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Setting Up Broadcast Accounts (aka Social Media)

Setting Up Broadcast Accounts (aka Social Media)

Broadcast accounts are things like Twitter or Google Buzz, which allow you to send updates and share things with a number of friends or followers over the internet. They allow allow you to keep up with whatever your friends are doing. Unlike email, broadcasting is more like a mail shot out to a group of people at the same time. It's not just text that can be shared, but files, images and video (-if your connection's bandwidth allows)!

Linux has a number of tools to handle broadcast messages, but the default for Ubuntu is Gwibber. Gwibber allows you to define all your social media accounts in one place, then to broadcast out across all of them at the same time. As an example, the next section will show you how to configure Gwibber with a Google Buzz account (-but the principle is the same for the likes of Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, etc).

Setting Up Google Buzz using Gwibber

First, you need to sign into your Google mail (gmail) account via your internet browser. Once there, click on the “Buzz” option in the left hand navbar. Currently, Google have a video explaining what Buzz is and what it can do: view it to make sure that it fits your needs. If you're happy and want to set it up, click on the “Get Started with Buzz” button at the bottom of the right hand pane:

Google Buzz Option

You'll see a screen similar to the following – if all looks good, click “OK”:

Google Buzz Setup

Click on the “Okay” button if you'd like to see a current overview of your subscriptions/followers.

Logout of Google mail and close your browser.

Setting Up the Gwibber Client

Ubuntu ships with Gwibber as it's default Social Media client: to invoke it, click the speech bubble icon in the top left of the Gnome desktop and choose “Broadcast Accounts..”:

Broadcast Accounts Menu Option

Fedora does not supply Gwibber as pre-installed, like Ubuntu, so you will need to install it from the Software Centre first - locate it by typing the string "gwibber" in the search box:

Fedora Application Area Search

Once Gwibber starts, the “Broadcast Accounts” dialogue box displays, choose “Buzz” from the drop-down box, then click the “Add” button:

Add Buzz Account Button

For Buzz, it will then ask you to authorise the account: do this by clicking on the “Authorise” button:

Authorize Buzz Account Button

The Google mail logon page will display: log on using your gmail account details:

Log in to Google Account

You will then see a warning that Gwibber is not affiliated with Google and to only continue if you trust the application: assuming you are using a version of Gwibber installed with your distro – or you installed it from the official Software Centre, it should be fine to click “Grant Access”:

Log in to Google Account

If all went well, you'll see a message saying “Authorization Complete”. If this is the case, just click on the “Close” button. This will have set up your Buzz account. You can repeat the above process for Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc, until you have all your broadcast accounts defined.

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