Can I get Twitter feeds into Google Reader without a feed's posts being bunched together?
January 20, 2011 5:50 PM   Subscribe

Can I get Twitter feeds into Google Reader without a feed's posts being bunched together?

I use Google Reader, and generally like it. But there's one thing I don't like about it: I have a few Twitter feeds in there, and they get "bunched up". That is, for any given Twitter feed, Google Reader will make it seem as if the feed creator published (say) a dozen tweets all at the same instant. They're even marked with the same timestamps.

I like going through "All Feeds" in temporal order, which generally causes consecutive posts to be "shuffled" from different (non-Twitter) feeds. I like this; I do not like seeing many posts in a row from the same feed. But since Google Reader apparently only checks a Twitter feed very infrequently, the posts for any given Twitter feed will come out in a big block, with no other feeds in between. I really don't like that.

Is there a way to get it to check Twitter feeds more frequently? Perhaps a third party tool that I would subscribe to instead of subscribing to a Twitter feed directly?

I'm not really sure that this is due to Google Reader -- perhaps it's due to Twitter itself -- but perhaps there's at least something that would check the Twitter feed's HTML page (which is real time) instead of its RSS, and convert that into an RSS feed or whatever?

In case it matters, I do not have a Twitter account. I am open to making one, if it will somehow improve this within Google Reader, but I don't want to have to follow some things in Google Reader and other things in Twitter directly.
posted by Flunkie to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I think to keep API calls down Twitter only refreshes their RSS feed at specified intervals instead of having it be real-time. Unfortunately this means that any external tool you could employ would be under the same API limitations.
posted by msbutah at 6:01 PM on January 20, 2011


I think to keep API calls down Twitter only refreshes their RSS feed at specified intervals instead of having it be real-time. Unfortunately this means that any external tool you could employ would be under the same API limitations.
Couldn't there be a tool that scrapes a Twitter page's HTML (which, I believe, is real time) and translates that into a feed which I can subscribe to?
posted by Flunkie at 6:03 PM on January 20, 2011


Couldn't there be a tool that scrapes a Twitter page's HTML (which, I believe, is real time) and translates that into a feed which I can subscribe to?

I use Feed43 to create RSS feeds from sites that don't offer them, and I love it. You could easily use a tool like that to scrape the Twitter page of a specific user. (Takes a bit of HTML knowledge, though.) But the free version only updates every 6 hours, and even the paid feed doesn't update more often than every hour.

I use Google Reader for almost every website I want to visit, with the exception of Twitter. I use Echofon for FF instead, updating every three minutes, because I don't think RSS is all that well adapted to something that's updating in real time.
posted by gemmy at 7:30 PM on January 20, 2011


It is Google Reader's fault. Google Reader decides how often to refresh your RSS feeds by looking at how many users are subscribed to those feeds. There is a protocol that is supposed to fix this problem, PubSubHubbub, but Twitter's developers believe that its Streaming API is sufficient.
posted by ccrazy88 at 7:36 PM on January 20, 2011


Google Reader decides how often to refresh your RSS feeds by looking at how many users are subscribed to those feeds.
So then an HTML-to-RSS scraper would, if anything, make the problem worse? Since (likely) less people would subscribe to it than to its associated Twitter feed?
posted by Flunkie at 7:50 PM on January 20, 2011


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