Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Twitter is the coolest, most user-friendly way to keep up with the news of the world, yet sometimes we still over-complicate it. With all of the different accounts and followers and feeds flying around, it can be a little difficult to aggregate news to your individual taste. No method is perfect, but there are a few ways to follow the news on Twitter easily and efficiently.
Fortunately, MakeUseOf is here to bring you the best ways to follow the news on Twitter. In this article, you’ll find the a few in-house features, the best accounts to follow, and a few services to enhance your Twitter experience. Check it out, contribute in the comments, and stay fresh with the world using your new Twitter knowledge.
Check Out Twitter Lists
We’ve discussed Twitter lists and how to use them at length in our article Disappointed To See Google Reader Go? Use Twitter Lists Instead, but I thought I should remind you of this cool function, since it’s really worth your time. In short, Twitter gives users the option to build a list of selected accounts so that they can view them all at once. This list can be designed to showcase related, newsy information.
By building a list that is full to the brim with awesome news resources and powerful journalists, you can have a customized partial Twitter feed that is full to the brim with great information. Furthermore, by using tools like Twitilist, Tweewer, and Flipboard which are covered in the Twitter lists article above, you can always be on top of things that are important to you.
Follow The Top Twitter News Sources
Of course, there’s the question of who to follow and who to add to your Twitter lists. Fortunately for you, I’ve composed a list of a few decent Twitter accounts which will help you find news and get leads to news stories. (Yeah, yeah. You just have to make me do all the work, don’t you?)
- Associated Press
- BBC Breaking News
- BBC World News
- Boing Boing
- Breaking News
- CNN Breaking News
- Fox News
- MakeUseOf (because we rock)
- MIT News
- New York Times
- NPR News
- Reuters Live
- Sky News Newsdesk
- TWC Breaking
- WSJ Breaking News
All of these are fantastic resources for staying updated with world news (and even tech news), and if you want to create a Twitter List full of all of them, have at it. Granted, I’m fully aware that I didn’t hit on everybody’s favorite news sources. There are tons of them out there, so it would literally be impossible for me to create such an awesome directory. With that said, and I usually wait until the end of the article to say this, please leave me links to your favorite news sources in the comments.
For more details on keeping up with the hottest news in the Twittersphere, give The 3 Best Tools To Spot The Latest Twitter Rage a read.
Pay Attention To What’s Trending
Hashtags aren’t there just so you can say #YOLO and make passive aggressive Tweets about your ex, they are actually pretty important. Trends are presented on the left side of your Twitter home page, so when you log in to Twitter, make it a point to check out what’s trending so you can be up to date on everything that’s going on in the world. Wouldn’t it suck if you found out about the zombie apocalypse the hard way?
As a note, current trends are sent out via “tailored trends” which are based on your interests and your surrounding area. You can alter them by clicking the word “change” located near the list on your screen.
Admittedly, not all trends (#TalkAboutYourCrush?) are going to be entirely newsworthy…
Get Notified About Certain Tweets
It’s actually possible to receive Tweets from individuals via text whenever they post something, and you can do this by enabling mobile notifications for users you follow (I do this for my mother. I don’t know why. She Tweets interesting things, maybe?).
It’s pretty easy to do. Just go to the desired Twitter profile, click the person icon, and enable mobile notifications from there. I recommend doing this for only the more valuable Twitter accounts, but bear in mind you could be getting Tweets every half hour if you do this.
Try RSS It For Me
RSS It For Me is a Web service designed exclusively for Twitter which converts existing accounts into a customized RSS feed. This will allow you to pull information from Twitter to your favorite RSS reader. With that said, if you are still at a loss because Google Reader is gone, gone, gone, here are some useful Google Reader alternatives that would help you keep your RSS feeds aloft.
These are just a few of the absolute best ways to follow the news on Twitter, but as always, everyone has their own opinion. While I hope the above ways have helped you quite a bit, I’m sure you have a few of your own outstanding suggestions.
What other ways do you follow the news on Twitter? Do you use any specialized services or apps?
Image Credits: Pile of newspapers Via Shutterstock