Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Twitter: No Usable RSS Feed

Twitter is simple. It lets you do only two things:

  1. Post a 140 character status message.
  2. See the status of the people you are following (to use the right Twitter terminology).
How to do that?
  1. Updating your status must be one of those operations you can do really fast. I don't want to go to a web site for that. I imagine a dashboard widget would work nicely. I tested two (Twitterlex and Twidget). They both are not quite usable. IM is another option, but only GTalk/Jabber is officially supported, and it works only if you have a single Twitter account.
  2. Twitter provides an RSS feed with the updates of those you are following. But you need to be authenticated to read it. So that feed won't work online feed readers, such as Google Reader. Bummer.
What's the opposite of so far so good?

4 comments:

Julien Mercay said...

You can use a user's public field to follow him/her. Granted, it is not a single feed, but it does the trick:


http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/nnnnn.rss

I bet you can have your own aggregator to merge several feeds :)

Alessandro Vernet said...

Julien,

That's right. Unfortunately this doesn't work for those of your "friends" who have a private feed.

Alex

Evan said...

Gtweet.net works very nicely for making your friend feed available for Google Reader, and reformatting it very nicely.

E. (not affiliated)

Alessandro Vernet said...

Evan, thank you for the link. I'll try it out! One other problem I had using Google Reader was caused by the frequency at which Google updates the feed: it wasn't updating the feed often enough and I was loosing messages because of that. Maybe Gtweet resolves the problem by serving more than 20 tweets at a time.