As Twitter continues to grow, many of us are using our network of friends as a filter for news. In many cases, those trusted relationships are beginning to displace RSS readers as news aggregation tools. Of the 280 or so people I’m currently following, most are personal connections or experts in their field.
My usual workflow involves following sources of news in both Twitter and Google Reader (s goog), from where I might retweet links or bookmark them in Delicious. I know merging my RSS sources into my Twitter stream would be too noisy, though I’ve often thought an RSS feed of links from Twitter would be something I would benefit from in my reader.
Enter Readtwit, a simple, free service with a singular purpose: to roll all of the links shared by the people you follow on Twitter into a single RSS feed.
Using Readtwit is simple:
- Sign in with Twitter to register your account.
- Give the service 15-20 seconds to scan through your recent Twitter stream.
- Add the feed to your RSS reader (Google, Newsgator, Netvibes, Bloglines etc.)
- Set up filters to exclude certain users’ links or remove particular hashtags from your feed.
- Choose between summaries of articles or full stories, and set an update interval between 15 minutes and two hours.
Reedtwit helpfully expands shortened URLs to their original source, restoring some structural reliability to the real-time web.
I wasn’t sure if using something like Readtwit would simply duplicate information that was already readily available to me via other sources. However, I’m finding I like having a resilient RSS feed for what can sometimes be fleeting fragments of information that get lost in the noise of a Twitter stream.
Readtwit’s a great solution for those, like me, who are curating or following up on links from Twitter sources almost religiously. I’m not sure how sustainable Readtwit is without an obvious revenue stream — RSS ads in your stream, perhaps? — but for now I’m finding it to be a service I’m gaining value from every day.
How do you make sure you don’t miss any valuable links shared by your Twitter friends?