Friday, October 12, 2007

FlickrToTwitter Testing

With some prompting from Dave Winer, I'm blogging about my experience using the Twittergram Flickr to Twitter feature.

First Test: 2 Photos, "ForTwitter" tag

  • I signed-up for the service using my Twitter account on October 8 and used the tag "ForTwitter" to limit the photos that get posted.
  • I uploaded two photos to my Flickr account (one, two) and made sure they both had "ForTwitter" as tags (they still do).
  • I waited for an hour, but nothing showed up on my Twitter stream. So I concluded that something was wrong, and left a comment on Dave's blog.
  • During the hour that I was waiting to see if the photos would appear in my Twitter feed, I also noticed that a few of the people commenting on Fred Wilson's post about FlickrToTwitter were also not able to see their photos posted to their Twitter accounts.
  • Within the same day, Dave sent a tweet saying that he'd given the server a little kick and that all was well again. He also did some testing of his own which appeared to go well.
Second Test: 1 Photo, "fortwitter" tag
  • Since Dave's own FlickrToTwitter photos were showing up on his Twitter stream, I began to wonder if I'd entered my Twitter password incorrectly when I first registered, so I updated my registration on the FlickrToTwitter page, and this time, I used "fortwitter" (all in lower case) as my tag.
  • I uploaded my third test photo, this time with "fortwitter" as the tag, and waited. That didn't work either, so I asked Dave via Twitter if FlickrToTwitter was temporarily unavailable.
  • Dave later tweeted that the Twittergram server was looping again and that after giving it a little kick, it started working once more.
Third Test: 1 photo, no tag restriction
  • Still unwilling to give up, I updated my registration info on TwitterToFlickr but this time, I left the Tag field blank, so there would be no filters applied.
  • I then uploaded a fourth test photo to Flickr, and out of habit I still tagged it with "fortwitter"
  • Finally, it worked! FlickrToTwitter posted a total of 8 photos in rapid succession, one of which was my fourth test photo (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). However, it inexplicably did not post my first three test photos, which I would have expected to see since they were more recent.
  • So now it's beginning to look like FlickrToTwitter works fine when it doesn't need to check tags, but it encounters problems once the tag-based filter is applied.
Final Test: 1 photo, "4twit" tag
  • So as one final test, I decided to use a shorter tag -- "4twit" -- and I updated my FlickrToTwitter registration again with this new tag.
  • I figured, if this still doesn't work, then it proves that FlickrToTwitter has problems dealing with tags.
  • I uploaded a fifth test photo with the tag "4twit" to see what happens.
  • And, after waiting 15 minutes.... still no joy. :-(
  • So I can only conclude that FlickrToTwitter will work for me only when there are no tags.
Hopefully, this blog entry was clear enough to be of help. 8-)


Update 1: Oct 13, 2007
Dave says there is indeed a problem with the FlickrToTwitter feature and he knows where to look.

Update 2: Oct 15, 2007
Dave believes he's licked the tagging bug in FlickrToTwitter. Will give that a test whirl the first chance I get something worth sending a photo about!


Chuck Shotton said...

I have had PRECISELY the same experience. It was as if you had documented all my gyrations this morning to try and get things working. I'll try it without the tags, too.

Nathan Rein said...

It is actually not too difficult to set up an alternative system using Twitterfeed. I blogged about it here. I have found Twitterfeed to be very reliable. There are a few other alternatives as well, like Mobypicture.

Roland Smith said...

I have been able to consistently post TwitterGram photos through Flickr. I use the tag "twitter" and only pictures with those tags show as a tinyurl on Twitter.

William Smith said...

I've sent in about 10 flickr twitters and none have ever posed online.

mdy said...

Chuck and William -- it's a bit comforting to know that I wasn't the only one having trouble with this. 8-)

Nathan -- thanks for the link to your blogpost. I came to the same conclusion as you, and also blogged about it, but I think your write-up is much more thorough. Your use of Yahoo Pipes is also interesting!

Roland -- I'm glad to hear TwitterToFlickr works for you! I know it works because Dave's own photos appear on his Twitter stream. I just haven't been able to get it to work for me. 8-(