Tweak Twitter Widget Intel for RSS

Twitter’s fire hose is an aptly named flood of information its users generate.  I’ve been looking at ways to extract tweets using Twitter widgets to have them appear in my RSS reader.  You can use social media tools like Hootsuite but I like a proper RSS tool.

I’ve used widgets before to try to capture keywords that might otherwise be hard to follow.  Labnol’s post on how to create a widget and convert it into an RSS feed using their Google Script makes it pretty easy.  One way I use widgets is to grab conference or topic-related tweets (based on a hashtag) and save them into a Google Docs spreadsheet.

IFTTT will take the RSS widget information and trigger each time a matching tweet occurs.  If I’m just curious about the conference topics, it’s easy to go to the spreadsheet after it’s over and quickly scan (and filter out RTs) the activity.

snip_20151016105156The challenge is stripping out content without filtering too much.  That’s pretty straightforward, if you’re fiddling around with keywords and boolean connectors. One element of noise I have been getting is foreign languages.  For this particular search, I don’t need non-English resources, although I can imagine other times you might.  You can add a NOT language filter to your search to weed these out.

Since I’d created my widget on Twitter and it was already connected for RSS, I can filter out at the Twitter stage.  For example, adding:

[search term] OR [search term]lang:ar

removes tweets written in Arabic.  This reduces the number of tweets that hit my RSS reader.  I can then use my RSS reader’s built-in tools to further manage the posts that are coming in.  Twitter widgets are useful ways for cutting out information and a more advanced search limits the flow before it gets to you.

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.