Everything I Wish Someone Had Told Me about Using Twitter for News

Settings

First, let’s fuck with some settings. Twitter will use a facebook-like algorithm rather than an instagram-like temporal feed if you let it, so the first thing to do is to go into your account settings and uncheck the box that says “Show me the best tweets first”.

Principles on How and Who to Follow

OK, so now when you go to twitter dot com you’ll see a flow of tweets from the people you follow, in chronological order. This means that if you don’t want to be on twitter 100% of the time (and you don’t), then to get the news from twitter you’ll need to make sure that any news get floated into your feed multiple times.

A snapshot of my feed (4/8/17)

How to Find People to Follow

Once you have a feed going, you’ll want to branch out on your own. I’ve found people to follow in a few ways.

  1. When I read an article I really like on the internet, I click through to the author profile, and if they have a good twitter presence I follow them.
  2. When I see a really great tweet or article retweeted into my timeline, I’ll check out the account and if they’re consistently good, I’ll follow them, especially if they don’t have a huge follower list (because they’re less likely to get retweeted into my feed that way).
  3. If I see someone retweeted into my timeline a lot, I might try following them—although sometimes I find their best stuff finds its way into my timeline, and the boring stuff doesn’t, so I don’t need to follow.
  4. If someone I really like seems to disagree with but consistently and civilly engage with someone, I might give them a follow to broaden the types of views in my feed, which usually broadens the types of news I get as well.
  5. If someone I do follow tends to be more annoying or boring than they are helpful, I am pretty aggressive at unfollowing them.

RTFA (Read the Fucking Article)

Finally, you’re doing this to get news, not to only get analysis. It is thus important to actually click through the links and read the articles that are presented. Having a subscription to The New York Times and The Washington Post is a good idea, as they break a lot of good news and the Post’s opinion columns are pretty good. If you can only do one, do the Post—the opinion section is better, they break most the same news, and if you’re an Amazon Prime subscribe you get 6 free months, and then 40% off after that.

Who to Follow

The following list is in no particular order. Some of the best accounts are towards the bottom. I’ve tried to give you a sense of what each person focuses on or is an expert on, but everyone tweets about everything, that’s the beauty of twitter. Also, my account is at @adrianmryan and I retweet a lot of stuff, and sometimes write articles/tweets about politics and technology.

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Adrian M Ryan

Adrian M Ryan

203 Followers

I write about language, philosophy, literature, technology, and space.