Traffic alerts via Twitter mashup with optional SMS

As a recent fan of twitter (you can follow me if you like) as a short (read text message length) form of blogging, I was quite interested to spot a blog post from Andy Davies about using twitter to mashup with traffic data feeds. I used his technique, though in a simpler format e.g. I didn’t bother with the Yahoo! Pipes element, to create a traffic alerts feed. As we’re in the Northwest of England, I wanted to use a traffic feed relevant to this locale. To this end, I used the Northwest UK RSS feed from the Highways Agency traffic feed list.

So let’s cut to the chase, how do I do this? In a nutshell: Create a new twitter account; link that to a account (a service that turns RSS feeds into twitter posts) and an RSS feed; then follow in your normal twitter account the new twitter account just created and, if you want text alerts of the data (e.g. when you’re actually travelling round the area), turn on device updates for the following of the new account (assuming you’ve already registered a mobile device for this purpose in your main account).

Then you get new tweets and or text alerts each time there’s a new RSS entry in the source feed. Sweet 🙂

If you want to subscribe to the results for that feed simply skip all the setup above and just follow NWUKTrafficAlrt in your twitter account.