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Twitter Migration & Networking Tool (for Google Reader) being retired on July 15th, 2013.

02 Jul 2013  |  Tags: , , , , ,

I built this tool (original blog post) in late 2011 to automate the conversion of the bulk of my Google Reader feed subscriptions to Twitter follows. As many of you know, Google Reader was “powered down" on July 1st, 2013.

Screenshot of TMNT

Before Twitter, which is basically a better version of what Google Reader offered (in express 140 character long posts without the need to be tied to a website), people would have blogs to which they would dump plenty of exciting thoughts, images, links, stories, etc.

Nowadays, Twitter provides an “in-between” layer for all of these “updates”. Since all content has to be crammed into the approximate length of an SMS message, it is tremendously easier to read and “skim”.

In the past, Google Reader accounts would be loaded full of feeds collected from all over the web. It became impossible to keep up with them if you had above a certain amount of feeds. Often, accounts would contain “1000+” unread posts. (Google Reader infamously stopped counting at 1000 unread posts, hah!)

This “Twitter Migration & Networking Tool” (or, “T.M.N.T.” for short) that I built scans your Google Reader feeds for URLs, and scans each website. It searches them for linked Twitter accounts, and lists them out for you. It has a very high success rate in finding associated Twitter accounts for your RSS feed subscriptions, and if it fails to find one, it still provides a link to that website for you to check out manually. — Pretty cool, eh?

Actually following the Twitter users’ accounts for websites is voluntary on your part, but this tool takes a great deal of the discovery out of your migration efforts. I remember converting all of my feeds from Google Reader to Twitter in less than 30 minutes back in 2011.

After all of that, I cleared out my Google Reader and began using it to follow just 4 or 5 websites that I would check frequently throughout the day (such as Mac Rumors). This saved me from considerable distraction and prevented me from rereading articles while searching for new ones. — I’ve primarily monitored my Google Reader account through “Reeder”, a Mac App that has alerted me to new stories once per hour via a number-count badge on its Dock icon. It has worked great.

Now that Google Reader is gone, I’ve moved to alternative news readers. ReadKit is a promising Mac App that works on services that rivaled Google Reader. Check it out!

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