Tweetable Leaps Over the Great Firewall of China

I just installed Tweetable as a WordPress plugin for this blog, mostly to display my tweets to the right in a more useful and attractive configuration than a simple HTML solution provides.

What I have received is a far greater boon: I can tweet from inside China without having to turn on a VPN.

Tweetable installs a module inside the WordPress dashboard that allows the admin to track searches (such as for my own blog) and view your Twitterstream.  You can also post tweets from inside Tweetable.  This is a nice feature of course, but such things are usually useless from inside China since the Golden Shield blocks everything that is directly populated from Twitter.  I’m not a Web wizard but I guess the reason that my old HTML solution for displaying tweets worked is because my Web server is in the US, and the PHP to translate that to HTML all occurs within the US, so when the data comes over to China it’s just so much text – not recognizable as coming from Twitter.

I had to activate the plugin with a VPN on, since part of the process requires interacting with the Twitter applications service.  Once all that was finished, I tweeted with Tweetable while the VPN was on, then turned it off.

I noticed however that when I reloaded the module’s page – while the VPN was off – it still displayed my Twitterstream.  Again, this normally does not happen – especially in this case since the Tweets come straight from the Twitter service and aren’t just served as HTML.  This heartened me.  If this module will pull straight from Twitter, I thought, perhaps it will let me post to Twitter as well?

The VPN still deactivated, I tweeted once more to test and Tweetable recorded that I had posted.  Before I popped the champagne however I refreshed my home page to see if the tweet had been recorded.  Behold, it had!  Rejoice!

Now I can tweet just by logging into my WordPress dashboard, without having to switch on and off a VPN.  Let this spread to the four corners: if you are one of the oppressed, server space in the Free Lands and a WordPress installation are your allies!

By Preston

Agent of Change, Former of Entropy, Seeker of a Stateless World.

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