Get Around the Twitter Social Media Link Ban

Twitter and Elon Musk are getting dumber by the day. Honestly I have mostly stopped visiting Twitter and spend more time now on Mastodon but it recently came to my attention that you can no longer link to your Mastodon account from Twitter. Essentially Twitter has put up what is a virtual wall and not allowing people to link to their own social media profiles on other sites. You can read more about this stupid policy on the Twitter help page (Wayback machine copy in case Twitter deletes it).

Promotion of alternative social platforms policy

December 2022

Twitter is where the public conversation is happening, and where people from all over the globe come to promote their businesses, art, ideas, and more. We know that many of our users may be active on other social media platforms; however, going forward, Twitter will no longer allow free promotion of specific social media platforms on Twitter.

What is a violation of this policy?

At both the Tweet level and the account level, we will remove any free promotion of prohibited 3rd-party social media platforms, such as linking out (i.e. using URLs) to any of the below platforms on Twitter, or providing your handle without a URL:

  • Prohibited platforms:

    • Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Post and Nostr

    • 3rd-party social media link aggregators such as,

  • Examples: 

    • “follow me @username on Instagram”

    • [email protected]

    • “check out my profile on Facebook –”

Accounts that are used for the main purpose of promoting content on another social platform may be suspended. Additionally, any attempts to bypass restrictions on external links to the above prohibited social media platforms through technical or non-technical means (e.g. URL cloaking, plaintext obfuscation) is in violation of this policy. This includes, but is not limited to, spelling out “dot” for social media platforms that use “.” in the names to avoid URL creation, or sharing screenshots of your handle on a prohibited social media platform.

  • Example: “instagram dot com/username”

If you want to get around this Twitter stupidity keep reading. Note it might end up getting your account blocked, so I am not responsible if that happens to you. You do this at your own risk.

There is a way to get around this and it is really simple, in fact I created a plugin years ago for a whole different purpose that will help you. If you are using WordPresss or ClassicPress you can go and download my plugin either on the WordPress plugin repository or here on my website and install it. Once it is installed you can create a page on your website with the shortcode from the plugin.

For example here is the shortcode I used on my Mastodon redirect page.

[wpexitpage message=”This is a meta redirect to my Mastodon since Twitter is being dumb.” link=”LGR Mastodon Account” url=”” seconds=”0″]

The plugin will display the message on the page, create a link on the page using the link text and the destination url. The seconds parameter is how long that page waits before redirecting. The plugin works by adding in a meta redirect tag on the page and not using Javascript. You can read much more about a meta redirect on the W3C website. Because the meta redirect will actually send the page from your website to the person requesting it it sends a 200 response code and not a 301 response code and in my testing (yes I added this to my Twitter account, because honestly this is dumb) it should work fine. Once you have your page created and published just add your link to your Twitter bio or post and it will link to your new page. You can see it on my Twitter bio here.

If Twitter starts banning all links to their users own websites let them play whack a mole blocking all the websites on the Internet.

The Future of Social Media

Social media has played a huge role the last few years in people’s personal lives, in politics and of course in business. More and more people are on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Youtube than ever before, but is that interaction positive. At one time people’s feeds were simply created by the people you follow, then came the algorithms and our social media feeds became not scrolling past the latest photos of our high schools friends kids or the latest news from our great aunt Bessy. Our social media feeds became what the algorithm decided what we might be interested in, except it didn’t did it. In reality our social media feeds became a stream of anger and hate and what drove the most likes and clicks and no matter what great aunt Bessy’s latest news was it could not compete with the rage machine from the algorithm.

Recently Elon Musk, took over Twitter, and it has not been going well. If you have spent anytime on Twitter in the last week you have probably noticed an increase in troll and fake name accounts tweeting hate and generally just being jerks. Then there is the fact that Mr. Musk decided to fire a large number of employees.

With the apparent collapse of Twitter being imminent another social network / microblogging service has arisen with a wave of Twitter refugees, Mastodon. Mastodon has become the new social network of all those wanting to have a backup social media account or in some small way to flip to bird off to Elon Musk. Mastodon is by no means new, according to Wikipedia it has been around since 2016 but this new wave of sign ups has certainly brought new light to the service and what is has to offer.

Let me be upfront, Mastodon is not Twitter. It has many similarities but it is missing much of the rage farming and hate that Twitter has, hopefully it can stay that way. Mastodon is also not Twitter in many other ways:

  • It is open source. Want to look at the code that runs it, go for it.
  • Mastodon is not one site, it is many sites that talk to each other. You create an account on an instance and can follow anyone on any other instance.
  • Because Mastodon is open source, you have choice in how you access the system. You can use the official apps or sites or you can try other apps what ever device you like.
  • Your feed is not an algorithm! Your feed is made up from the people you follow. You can also check the feed for all the people that have accounts on your instance and the feed for the entire Fediverse, what they call the entire network.
  • The instance you decide to make an account on is managed and run by someone that is most likely donating their own time and money to running that instance.
  • Many instances are growing quickly so you might want to be patient as they grow and get up to speed with the new influx of users.

If you want to give Mastodon a try the hardest part is finding an instance to start on. Don’t worry if you want to change to a different instance later, you can. Personally being a Canadian I went looking for an instance that was in Canada and I was happy to find My reasons were mainly to look for an instance that was closer to me than being on the other side of the world. The side benefit is I liked the rules of

If you are a Twitter user and are tired of being a pawn of another billionaire I encourage you to give Mastodon a try.

BTW: Thanks to PermaClipart for the Mastodon logo image.

Save Time in Social Media

I hate doing things twice. Call me lazy but it seems silly to have to do the same thing more than once and I think that goes for social media as well. Think about it, how much time do you spend doing the exact same thing on social media. For example, you write a new blog post so then you go to Twitter and promote tweet it, you go to Facebook and share it, you go to LinkedIn and share it and don’t forget about Google+. How much time did all of that take? To much and you just did the exact same thing on almost every social media account. Sure if you have nothing else to do go ahead, but there is a better way.

If you want to save time and only do things once like, promoting a blog post, take a look at IFTTT (If This Then That). It is a service that will change how you work. Not only can you use it to help automate your social media accounts you can use it do some amazing things like add a file to Google Drive when you add it to Dropbox or you could even go so far as archiving your Google+ posts to you WordPress blog.

While there are endless possibilities how you can use IFTTT automating your social media is one possible time saving that it can perform for you. Think about how much time you will save by just having to post one social media post and have it published on all of the accounts you want it published too. You just saved enough time to start writing that next blog post or creating that next website.

While I am still exploring the best way to publish to my social media accounts my research so far looks like it is best to start with posting on Google+ and having that pushed out to your other accounts. Part of the reason is because Google has yet to open up a good way to post to Google+ from anywhere else. While Google+ is not yet my preferred social media account, it is quickly growing on me and if I can easily post to my other accounts then I am willing to spend more time there.

Now there are those social media experts that will tell you this is a bad idea, your engagement with your audience will go down on the other social media services. I am not saying you should abandon your social media accounts, you still need to monitor your Twitter account or Facebook page to engage with your readers, but there is no need to spend all your time posting new information to all of them.

Do you use IFTTT? What are your favourite recipes to automate your daily tasks?

Tweetbucks – Tweet Your Way to the Bank?

It does not take long looking at people’s tweets trying to sell bad informational products and how to turn Twitter into a traffic machine that people are trying hard to make money using Twitter. Affiliate marketing is not new to Twitter, and has now gotten easier for the regular Twitter user. If people were not used to the world of affiliate marketing then getting started in affiliate marketing using Twitter is a lot of work. You need to find products to promote, sign up for programs, get accepted all the while building your following on Twitter so you have someone to promote your affiliate programs too. With Tweetbucks the average Twitter user no longer has to work quite so hard to start promoting affiliate products using Twitter.

The process is simple really. Tweetbucks has partnered with thousands of affiliate programs already. When you are browsing an ecommerce site, like TigerDirect for example, and you find a product you are thinking of getting or want to promote you simply copy the URL into Tweetbucks and it will search for an affiliate relationship and create a shortened link for you to use on Twitter. For example I was recently looking at 24″ LCD monitors. One of the monitors I like is the Viewsonic 24″ LCD. I copy the URL into Tweetbucks, and it creates an affiliate link for me to use on Twitter.

Tweetbucks pays using PayPal with a minimum payout of only $25.00. How long it takes you to reach the payout will depend on how many people actually buy something when you click through your link. If you have a huge following it might not be hard. They are even giving new sign ups $5.00 to start you off so you only need to make an extra $20.00 to get your first payout.

There is a cost to using Tweetbucks though, you do not make 100% of the affiliate commission. For every sale you make 70% of the commission and Tweetbucks keeps 30%. Not a bad commission for them considering they have to maintain the relationships with the affiliate partners. It could make a few extra dollars in your pocket every month.

Tweetbucks makes it easy for anyone using Twitter to start adding affiliate links to their tweets. If you occasionally tweet a product that you want or that you bought it might make you a few dollars. If you are continually spamming Twitter with affiliate links you will quickly lose followers and not make much. I know that some people will be up in arms about the fact that people would use affiliate links on Twitter. There is a difference between people spamming Twitter with their affiliate links and those that are genuine about the products and services they use. I have used the occasional affiliate link on Twitter and it can be an effective way of creating more sales, but again I use it sparingly.

What do you think? Would you use Tweetbucks to let your followers know about products and services you use?

Twittering Our Lives Away

Everyday there is more talk about Twitter. The media is certainly getting into Twitter with Ashton Kutcher breaking the 1 million followers, and Oprah joining not long ago and already approaching the 1 million follower mark. The number of ways that people use Twitter everyday is growing and changing. I can’t help but wonder if with all of the attention Twitter is getting are we Twittering our lives away?

I joined Twitter for a number of reasons, one was to connect with new people. Working from home one of the things I miss about working in an office is the ability to hang out at the water cooler and chat with my coworkers. Twitter has been a great way to have conversations with people that have similar interests as myself.

I also joined Twitter as a way to help promote my business by tweeting out the latest blog posts. Shoemoney recently made a short blog post showing the amount of referral traffic that he gets from Twitter. I don’t get quite that amount but referral traffic from Twitter did come in fourth for referral traffic. More and more the conversations that I am having on Twitter is bringing in new people to read and take part here. This regularly leads to new work. Twitter has improved my online business be helping me connect with new clients.

How much tweeting is too much? Is there a limit? Do people tweet instead of taking the time to write a new blog post? Is Twitter taking you away from the work that you should be doing? Twitter has only started to change how we communicate but are we Twittering our lives away?

Tweet from Google Reader

Google Reader Mobile
Attribution License by byrion

I hate doing things twice. There are not many things that bug me but doing things twice has always been one of my pet peeves. Like many people I use Google Reader to read RSS feeds and as TechCrunch pointed out Google Readers social features are lacking. I was often reading posts in Google Reader and then tweeting them out to my followers but that meant visiting the original blog post, then tweeting it out. There had to be an easier, faster way for me to tweet the blog posts that I thought were interesting and might interest my followers?

Google Reader does offer a simple method to share posts that you like. Simply click the Share link at the bottom of a post and Google Reader shares the post with your friends on Google. Those shared items are placed on a new web page that you can find by clicking the Shared items under your stuff on the Google Reader menu in the top left. For example here is my shared items page. Google creates an RSS/Atom feed for this page so people can subscribe to it and follow what stories you are sharing.

Since Google Reader creates an RSS feed of your shared posts all it takes is a way to take that RSS feed and have it tweeted out on Twitter. The easiest way to publish an RSS feed to Twitter is to use Twitterfeed. Once you login to Twitterfeed you just need to setup a new feed that uses the RSS feed URL of your Google Reader shared items. Twitterfeed even allows you to prefix each tweet with some text. I simply added “Reading – ” to mine. Now everytime I share an item on Google Reader it is automatically tweeted out to my followers on Twitter.

Now you do not have to do things twice to tweet an interesting post you read in Google Reader. There is also the added benefit that if you read an interesting post on your mobile device, you can share it and have it tweeted out without leaving Google Reader mobile. I imagine you can do with with other web based feed readers. Give it a try with your favourite feed reader and leave a comment about how you share your favourite blog posts from your reader.

Guy Kawasaki on Twitter

While I don’t always agree with Guy Kawasaki, and I find it rather funny that roughly a year after I talked about AllTop and some ways to improve it those features showed up on AllTop. Guy Kawasaki, does have some interesting ideas about how to use Twitter as a marketing tool and I enjoyed watching this video of his talk in Vancouver on Twitter.

Some alternatives to the services he mentioned in the video.

Tweet Later – Tweet Later is similar to SocialToo, except it offers more options. Even the free version of Tweet Later is more feature rich allowing you to schedule your tweets, manage mutiple Twitter accounts. You can use Tweet Later to automatically follow people that follow you and unfollow those that stop following you. Not to mention the guys that run Tweet Later are from Canada so there is a good reason to use them right there. – I prefer to use for my URL shortener. It gives you some basic stats. No worry about ads. If you add your Twitter account you can tweet right from it. If you want to schedule a tweet you would need to copy the shortened URL into Tweet Later that can schedule tweets.

PeopleBrowsr – I like Tweet Deck, but I tend to like web browser based apps over stand along applications. When I discovered PeopleBrowsr I knew I had found my favourite Twitter client. It is not for everyone, but if you like Tweet Deck then you should give PeopleBrowsr a try. All you will need as a decent browser, like Firefox, Safari or Chrome.

TwitterFeed – He talks about Twitterfeed, which is a great service to automatically tweet your latest blog posts, the professional version of Tweet Later offers a similar service. You can use Twitterfeed to automatically tweet more than just your blog posts, you can set it up to automatically tweet any RSS feed. Every Twitter account creates an RSS feed, so in theory you could automatically retweet tweets from other Twitter users very easily. If you want to get a little more sophisticated run the Twitter feeds through Yahoo Pipes remove tweets you know you don’t want like @ replies and you can in theory automatically retweet as many users as you want on Twitter. Some people might be offended at this idea, so use with caution. I can only see the possibility. It could be useful if you go on hiolidays and actually want to get away from the computer. Sort of like an vacation auto responder.

There are lots of ways to use Twitter to market your website. I know some people will be offended by how Guy Kawasaki uses it, but I can see how some of these methods are worth trying. I think the trick is to actually be available to people when they do tweet you so your Twitter account is not just a mindless robot. There needs to be a person still behind the account no matter how you use Twitter.

Let the games begin! Do you think Guy Kawasaki’s use of Twitter is over the top? Spammy? Wrong? Right? What do you think?

Show Your Tweets on Digg and StumbleUpon

TwitterTag on my Digg Profile
If you are like me, you have accounts at many of the different social media sites like Digg and StumbleUpon and of course you have a Twitter account . Wouldn’t it be great if you could show visitors to your various user profiles your latest tweet, only problem is that the official Twitter badges are flash and javascript so you can’t just add them to most profile pages. That is where TwitterTag comes in handy.

I was recently updating my Digg and StumbleUpon and thought it would be great to let people know that they can also follow me on Twitter. Sure links to my Twitter profile are great but I wanted to show people what my latest tweet was. Just by chance I thought I would try adding a TwitterTag to my profile pages and see what happened. Sure enough I saved my profiles and the TwitterTag image instantly appeared showing my latest tweet to all that visit my Digg and StumbleUpon profiles.

If you want to add your latest tweet to Digg and StumbleUpon simply visit TwitterTag, enter your Twitter username, set the colors and the size of TwitterTag you want to create and create Generate. Copy the HTML link and image code that is displayed. Go to your Digg and StumbleUpon profiles and paste the code in the About You sections to update your profile and save. Magically the TwitterTag will appear and show your latest tweets when you tweet. There might be a slight delay in the updating because TwitterTag caches your latest tweet for a little while.

There might be other social media profiles that you can do this with as well, but these are the two that I have recently updated and tried. If you know of others leave a comment and a link so we can all add our latest tweets to them as well. Using TwitterTag to help promote your Twitter profile on your other social media profiles is an excellent way to let people know about your Twitter account and to gain more followers.

DiggBar – Create Easy Short URL’s

While I am not a huge fan of Digg, I have been playing with the new DiggBar that was released today and I can see it becoming popular. The bar itself does not require an installation, and makes it easy for people to shorten URL’s for Twitter and if the page had already been submitted to Digg then you can Digg it up easily. In many ways the bar reminds me of the web version of StumbleUpon with the added bonus that you can shorten the URL.

The random button will take you to another URL that has been submitted to Digg. If you are logged into Digg you can Digg the story up or bury it. It makes Digg as easy to use as StumbleUpon, which should be good for Digg. It might even help Digger’s to actually read the pages before the Digg them or Bury them. I could see myself using the DiggBar occasionally to just check what is popular on Digg without having to visit the Digg site because there are no ads that open without clicking, yet.

The thing I do like best about the DiggBar is how you create a short URL. Just type in front of the URL in your address bar and it is magically transformed into a short URL that you can use on Twitter. It is a simple thing that makes me wonder why other URL shortener services have not picked up on yet. I am sure it will be one the list of many soon.

Here is demo product video showing you all the features.

DiggBar from Kevin Rose on Vimeo.

So what do you think, will you start using the DiggBar to shorten your URL’s for Twitter and sharing on Facebook? Will you start using the DiggBar instead of StumbleUpon?