Monday, January 12, 2015 at 10:18 AM

Good RSS from Twitter

Here's a new bit of software for technical people who work in news organizations.

The story

A news org has a flow in Twitter that isn't being reflected in RSS.

I think it's best to use a tool like Radio3 to flow the links to Twitter, Facebook and RSS at the same time. But most news orgs already post directly to Twitter, so if we want their news flow to be part of the open network, we're going to have to help.

The new thing

Here's the new thing: tweetsToRss, an open source Node.js utility that produces good RSS from Twitter.

It's technical. To set it up you have to create an app on, and you have to have a machine somewhere you can run it on. The machine does not have to be a server. If you run it on Heroku it won't cost anything to run.

I included an example of the RSS it generates.


Twitter supported RSS a few years back, but it had to work with Google Reader, and it didn't understand the kind of communication that Twitter did. They insisted on items having both titles and descriptions, but tweets are simpler, by design. Now Google Reader is gone, and Twitter is no longer new. This problem, today, has a solution. So I solved it.


tweetsToRss is a crucial piece of code. It's possible to create an easy-to-use service building on it, but I've just provided, today, a foundation for one. The glue needed to get started. A for-pay service that required no expertise or machine to run the software, might make a good Kickstarter project. I'm thinking about it.

We've got a mail list with lots of good people. If you have a question you can post a comment here, or join us on the list.

Last built: Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 9:08 AM

By Dave Winer, Monday, January 12, 2015 at 10:18 AM. Reallll soooon now...