Twitter BlackBird Pie Plugin Review

by Ben Cook on August 7, 2010

Blackbird Pie WordPress Plugin Review

After posting my recap of the Thesis GPL drama, I got a lot of questions about how I incorporated the various tweets I cited.

If you didn’t see the post, I’ll include an example below just to bring you up to speed.

[blackbirdpie id=”20477399126″]

In the past when I wanted to cite a Twitter message, I’d have to copy the text (boring) or take a screen shot. If I wanted to cite an entire conversation on Twitter, it was nearly impossible. Trying to make each screen shot the same size & shape was incredibly time consuming and I almost never got it right anyway.

So, when Leland from ThemeLab tweeted about a new plugin to handle tweets, I was pretty eager to try it out.

And as you can see, I wasn’t disappointed.

[blackbirdpie id=”18780211069″]

The plugin, Twitter BlackBird Pie by themergency, uses a short code and automatically pulls in the desired tweet and displays it against the background used by the Twitter member you’re quoting.


Like most plugins these days, installation is only a matter of a few clicks.


Using the plugin is just a little bit more involved. You have to insert a short code of [blackbirdpie id=”N”\ and in place of N insert the ID of the Tweet you’re wanting to quote.

This is where the plugin really stands out from Twitter’s official version of Blackbird Pie. To include just a single tweet, you’d need to copy and past all this code!

this entire mess of code for just one tweet!


The plugin is still in it’s infancy so I can’t be too hard on it. However, there are a couple of issues I’d love to see fixed sometime soon. The most prominent issue is a glitch when trying to use the full URL of a tweet. Although the documentation claims it should work, I never could get the plugin to pull in a tweet using the full URL.

The other issue I’d like to see addressed is the fact that tweets have a built in shelf life. Twitter’s archives only go back so far and eventually the tweets I’m citing in this post will disappear. It should be pointed out this is really a limitation of Twitter’s Blackbird Pie functionality itself, not specific to themergency’s plugin. And, while I’m not quite sure what a possible fix for this issue could be, I suspect support for some sort of Twitter archiving system (TweetBackup perhaps?) would be a step in the right direction.


Despite those two minor issues, I am in love with this plugin. It saves me an untold amount of time, allows users to click links within the tweets I’m quoting, and helps break up the content of my posts. By simply dropping in a quick short code, I can quickly quote a tweet and give my posts added info and a helping of eye candy. What’s not to like?

image source: sashafatcat

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