Twitter is replacing my feed reader

Luc Latulippe's twitter birdsThese twitter birds were created by Luc Latulippe and are available as a free download on his site. Click the image to go there.

Really. I am afraid to hit my feed reader. In the past if I missed a day or two I’d be overwhelmed with the amount of information that fed into my system once I clicked update. And now it’s been ages since I’ve checked my feed reader. I see the link to it right now on my desktop panel and I consistently, consciously, studiously ignore it.

I now read blog posts as I see them announced on twitter, either by the authors themselves – ‘New blog post tweet, tweet, tweet…’ or, more emphatically (not quite the word I am looking for but it will do until I find it), by others referring those in their network to ‘Read a great post about … tweet, tweet, tweet’.

I trust this process way more than the feed reading process. I trust Marcy and Miss Teacha and Linda and Mike and Jacques and Jose and Kevin and John and…. there are so many people who refer me to good posts all the time.

The point is I trust this process over the arbitrary new post count next to the blog title in my reader. I trust this process to point me towards cutting edge, or sometimes just plain amusing, blog posts by people both in and on the edges of my learning network. The post has been read and subsequently reviewed (via the existence of the tweet) by someone I trust to have discriminating judgement or taste or however you want to dice it on subjects educational, or musical, or artistic, or doggy. It is a people centered process. I trust the process because I trust the people who keep it going.

So bye bye feed reader – and the overwhelming nature of it for me, how unnecessary. As long as twitter remains relevant as a space for communication that is how I will get updates on what to read. It suits me just fine.


  • Will I still be able to read you through the RSS link on your site?
    A few of us old folk of the Timex Sinclair generation cannot stomach the limits of Twitter.

    (I hope you still peek at my site now and again–)
    .-= Michael Doyle´s last blog ..Break out the Kool-Aid! =-.

    • Tracy says:

      Oh yes, my feed will remain active! And I will always visit your site, Michael. It is one place where I know that I will read something worth reading on a consistent basis. Thanks for the reminder to do just that right now.

  • Dan Callahan says:

    Twitter works as a solution as long as you keep the number of people you’re following low enough that you can more or less keep track of almost everything the people in your stream are saying, and that you have such an excellent network that always anticipates your needs.

    For better or worse, my network is much too big for me to do that, so I’m strongly dependent on Google Reader for keeping up with blogs. I use Twitter plenty for referrals to interesting blog posts from places I don’t normally visit, but I find it best to use Reader only for those blogs that you never want to miss a post from. If you’re finding Reader overwhelming, maybe you’d be better served by purging a bunch of blogs that you aren’t as interested in following any more. You control the program, it doesn’t control you!
    .-= Dan Callahan´s last blog ..The worst things in the world =-.

    • Tracy says:

      To be honest, I don’t want to spend the time it will take to go through the reader and purge. I definitely miss blog posts but I have come to the conclusion that I do not need to read every single possibly interesting post that is written. Whew – just writing that reduces the sense of information overload that I connect with feed readers!

      I generally find the good posts, the ones that ask important questions, through my network. Maybe the process is serendipitous – the unscientific process itself feeds me a limited amount of possible things to read, limited to when and for how long I am connected to twitter, as well as to who is tweeting at the time.

      Maybe the title is misleading. It’s not that twitter is replacing a feed reader in how it acts, but in how I access and read blog posts.

  • Allison says:

    I totally understand the overwhelming nature of the ‘unread feed count’. However, being quite new to tweeting in general; I have yet to establish my trusted network of informers.

    I have found another (yes, yet another) ‘feed reader’ that is much less overwhelming that either bloglines or google reader because it does not tell me how far behind I am! AND it lets me say what I want to read first and I seem to get through a whole lot more a whole lot more quickly. Check it out if you like:
    .-= Allison´s last blog ..Ok – officially asking for show topics t =-.

    • Tracy says:

      It does sound better than google reader or bloglines which just don’t deal with content very well…but it still lacks the people touch that I like about twitter.

      Of course, I’ve been on twitter for a lot longer than you so my network is pretty solid, though still relatively small (compared to others in my network). I guess I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d rather read a few blog posts that come recommended by people I trust rather than be given a daily list of blog posts to read, or not.

    • Tracy says:

      ps – that’s my sister :) Go check out her crafty blog by clicking her name!

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