I had been following 18 or so twitter users, most of them theoreticians and including the very useful @cstheory feed, by using an RSS feed to integrate them into a stream of 150 or so different frequently-updated web sites that I keep up with through an RSS newsreader. But more recently, twitter has cut off RSS, and has made it only possible to access twitter through their own site or their own apps. (Actually, they made steps towards cutting off RSS over a year ago, but I had been working around that and now the workaround has been cut off too.)

This sort of behavior is not acceptable to me. I do not want to have separate applications or separate bookmarks that I have to check for the updates on each of twitter, tumblr, youtube, blogspot, wordpress, etc. that I wish to follow; I want as many of them as possible in one place. That is exactly what RSS/Atom are for. And, the low signal-to-noise ratio of a lot of the content on twitter (sorry, but it's just not possible to go into much depth in 140 characters, and much of the content there simply provides alternative links to stuff I'd already found elsewhere) means that it's not important enough to me to find an alternative way to read it.

So goodbye, @cstheory, and all the other theory twitterers, and goodbye, twitter.

ETA: False alarm. Twitter is still phasing out rss feeds, and I still think that's a bad thing, but there are still feed urls (different than the ones I had been using) that work for now.



Which RSS reader are you using? The workaround works fine for me on myYahoo.


It's NetNewsWire, but I don't think that's the problem. The RSS feeds I had been using have urls of the form http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/154769981.rss (that's the one for @cstheory; it's not quite the same as the ones in the workaround), and that's what's now giving an error message instead of RSS content. Maybe I should try following the workaround recipe more closely and see whether that works better.

ETA: Tried it and it does seem to work better. So maybe I can limp along reading twitter for a while longer after all. Thanks!


I believe you can still get rss-feeds, apparently at least until March 2013 http://brodiesnotes.blogspot.de/2012/10/has-twitter-killed-rss-feeds-yet.html


Yes, that post describes exactly the problem I was having — the feed url I was using was the older style that no longer works.


What ? you mean you don't follow facebook, twitter, G+, G-reader, myspace, pinterest, reddit, ....?



I do follow G+, but not those other ones. I've tried quite hard to stay away from facebook.

Re reddit, have you been following the big recent blow-up there, where their core values of free speech and preservation of the privacy and pseudo-anonymity of their members have collided with gross violations of the privacy of non-members and site-wide censorship of unfavorable journalism? And where it turns out that, beyond the publically clear subdivision of roles between users, mods, and owners, there is also a secret cabal of super-mods that is dominated by mens-rights activists? There's a long discussion at http://www.metafilter.com/120761/Predditors with details.


I actually don't read reddit. it's too much of a cesspool for me :)


That's the impression I get of it, too, from discussions of it such as this one.


RSS is on the return. In my opinion it is too bad. It is fast simple and easy.


And, there isn't really an alternative (unless you count Atom as being different) as a uniform and standardized way of aggregating updates from different sources.


Wait, what? I just pipe the RSS from http://feedworld.net/toc/ to @cstheory. The RSS is right there at http://feedworld.net/toc/atom.xml if you want to subscribe to it in your RSS reader.


I did not know that. Now that I do, I'll connect directly instead of making the detour through twitter. Thanks!