2014-04: my technology list on Twitter

I’m dipping my toes into lists on Twitter again. I have one set up for Technology, and so far it’s been reasonably useful.

In one sense, a Twitter list can be a sort of grouping of RSS feeds into a single page. I can page through a day’s worth in rather short order, getting only headlines with a few featured images along the way.

Bug #1: mobile app support

Of course, there are some downsides. For whatever reason, the default behavior for the mobile client on Android makes lists rather useless, there. Updating a list does not show everything since last time, instead taking the most recent X updates.

In one sense this is a UI problem: in the main feed, it is possible to have a “Load more Tweets” dialog that comes up to load all the items since the last time you had viewed the stream. For whatever reason, that’s not enabled for the lists mechanism. My guess is that their API is split off and they are trying to reduce the number of requests to that service.

Bug #2: mobile web support

Failing with the app, the next thing to try is the mobile website. Sadly, loading this in a mobile browser redirects to mobile.twitter.com, which does not have any of this loaded.

My crazy fix for this is to “request desktop site” before loading that link, which is a bit janky but gets the content loaded.

Final words

For a company with the engineering team as big as they are, it seems odd there are as many bugs with this system. To me, it indicates that they’re trying to get away from lists, and it would surprise me all that much if they deprecated it in the near future.

With that said, it’s fairly useful, and given that it only takes a few noisy feeds to totally wreck my chances of ever getting through my Twitter feed, I hope they keep lists around, and I invite you to check out my attempt. If you have thoughts for other additions, too, do holler out.

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