How to Effectively Quote Twitter Updates

In Tech and Internet by Daniel M. Clark3 Comments

I was recently introduced to Blackbird Pie, a pretty slick method of quoting Twitter updates. Bloggers who wanted to quote Twitter updates have had two options: get a screen capture and post the image or quote the update in plain text with a plain text link to it. The former was a bit of a hassle, the latter was a bit boring, visually. With Blackbird Pie, we can have the style of posting a screen cap and the ease of copy/pasting plain text (links included).

The benefits of quoting Twitter updates in this fashion should be clear. From an SEO point of view, having text on the page rather than a screen cap is a plus. You've also got live links in there as well. If you're quoting yourself, as I am here for the demonstration, you're promoting your Twitter presence with a live link and a link directly to the update which users will appreciate.

i have an amazing talent. i can go to squeeze pages and guess, almost unerringly, how much the crap product is going to cost.Sat Jun 12 00:21:49 via TweetDeck

Get the Blackbird Pie Bookmarklet

The most effective way to generate the code you need to display the quoted Twitter update is to use a browser bookmarket, available from Publitweet. The premise is simple: drag the bookmarklet into your browser's bookmarks bar, and when you visit the page you'd like to quote, push the button. Copy and paste the resulting code into your website. Easy!

There is also a WordPress plugin for inserting Blackbird Pie code, but I found it to be overly tedious. Rather than giving us a simple button in the Upload/Insert menu on the Edit Post tool, we're required to use shortcodes. If you're going to go to Twitter to get the ID of the update anyway, why not just use the browser bookmarklet and get the code immediately? Until the plugin streamlines the process of inserting the proper code, the bookmarklet is the way to go.


  1. Incidentally, there's a “embed tweet” link that I forgot to mention. If you see a Twitter update quoted on someone's site, like the one I used in my example, you can click that link to get the code to paste into your own site. Pretty cool.

  2. Yep, it's def a great feature all around (and a long overdue one). The only beef I have with the implementation is the length of the code… it's humongous. Hopefully, they can trim that down soon (but with Twitter being Twitter that's a lot of hope).

  3. It's definitely bloated with all that inline css. They could really slim that down by using classes and encouraging users to customize the css themselves (or even by hosting a default css file that users can override).

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