David Warlick Ryann Warlick Martin Warlick
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Feeding Your Interests from Twitter

To me, one of the best and most potent aspects of the whole Web 2.0 revolution was RSS, a fairly simple technique of, as I often say, “training the information to find you.”

I’m not sure why, but RSS seems to be disappearing. Actually it’s not disappearing as much as it is going covert. The reason is APPs, those useful little programs we download on our phones, tablets and PCs designed to make certain aspects of navigating the info-verse almost effortless – just a few clicks and absolutely no acronyms.

Anyway, a long time ago, Twitter stopped offering RSS feeds for Twitter searches – and other search engines that did offer feeds either disappeared, extinguished the feature (like Twitter.com) or started charging – which is the case with Topsey, the service I’ve been using, demonstrating and wrote about in Cultivating Your Personal Learning Network.

So I searched and searched, and found some interesting w20 tools, such as this, this and this. But the best solution that I could come up with was a backdoor hack to get Twitter to send you the feeds. It’s easy, but not something you can easily remember how to do. But since its the only way I could find, I’m blogging it here, mostly for the sake of attendees of my PLN presentations (two coming up this next week) and readers of Cultivating Your Personal Learning Network.

It goes like this.

  1. Go to Twitter and type your search query. I’m searching for tweets with the tags #edtech and #byod.
  2. When the list of hits arrives, select and copy the URL from the address box. Something like this:
  3. Now here’s the interesting part. Paste the URL in a text processor, something you can paste and type into, and then add the parts highlighted and colored red below:
  4. This URL can be used with most RSS readers, even iGoogle. Here’s the feed block in an iGoogle page – the latest three tweets with #byod and #edtech.


  • http://eskymaclj.blogspot.com/ Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain

    Works like a charm in Google Reader/Chrome. Thanks!!

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  • http://www.stanag6001.com The Military

    Great hack or overpassing if you wish, Though, the question remains: is it legal. Don’t we violate any Twitter policy? I do not want to have my account suddenly blocked.

  • http://www.unhtildebtdouspart.com/ till debt do us part

    Great hack or overpassing if you wish, Though, the question remains: is it legal. Don’t we violate any Twitter policy? I do not want to have my account suddenly blocked.

    • http://blog.idave.us/ David Warlick

      @till debt do us part, it’s a good question, for which I do not have an answer. Personally, I do the same thing with Flipboard, subscribing to RSS feeds of specific hashtag searches (edtech, edchat) and for conference hashtags. I don’t see the difference between Flipboard’s use of Twitters APIs or Topsey’s, for which they are now charging.

      It’s been a while since I read their policy, so I should probably give it a look.

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  • http://allacrosslearning.wordpress.com David D. LaCroix

    Looks like the new API is shutting this door. All the feeds that I set up using this have ceased to update as of 6/11/2013.

    “The Twitter REST API v1 is no longer active. Please migrate to API v1.1.”

Photo taken by Ewan McIntosh in a Taxi in Shanghai

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Books Written

Cultivating Your Personal Learning Network
2nd Edition (2012)

Redefining Literacy 2.0 (2008)
Classroom Blogging
(2007) • Lulu
• Amazon
Raw Materials for the Mind

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