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My G+ Metastasis System Described

Short Version: I have cobbled together a rickety system to originate content in G+ and have it appear in Twitter, Facebook and/or my blog - all controlled by hashtags.

Very Long Version:

I've grown weary of the fragrmentation of my social media existence. I've been looking for a way to have one single point of entry for my content. My original idea was to post everything to my blog in a special "microblog" category and have things push from there. The holdup is that G+ is not only hard to write to but apparently the SMS posting loophole has been closed:

http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/google-plus-discuss/mobile/HxlC9BnrHiw

I opted to start with the +Mike Elgan sharing system as described here:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9227098/Elgan_How_I_publish_from_Google_?taxonomyId=169&pageNumber=1

I'm using a large chunk of that for my system, so Mike gets the bulk of the credit for this. The key point there is the steps that use Pluss Feed Proxy for G+: 

http://pluss.aiiane.com/

then piped through Feedburner. (I'm experimenting with not laundering through Feeburner and using the Pluss Atom feed directly.) Once that is done, an RSS feed (or Atom) exists of all your Google+ posts. Given that, there are a lot of things that can happen. Mike Elgan has ManageFlitter as the posting system, which I set up. I also have now set up basically the same thing using only IFTTT rules, all driven by hash tags.

If the post contains #twt, then tweet it:

https://ifttt.com/recipes/74107

If the post contains #fb, then post to Facebook:

https://ifttt.com/recipes/74108

If the post contains #blog, then post to my blog:

https://ifttt.com/recipes/74109

Future Work:

The thing I like least about this is the way the title in the Atom or RSS feed comes from the G+ post. I'd like to have it truncuate at the newline if the post begins with a short paragraph, rather than just run on until it runs out of characters. The Pluss Feed Proxy server code is open source. I'm considering getting my own copy, making that change and running my own instance. I think I'd rather submit a patch and have that go into the server that is already there.

https://github.com/ayust/pluss

As mentioned above, I'm trying this with and without Feedburner in the middle. Mike Elgan cites the cleanup of the feed as the reason to use it. It does also add a lot of latency and one more link in this chain. Since the whole thing is a brittle Rube Goldberg machine, every one of those you can eliminate is one fewer place for it to break. 

For now, I'm going to run with this a while and see how it works. This will be a sizable post on the blog by the time it pushes there, and too long for Facebook to get the whole thing. It will be an interesting experiment just to see the different levels of truncation and how everything handles it. 

I'm interested in any feedback people have. If you use this, or improve it, let me know your experience. I got it from Mike and made some twists, so let me know what twists you make, please.
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Kreg Steppe's profile photoSteve Holden's profile photoDave Slusher's profile photoKellie Miller's profile photo
8 comments
 
Hitch in the plans: Amber Yust's Pluss server is in python. It's my kryptonite! I'm sure it can be done with a single line of code, but I don't know how to do "Search up until <br /><br /> then stop" in python using BeautifulSoup.
 
I didn't think to check to see if +Amber Yust was on G+, which of course she is. I fiddled with this a little bit tonight and have a test version of some code that would stop at the first <br /> tag if it exists in the first 100 characters.

That makes sense to me, to not have the title extend past line breaks in the main post content, so like in the main post here if I have a psuedo-title construct in it then that would propagate in the Atom feed as the title of the item. That would make it available to the IFTTT rules to be able to be a little nicer, like titling the Wordpress post and such.

I'll create a patch and submit it to Amber and see what she thinks. This one little tweak would make my G+ Metastasis system much cleaner all over the place.
 
Pull requests always welcome.
 
OK, pull request sent. It's the first one I've done, and I've got 10 thumbs when it comes to python so I hope it is usable. Thank you!
 
I didn't wind up using your patch verbatim, but did incorporate it and some other logic.
 
Thanks +Dave Slusher for the write up. I think I mostly had what you created in ifttt. Also, thanks +Amber Yust for the running the server for G+ -> RSS.
 
Great suggestions + service. Tweaking this for my posts.  Is Feedburner still needed?  Given Google is killing Reader I can't image the Feedburner is going to survive much long.
 
I've been doing it without Feedburner, so it is certainly possible. I think +Mike Elgan  was using it for sanitization and normalization, but it isn't a make or break of the system.
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