How to get Songkick Gig alerts via twitter
UPDATE: In the meantime there is a much simpler way to do this, just go to http://kickalert.me to get Songkick Twitter alerts without any setup work!
A little while ago, I set up a service to create RSS feeds for certain songkick events/calendars (see here). This can be useful for many reasons, and if you're using a Feed Reader, you can use these feeds to get notifications of new gigs of your tracked artists/locations in your RSS Reader. I myself don't actually use feed readers any more, so what I really wanted was to get new gig notifications via twitter, since that is my main information channel these days.
Using twitterfeed (disclosure: I'm founder of the service), together with the above-mentioned feeds, this is pretty straightforward. I imagine this may be of interest to other twitter/songkick junkies, so here's a step-by-step "how to" of how I've set this up.
- 1. Get a new twitter account
Although you could post these updates to your own twitter account, what I want here is not actually post these updates for my followers, but for myself, so I registered a new twitter account that I will post the gig notifications to, which I can then follow from my own account. I registered @mygigalert.
- 2. Sign up to twitterfeed.com and create a new feed
Sign up at twitterfeed.com, and when logged in, click the "Create New Feed" button.
Give the feed a name (doesn't matter what, for your own use only), and enter your songkick feed url. For more info on the feed url to use, see the main songkick feed page - it's the "upcoming gigs" feed you want, in the format http://acousti.co/feeds/upcoming/[your-songkick-username]?since=[number-of-hours]. Important note: Twitterfeed doesn't accept empty feeds when you create a new feed, because it needs to check the feed's content in order to confirm it will be able to process it. So in the below example, I use my songkick feed for items added in the last 12 hours - if you see an error when trying to add a feed like this, try and use a larger number (e.g. all items added in last 24 or 48 hours), until there is at least one item in the feed, and twitterfeed says "OK" when you click the "test rss feed" button.
- 3. Tweak the "advanced settings" in twitterfeed
Once you get a "Feed parsed OK" message when clicking "test rss feed", we need to change a few of the advanced options. Click "Advanced Settings", and you'll see a screen like the below. The settings that need changing are:
- select "post up to 5 items" instead of the default "1" (as long as you don't mind receiving multiple tweets when songkick add multiple gigs at the same time)
- under "Post Sorting", change "pubDate" to "GUID", and untick the "Feed is sorted" checkbox. This is because the songkick feeds use the date of the gig as the pubDate, so it makes no sense for twitterfeed to use that element to determine new items.
- (optional) If you want to get a mention everytime your new twitter account posts a songkick update, you can add your twitter name as a post prefix. I chose to do this (adding "@mario"), so every tweet from that account will appear in my "Mentions". If you're happy just to follow the account, and don't want it to @ mention you all the time, you can leave this blank.
- (optional) Add a post suffix, in my case I add the "#songkick" hashtag. This is entirely up to you.
- (optional) If you have your own bit.ly account, add your own API info under "bit.ly settings"
Once that's done, click on "Continue to Step 2"
- 4. Authorise your new twitter account
In Step 2, click on the "Twitter" link under "Available Services", then on the next screen click the large blue "Authenticate Twitter Using OAuth" button.
This takes you to twitter's OAuth page, which will ask "Authorize twitterfeed to use your account?". Click "Authorize app" (if already signed into twitter, make sure this is the account you want to post to, if not, sign out via the link at the top left of the page).
You will then be returned to twitterfeed, where you need to click on "Create Service" in order for the new service to be created.
On the following page, click "All Done!", and you'll see a confirmation message like the below:
- 5. Enjoy your Songkick alerts on twitter!
That's all! You should now get notifications whenever there's a new gig of a band/location you're tracking on Songkick. Here's how this looks for me in TweetDeck, or take a look at the account itself at http://twitter.com/mygigalert.
© Mario Menti -- tweet me with any suggestions! | acousti.co