from a spoilt rich kid not ...
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Mif-Mav
Ich als (Wieder-) Newbi bei #Mastodon : Dieser Artikel von Mathias hat mir beim x-Posting echt gut geholfen. matthiasott.com/notes/syndicat… Derzeit: Twitter & Mastodon Mal sehen… vielleicht wird’s auf Dauer nur #mastodon
Photo of @matthiasott
@matthiasott
@leonp, awesome! I had somewhat hoped for an IFTTT solution, but missed that @matthiasott (and maybe others) already found a way. Testing as we speak!

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