With Google Reader on its way out, people have been scrambling to find alternatives to get their RSS fix. We’ve even come up with a list of solid alternatives to Google Reader to make sure you aren’t left wondering where to go next. But what if you were to ditch the concept of RSS altogether? You could do that by opting instead to get your news and blog post fix using Twitter lists.
Twitter lists are an awesome way to keep up with content from all over the Web and tweets from all over the world. Whether you’ve put the effort into creating some pretty well organized and handy lists, or want to depend on the countless lists out there created by Twitter’s millions of users – it’s up to you. Either way, plugging Twitter lists into third party services offer users an interesting way to keep up with a lot of varied content.
Why Use Twitter Lists Instead Of RSS?
Before looking at how Twitter lists can replace RSS readers, it’s worth asking the question, why are they a decent alternative? If you’re following a blog or site, you can get all of their content from their RSS feed, but if you follow the people who run those sites, you can get more personal, curated, and varied content. They’ll share not only their best work from their own sites, but other content they found interesting from other sites, so you open yourself up to new discoveries.
Manage Your Twitter Lists
If you’re going to take the long route of creating your own Twitter lists, you probably already know how clunky a process that is when you’re doing it directly within Twitter. Luckily, there are some third party services that make life a little easier when creating lists. Twitilist displays a grid of all the people you follow, and all the lists you’ve created and you can simply add people by dragging and dropping them to the list of your choice.
You can also filter usernames using the in-built search to make it easier to find the tweep you’re looking for. The disadvantage to using Twitilist is that you can’t add people you don’t already follow, which kind of defeats the purpose.
Another way to get your Twitter lists in shape is by using the iOS app, Twst. The slick app allows you not only to add users you already follow, but allows you to actively search for users and add them to your Twitter lists.
Use Tweewer In Your Browser
MakeUseOf staff list, aptly named ‘Staff’.is the easiest way to harness the power of Twitter lists to create a personalized magazine of sorts. The service doesn’t require you to sign up – the only information you’ll need is the username of the tweep whose lists you want to plugin, and the name of the list. So for example, if you wanted to keep up with MakeUseOf’s staff, you could check out the
To plug into to Tweewer, you would enter the following: @makeuseof/staff
Tweewer will then pull up all the tweets from users in that list, and will also give you a way to read the articles shared on Twitter right there in Tweewer. In our experience though, Tweewer didn’t play nice with all sites, MakeUseOf included, and does not allow you to preview photos. You can, however, simply follow the link and open it up in a new window.
Use Flipboard On Your iOS/Android Phone/Tablet
With multiplatform app Flipboard, available for iOS and Android, you can tap into Twitter lists and access them on the go with the slick app. Flipboard, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, allows you to plug into a variety of sources, social networks, blogs and more, to create a personalized magazine based on your interests.
To find out more about Flipboard be sure to check out our Flipboard for iPad review, and Flipboard for Android review.
With Flipboard, the easiest way to keep up with interesting Twitter lists is to either create them yourself, or if you’d rather depend on other people’s lists, just be sure to follow that list on Twitter and it will appear in your Flipboard account, after you’ve connected it to your Twitter account.
Can you think of more ways to use your Twitter lists as an alternative to Google Reader? Let us know in the comments.