TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library

Tweeting for news-a-holics

Hi, my name is Alon and I'm a news-a-holic.

Lets face it, some of us have addictions, be it alcoholism, nicotine, gambling, over-eating, television, or even just mowing the lawn. Mine is being up to date with the latest news.

Some addictions are worse than others in being self-destructive, and as you already know, identifying and acknowledging you have a problem is the first step. I am also a work-a-holic, so when I realized that having to know the latest news was impacting my workflow, I needed to find a solution.

Luckily, with a little self discipline I was able make a rule and stick with it: "Access to RSS reader is off limits from work laptop". The problem was how to still consume news, with the added bonus of easily sharing interesting articles on Twitter that I come across (I am reading the news anyway, so why not share it).

So, this is what I came up with.

I have been a long fan of RSS, and have a long list of feeds set up in Google Reader, which I now only access from my mobile. When I come across something that is really interesting, I hit "share".

Everything I share in Google Reader appears on my shared items page, which has an RSS feed of its own.

Updating Twitter with an RSS feed is simple thanks to services like twitterfeed. I have also configured twitterfeed to use my bit.ly account (URL shortener) so I can get click-through stats.

Initially I planned on tweaking news items I share according to the stats, but in practice I don't. I don't even checkup on the stats, so I guess its just nice-to-have.

So there you have it:

  • Sites that interest me are fed into Google Reader.
  • Articles that I share appear in my RSS feed.
  • Twitterfeed picks up the RSS feed, shortens the links with bit.ly, and sends them to Twitter.

Do you have an addiction? How do you tweet? Leave a comment!

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Comments

Jeremy's picture

This is really cool Alon

Not sure how I missed this one earlier but just ran across this post the other day. What a cool idea!

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