Earlier today I thought I’d try out Inoreader’s Twitter integration and subscribe to some of my twitter lists using that instead of importing feeds directly from outside services. (I’ve been a big fan of using Ryan Barrett’s Twitter-Atom and related tools.) One of the things that had always bothered me about third party RSS feeds into most feed readers is that the author of the post is in such tiny text and there is no avatar indicator of who wrote the post. As a result I’m stuck spending a lot more cognitive load trying to discern the author of a tweet before or after reading it. It just boils down to less than optimal user interface.
Fortunately Inoreader seems to have a slightly better method for doing this (since they control the user interface and are presumably using the Twitter API). Within their reader, Tweets look a tad bit more standard with respect to the usual Twitter client and include an avatar and the name of the author in larger font. Sadly, though they have control over the UI, they’re still including a bolded version of the the text of the tweet as a title and thereby needlessly duplicating some of the content. It would be far better for notes, status updates and other content that typically doesn’t have (or need) a title if they would simply just leave it out. They could then use the extra space to have a larger font for reading the short status update. In fact, most of the IndieWeb-based feeds I read in Inoreader have these unnecessary titles included which typically not only look bad from a UI perspective, but they again needlessly duplicate content I don’t need.
Below I’m including screenshots of the two different methods of reading Tweets via Inoreader. I’m also including a screenshot of how Tweets look like in Monocle when fed in via the same Atom feed that was used in the Inoreader case. In Monocle’s version, it’s got a nice larger and easier to discern author name, but it too is missing the author photo (or avatar), in part because the feed doesn’t include it as a default. I suspect that if the feed included it, Monocle would display it properly though the Inoreader version probably wouldn’t. The Monocle version also includes a copy of the photo in the Tweet twice because the feed adds it in a second time as an enclosure.
For completeness, I’m including the text of the Atom feed for this particular tweet so that we can see what is or isn’t being included in the Inoreader and Monocle versions.
<entry> <author> <activity:object-type>http://activitystrea.ms/schema/1.0/person</activity:object-type> <uri>https://twitter.com/BigHistoryPro</uri> <name>Big History Project</name> </author> <activity:object-type>http://activitystrea.ms/schema/1.0/note</activity:object-type> <id>https://twitter.com/BigHistoryPro/status/1195385992728985600</id> <title>In an ideal world, you’d have 1-on-1 time with every student to discuss every...</title> <content type="xhtml"> <div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"> In an ideal world, you’d have 1-on-1 time with every student to discuss every aspect of every writing assignment. With BHP score, you come close. <br /> <a href="https://bh-p.co/2N1xopV">bh-p.co/2N1xopV</a> <p> <a class="link" href="https://twitter.com/BigHistoryPro/status/1195385992728985600"> <img class="u-photo" src="https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EJbdObjXkAQ6QNw.jpg" alt="" /> </a> </p> </div> </content> <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href="https://twitter.com/BigHistoryPro/status/1195385992728985600" /> <link rel="ostatus:conversation" href="https://twitter.com/BigHistoryPro/status/1195385992728985600" /> <link rel="ostatus:attention" href="https://bh-p.co/2N1xopV" /> <link rel="mentioned" href="https://bh-p.co/2N1xopV" /> <activity:verb>http://activitystrea.ms/schema/1.0/post</activity:verb> <published>2019-11-15T17:00:04+00:00</published> <updated>2019-11-15T17:00:04+00:00</updated> <link rel="self" type="application/atom+xml" href="https://twitter.com/BigHistoryPro/status/1195385992728985600" /> <link rel="enclosure" href="https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EJbdObjXkAQ6QNw.jpg" type="image/jpeg" /> </entry>
In sum, I generally like the UI of the Inoreader version, though they could still do with removing the redundant and unnecessary title. The Monocle version is likely the best, but I’d need to find a feed method that also includes the avatar to have a better representation of the original Tweet. Even with these differences, I think I tend to prefer Monocle at the end of the day because it also automatically includes Micropub functionality which means that I can post my reactions (likes, reposts, or comments) directly to my website and syndicate copies directly to Twitter. (This is also in consideration of my previously having set up some separate functionality for forcing Inoreader to allow me to post some of this same sort of data to my website by other means.)
Has anyone found better/prettier or more useful ways of consuming Twitter in third party means while allowing one to own their data?