Twitter cards make it possible for you to attach media experiences to Tweets that link to your content. Simply add a few lines of HTML to your webpages, and users who Tweet links to your content will have a “card” added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers.
While Facebook parses Open Graph tags from every page, you have to sign up for Twitter Cards.
Before you do that, you need to have properly working Twitter Cards metatags on your page, which is fortunately not that complicated – either follow their instructions for your CMS or enjoy the fact that you are using WordPress and install Niall Kennedy’s Twitter Cards plugin. If you’re lazy like me and don’t want to fiddle around with your theme’s function.php, just use my Twitter Cards Enhancer plugin which includes the tags automatically. To get the proper attribution tags, you’ll have to fill out two (new) fields in your WordPress backend, though:
Put your blog’s twitter account under “Settings”:
And each author on your blog should put their twitter account under “Users” → “Your Profile”:
Once you’re done with that, use Twitter’s test tool and apply for inclusion. When everything works out as intended, tweets that include your posts will start to look like this:
If you’re using WordPress, you might not be in charge of your shortlinks anymore:
wp.me is the url shortener of wordpress.com. You might have seen it when someone posted a link to his blog post on twitter. This is all nice and dandy for a hosted solution like wordpress.com. Now they found a sneaky little trick to even get blogs not hosted with them to use wp.me: They changed their widely popular stats plugin to add the wp.me-short url. Without any visible settings to turn it on or off, it’s basically by default opt-in.1 And besides one line in the release notes, I could not see any communication about this “shortlink high-jacking:”
Add shortlink generator. Now wp.me shortlinks are available on the Edit Post screen from a button next to View Post.
And don’t get me started on the fact that they use rel=”shortlink” instead of rev=”canonical” [↩]
Basically, this is just a long test post for the OpenCalais plugin to see if it will find anything. They have a nice blog post about what they are and what they do over here – strangely enough they talk about having 30000 developers using their services but only 50 publishers and 75 entrepreneurs. So what do all the other developers do? [via]
And after writing just this, I am impressed that the plugin notices that I write about “Technology/Internet” but disappointed that it doesn’t offer pretty simple tags like “OpenCalais.”
It does offer me those two pretty pictures, though – they are supposed to be related to my content: