Setting up auto tweets, and more specifically auto DMs, at first seemed like a great luxury. I had even set my own blog up to automatically tweet new posts. As I began to use Twitter more, I found myself eventually canceling my TwitterFeed so I could personalize my posts. It also didn’t seem to make much sense that I would spend 30 minutes writing a blog post and I couldn’t take 5 seconds to Tweet about it.

Now as I began following more people I found myself using multiple means of carrying on conversations. The problem now becomes managing my conversations around direct message spam.

My Solution

The other day I went looking for a solution. Basically what I’ve found is that I can access my direct message stream via the following URL:

http://username:password@twitter.com/direct_messages.rss

Note: The Twitter API needs a username and password to access your direct messages.

With this you can do whatever you please. An easy solution for me was to set up a Yahoo Pipes app that filtered my direct message stream.

Twitter DM Filter on Yahoo Pipes

From here I could choose to have the recent messages sent to my cell phone, google reader, e-mail, etc. The only problem I had was with the email alerts. It wouldn’t receive my messages until hours after they had been sent to me. I am open to suggestions as to how this process could be optimized.

What’s Next?

It would be nice if Twitter DMs were treated more like email where you could delete and filter spam. Twitter is still gaining momentum and as the user base increases so could the spam. Auto DMs are no different then telemarketers except I can’t here the 2 second pause after I reply to your Tweet. Why not instead just send a friendly hello and maybe something you noticed in my stream that peaked your interest. Then maybe we will ttalk.

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