Introducing the Twitter enabled Christmas tree. The #xMKETree!
With each mention of the #xMKETree hashtag on Twitter the socially connected Christmas tree will blink its lights. So how did I accomplish this simple task? A mixture of Twitter, a Google script, the wonderful IFTTT service and a Belkin WeMo Switch.
Celebrate the holiday season by triggering my Twitter enabled #Christmas tree. Simply use #xMKETree to blink its lights.
In the past IFTTT was better connected to Twitter and you could set a specific trigger based on a search event. Unfortunately that has changed as Twitter continues to limit information from its API.
That said, there is a work around and it involves creating an RSS feed for Twitter. Unfortunately, the service also dropped support for feeds. But you can generate your own RSS feed with a simple Google script created by Amit Agarwal. (Thank you for sharing your script!)
Creating a RSS Feed for Twitter
Here is a simple, and reliable, way to create an RSS feed by following these four steps.
Create a Twitter Widget by going to Twitter -> Settings -> Widgets. Create a new widget for your intended trigger, in this case I chose a Twitter Search Result.
Once you have created the new widget and published it, you must take note of the Widget ID in the URL.
Your next, and final, step is deploy the script. First go to Publish -> Deploy as Web App and then click on Save New Version.Under Who Has Access to the App set this to Anyone, even Anonymousand finally click on Deploy.
Now that you have deployed the Google script it will generate a unique URL for the RSS application. You will take that URL and append your Twitter Widget ID (from the second step) to the URL. In my case the URL looks like this.
Once you have setup your Belkin WeMo Switch you can create an IFTTT Recipe.
Now that you have setup the RSS feed and your WeMo you can use my IFTTT recipe to trigger the WeMo switch whenever there is a mention of a specific hashtag, in this case #xMKETree, on Twitter.
Twitter Enabled Christmas Tree
Admittedly, this isn’t the most complicated implementation of a social media enabled Christmas tree. That said, I’ve enjoyed treating it as a small project that brings some joy right into my home and connects me with my Twitter friends. I think Kaitlyn sums it up pretty well.
@djenders If only I knew how you made that happen! Everytime a hashtag happens, an #xMKEtree gets its wings. err… something like that.