“Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?” James Chartrand
James from MenwithPens summed Twitter really good. It’s a service that allows users to stay connected with current friends and get connected to more like minded people. As we know, Twitter has picked up the pace in many facets when it comes to our online life. Bloggers have made a gradual move towards microblogging and some people have eliminated their RSS feed readers completely, and embraced Twitter as their new link generator to keep up with current news and posts.
If you have read my previous article on Twitter, you know that I am a ” Twitteroholic”. I love it. But just cause something is so powerful and so widely spread doesn’t mean it can take over everything. And the same goes true when it comes to Twitter replacing RSS feed readers as well. Some people have ruled out the use of feed readers to keep track of their favorite blogs and some still can’t seem to find a way to how Twitter can replace feed readers. In this post let’s analyze some Pros and Cons side by side on using Twitter as a feed reader.
|RSS Feed Readers|
|1. Twitter allows you to share links between your contacts. Your contacts are most probably like minded so the links shared might be something you might enjoy as well. And of course there is certainly the social networking aspect to it.||1. Feed Readers gives you the capability to subscribe and add what you like. There is no networking aspect to it. Think of it as a link vault that only you have access to.|
|2. Links on Twitter are thrown at you. There is no way to organize links that are “tweeted.”And to keep track of every link sent by your contacts, you probably would have to be on Twitter 24/7 which certainly isn’t possible.||2. Links are organized. It’s your vault, your safe. You can organize links the way you please. You can be away from the computer for days and still open your feed reader and find what’s new and what hasn’t been read yet. It is lot more organized and lot more systematic and each person can use it to their desire or taste when it comes to link organization.|
|3. When it comes to Twitter you can catch links as soon as the post is released. Most bloggers send out their links as soon as the post is published. If you are someone who likes to keep on top of information as soon as they are out, Twitter certainly is a godsend gift.||3. This certainly isn’t the case when it comes to feed readers. Most of the times feeds are updated couple hours later after the post is published. For someone who likes to stay on top of their information hunger, this might not be ideal.|
|4. Twitter eliminates the hassle of organizing and managing feeds. There is nothing to manage. A simple click and you are driven to the source of information via the link that is sent to your Twitter stream.||4. With feed readers you have to manage your feeds. It’s time consuming when you have to go through feeds and mark them as read or unread and so on|
|5. Twitter is a social feed reader. It allows you to interact with like minded people and share links that might be of benefit for both – the sender and the receiver.||5. There is nothing social about a feed reader. It’s only you and no body else managing and using it, unless you give someone else to your feed reader. But again, it still doesn’t fulfill the social aspect.|
|6. Using Twitter frequently gives you access to breaking news as soon as it happens. There is an immediacy when it comes to urgency with Twitter.||6. Using Twitter frequently gives you access to breaking news as soon as it happens. There is an immediacy when it comes to urgency with Twitter.|
|7. Twitter certainly has consistency and uptime issues. Lately we can find Twitter down at least 1-3 hours each day between different times. This certainly is a drawback if you are using it at that point in time to get information and news.||7. Most feed readers have been around for a while and there hasn’t been much issues in terms of consistency or uptime. You can log into your account anytime and it would be safe to say that you will be able to catch up on the news and information that you are craving.|
|8. Twitter has become a marketing tool and this certainly allows room for spam. YOU WILL be bombarded with links that might be of no use to you at all. The title or the tweet itself might make you click on the link and direct you to something that might be totally useless.||8. Feed readers isn’t a marketing tool. The feeds in your feed reader are the one’s that you subscribed to. There are no spams or useless feeds to worry about. It’s your choice, your call.|
|9. A link in twitter will take you directly to the the site. I personally prefer looking at a site than a feed because of the images, the design and all that fancy stuff. It’s very appealing to read something on a site rather than reading it through feeds.||9. Feed readers, well they are plain ugly, imho. I find it very unappealing. This might be a guy thing but I am a visual being and what appeals to my eyes, appeals to my brain. This might just be a personal thing but I prefer Twitter over feed reader simply because it takes me directly to the site rather than a feed.|
|10. With Twitter you can send feedbacks immediately to the link sender. Share your views and opinion and become a part of the message itself. It allows everyone to join and collectively voice on something as a group.||10. This certainly isn’t possible with feed readers.|
I had sent out a “ tweet “ on Twitter asking “Can Twitter Replace RSS Feed reader?“
Here are some answers from some Twitter die hard fans:
“I don’t believe that Twitter can replace an RSS reader.” – Thomas, TwisterMc
“Someday, maybe. I still use my feed reader, mainly because there are lots of blogs in my reader that don’t tweet (yet.)” – Bob Younce, Writing Journey
“Twitter provides immediacy from my “inner” social network. Someone tweets a link and I read it.” – Karen D. Swim, Words For Hire
“No because many do not tweet their blog posts. I find feed reader still necessary–but not used as often.” – Michael Martin, Remarkablogger
“Twitter can never replace my feed reader.“ Jon C. Phillips, Freelance Folder
Like I said these are the answers from some of the most active users on Twitter. And although Twitter has helped them become more active in networking, microblogging and marketing among many other things, it seems like feed reader is still their choice when it comes to catching up on news and other information.
Twitter certainly has made life simple in many ways. When it comes to networking and marketing I think Twitter is the best web service out there. But when it comes to replacing a feed reader, I am not sure. May be someday. As for now, Twitter isn’t the way to catch up on links or information, that’s for sure.
Before I end this post I would like to add one more advantage that a feed reader has over Twitter,
Say you launch a new site, and you announce it on your current blog and on Twitter, I’m 100% sure you’ll get more visitors to your new site from the announcement via the feed reader than from Twitter. Of course this depends on your subscriber number. But if you aren’t a popular blogger already or somebody influential, then it’s pretty hard to get noticed on Twitter as well.
Personally, I love the fact that in a feed reader I can organize the feeds I have subscribed to the way I want. I can get to them anytime of day without having to worry about missing an important article or news. At the end of the day, I would rather open a my feed readers to fill myself up with information rather than my Twitter account. What about you? Please share your thoughts and opinion.