Automating Blog Notification Tweets with Zapier

Automating Blog Notification Tweets with Zapier

Some time back I mentioned that I wanted/needed a service that would listen for updates to my RSS feed.

I figured I’d have to write my own. But I stumbled upon a service I’d never heard of before called Zapier, which is a generalized automation tool that reads stuff from places and puts stuff in other places based on triggers. One of those triggers is new posts arriving in an RSS feed.

For example, I set it up to post a tweet to Twitter when I publish a blog post, like this one, and to post a link to that self-same blog post in a Discord channel.

(That channel being my super secret Discord that’s been doing nothing since 2016. Maybe I could leverage Discord for blog comments, he thought tentatively?)

The free plan is extraordinarily limited, but I think it’s good enough for my measly blog, as long as I don’t post more than 50 times a month. Har har.

It was very easy to setup. Simply log in with a Google account and hand it a million more permissions than it actually needs for Discord and Twitter. I’m sure it’s perfectly safe and is not in any way scraping tons of my data to sell to marketers!

There’s also a service I have heard of before called IFTTT which does the same thing, but the functionality in the base applets seems much more limited and there doesn’t seem to be any way to transform the data, at least in the free platform.

In Zapier, I can strip newlines and truncate text to make the tweets prettier. Doesn’t seem to be possible in IFTTT.

Anyway, that’s one more blog problem checked off the list.

P.S. One thing I love about development posts is I can just use that one image I’ve always used and don’t have to spend half my day trying to find new images.

P.P.S. Yes, the whole purpose of this post is to test Zapier “in production.”

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