Curiouser and curiouser
The first thought in my head? Has Twitter come up with a system similar to the Facebook comments plugin? That would be too neat, and probably be a much better fit than the comments plugin.
Sidenote: That’s an awfully lowres image you have there, facebook. Would not have expected this from you.
After all, Twitter as a medium is more conducive to having real-time discussions, and with that being the sole focus of the entire platform, it cuts out all the noise and the whole agenda is always the current ongoing discussion. So naturally, a much better fit — one that contributes back to the overall Twitter platform as well.
Unfortunately, that was just wishful thinking on my part, and we aren’t so lucky to have received that — yet.
What Brad was talking about was a “Discuss on Twitter” button the AVC blog articles now had. You could read an article and then discuss it on Twitter. Slightly anticlimactic, I must admit, but it's still quite neat. Could help a lot with building a buzzing thriving community.
It was late in the night for me and I needed to call it a day, but before I did that, here are some of the things I did:
- Went through the thread to realise what it essentially was and discover that Nick Grossman had blessed us with the plugin. (You can download it here.)
- Figured out that this is what was happening — [A] Every time an article is published, the plugin will probably automatically tweet it out for you. [B] Discuss on twitter would take you to the aforementioned tweet, preset with an intent to reply to it. [C] “View Discussions” will do the same — open the thread for you to go through the whole discussion around the article. Good enough!
- Decided to try integrating it in my Medium stories.
The next morning I came across a horrendous presentation by LinkedIn and I knew what my next Medium story was going to be about. I also knew I would be adding the “Discuss on Twitter” button in there.
This is how it finally looked like:
UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS THE WP PLUGIN IS FOLLOWING
Now, if I was to replicate the plugin behavior, I needed to get some understanding of how the plugin was working, so I did have a look at the plugin Nick published. Let us look at the plugin’s page:
Based on what I saw, this is what my sense of the plugin’s working methodology is:
- You need a twitter developer account so that the plugin can auto-tweet on your behalf.
- When you publish a new post, it is going to auto-tweet from your account. This will form the baseline for the “Discuss on Twitter” functionality since all discussions are happening on that tweet.
- Everything else gets auto-mapped to that tweet.
(I could be wrong here. If you are a developer and see a flaw in my reasoning, please correct me. I will update this segment accordingly.)
So I just needed to replicate this behavior.
HERE IS HOW EXACTLY I DID THAT
From start to finish, it would take you a minute to add the “Discuss on Twitter” button to your Medium Stories. It won’t be automatic, but the effort required is not much, and not much of a hassle.
Step #1. The button
You can download a suitable button from the web, you can use some online button generators to generate a button for you, or you can simply download this one that I created using Canva Team.
Step #2. Publish your story
Yeah. Bummer, right? My way doesn’t do it automatically for you. You need to publish your story and tweet about it to work.
I am not a huge fan of tweeting “I just published xxxxx”. In my opinion it doesn’t give any context. So I picked up a line from the story and tweeted that, with the link to the story. Here is my tweet:
Now, your tweets are in this exact same format — twitter.com/@username/status/<a string>
The string at the end. That’s all you need. Copy it, we will use it in a second.
Step #3. Edit your story to finish the process
Open the editor for the story you just published and tweeted about.
Add the discuss on twitter button you downloaded in Step #1.
Add a hyperlink to the image (Cmd+K). Use this as the url the image links to:
https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?in_reply_to=<the unique string for your tweet>
Publish your story and you are done!
Let me know — on Twitter — how you use it. ;-)