The online home of John Pollard

Linking Fire Eagle and Twitter

Originally posted on my old MSDN blog

The next stage in my plan to let the whole world know where I am has been to hook up my Fire Eagle location to Twitter, so every time my location changes a Tweet is sent to everyone following me.

I thought for a while about hooking up my code to Twitter using the Twitter API, but then realised there is a much simpler way.

  1. Expose my Fire Eagle location via an RSS feed
  2. Use TwitterFeed to post changes to the feed to my Twitter account

For the RSS feed part, it was relatively simple to adapt my existing code to make my own feed, but there are several existing Fire Eagle services that will do this for you.

Then TwitterFeed – which is a simple but excellent service – does the work of watching the feed for updates, and then posting any changes to my Twitter feed.

All pretty simple in the end.

Some fairly vaguely related thoughts…

1. The power of both Twitter and Fire Eagle are only really exposed by the services and applications that use them. Fire Eagle is designed specifically to work in that way, but my use of Twitter has really taken off since finding applications like TwitterFeed and Tweet Deck.

2. I’m really impressed with the updated Windows Live web sites, and in particular the web activities. It’s great that my tweets are now exposed to my contacts who are much less likely to use Twitter. Although after the work I’ve done above means I don’t really need it, it would be fantastic if Fire Eagle was a future web activity.

3. TwitterFeed used Open ID as it’s authentication scheme, and it was the first time I’d used it. If I didn’t have half an idea what was going on it would have been a very confusing experience. All the talk of “what’s your URL?” didn’t make any sense until I realised I could just go to Yahoo! and use my account there to generate my ID. Definitely wouldn’t have passed the “can your Mom use it?” test.

P.S. If you want to follow me on Twitter, you can at