Jake LaCaze

twitter

Ducks at Grapevine Lake #essays #tutorials #socialmedia #twitter

My strategy for using Twitter in 2021 means using twitter.com and Twitter's official apps as little as possible. Instead, I rely on a couple third-party apps and services for a better experience: NetNewsWire and micro.blog.

If you've never considered using anything other than Twitter's official offerings, you may be asking why anyone would do such a thing. I'll give a couple reasons below.

That damn timeline

You never know what tweets Twitter's algorithm will throw at you if you stick with the default Home option for your timeline.

Screenshot of Twitter's timeline options

Sure, you can opt to view latest tweets first for a chronological view, but I can't help questioning the setting's consistency when old tweets reappear in my timeline. Also, the timeline view seems to reset to the default Home option from time to time. And then there are those damn ads that pop in and confuse you.

Enter NetNewsWire, a free RSS reader for Mac and iOS.

In addition to subscribing to your favorite blog feeds, NetNewsWire can connect to your Twitter account and provide a feed of tweets from the accounts you follow. Tweets are mostly in reverse chronological order, though I have noticed some threads do get out of order. But I'll blame that on the tweeters since any thread over three tweets long should be a blog post anyway.

How much does NetNewsWire cost?

Free. Simple as that. Though, as previously noted, this app is only for Mac and iOS.

Getting sucked into the abyss of tweets

You get on Twitter to post one thing. You glance at your timeline. You look up and three hours have passed.

This is where micro.blog comes in.

micro.blog is a Twitter alternative that allows you to microblog (and also blog longform) from your own domain.

Connect your Twitter account and you can cross-post to your Twitter timeline. I especially like that micro.blog allows you to cross-post from multiple external RSS feeds, so micro.blog is my hub for cross-posting my blogs to Twitter.

Because things tend to be slower on micro.blog, there are fewer opportunities to get sucked into a rabbit hole. So I can post, check in on micro.blog, and then go on my merry way.

How much does micro.blog cost?

micro.blog offers three tiers for individuals: – free – $5 a month – $10 a month (includes podcast hosting)

micro.blog also offers a Teams option for $20 a month.

A better Twitter experience

In short, NetNewsWire and micro.blog combine to create a Twitter experience that works for me. While I wouldn't subscribe to micro.blog only for the option to cross-post to Twitter, I do feel that the option adds value to my subscription.

On the other hand, at the low, low cost of free, NetNewsWire is worth the cost of a download, and more.