standardization was nice until it interfered with profits

Twitter decided a ton of people were bots today, including me. Turns out that when Twitter decides you’re a bot, it completely flushes your following list. I’m now following absolutely nobody. There’s still people following me and they seem to be seeing my tweets, so I guess that is vaguely good.

And I guess I could try and rebuild the list of who I’m following from scratch – go back through my replies and look at who I was actually talking to, stuff like that – but honestly, that’s more effort than I want to put into Fucking Twitter.

So rather than try to rebuild that on Twitter I decided to see if I could go oldschool and get an RSS reader going. Poke all the people I want to follow and ask if they have accounts elsewhere, plug those into the reader and be free of any one particular site to maintain contact with anyone. And, wow, I sure do miss the days when every social networky site generated an RSS feed (or its descendants) for every account, because nothing does that any more, because why would they ever want to let you see the stuff you’re actually visiting the site to see without interleaving it with as much Highly-Engaging Content and advertisements as possible? Gotta sell those targeted market sectors to anyone with some ad dollars to spare.

There are sites out there that will scrape these advertising spigot hellsites and create feeds, and I guess I’m gonna have to get some of that going – maybe there’s an RSS reader that knows how to do this natively for some sites, who knows, maybe there’s one that talks to a scraping service transparently whenever you paste in a URL, I gotta do some research – but ugh, fuck this whole industry that’s sprung up around letting people share news of what they’re doing without having to set up a website from scratch.

Anyway, if I was following you on Twitter and you feel like your life will be made sadder without me occasionally commenting on the snippets you shared online, then drop a comment here with a bunch of accounts. Or a link to one place where all your accounts are listed – that place for me is is the front of my website.

  1. If you’re looking for a feed reader, Feed on Feeds is pretty easy to install and maintain. I try to keep my fork pretty up-to-date with all the other things people are doing to it although it doesn’t change much.

    Personally I decided to give up on realtime social media (Twitter and Mastodon alike) around a week ago and I gotta say, I do not miss it at all. Except that I don’t have a place that I can post constant status updates about how much I don’t miss being on social media. Life is a closed circle.

  2. I closed my Twitter years ago, and nuked my Facebook last year. I’ve no desire to go back to either of them, and my mental health is definitely better for not going there. Tried Mastodon for a while, but while it doesn’t have the toxic stuff from Twitter I found it still had all the other downsides of that style of news feed.

    Inoreader has a site-scraping feature for places that don’t have RSS feeds, but you need a paid plan to access it.

    Frankly, the only thing more annoying than sites that don’t have RSS feed or have axed on-site comments and told people to go to Facebook or Twitter instead, is seeing loads of articles that are primarily embedded content or screenshots from one or other of the social networks.

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