Twitter has changed quite a bit lately and some of those changes can make it challenging to follow the live action on the RSNStats data feed. Here are a couple ways you can improve your experience.
With the Twitter app — An OK option
Early in 2023, Twitter unceremoniously ended support for third-party apps like TweetBot, Twitterrific, and Spring. That was too bad; independent software developers had created innovative and, many would say, better ways to interact with Twitter than the Twitter app itself. As things stand, if you want to use a mobile app, it has to be Twitter’s own.
To be honest, the Twitter app is my least favorite way to interact with the service. But if you’re committed to using it, be sure you’re on the “Following” tab, which shows posts from the accounts you follow.
Twitter will do its best to show you the “For You” tab, instead. But that’s an algorithmically chosen, curated view of what you might like, as opposed to the accounts you actually chose to follow.
Sometimes when you open the app it will remember that you were using the “Following” tab, other times it will open to “For You.” It seems clear, “For You” is what Twitter wants you to see, including promoted posts by people paying Twitter money.
With your web browser — A BETTER option
If you read Twitter from its web site using Chrome, Firefox, Safari or some other browser, you will likewise see a “For You” and “Following” tab. Be sure you’re on the “Following” tab in order to see the latest posts from the accounts you follow like RSNStats.
If a web browser is your preferred option for Twitter you may find the extension Tweaks for Twitter by independent developer Jeff Johnson useful. It lets you eliminate a variety of different Twitter annoyances, with options to hide things like “promoted tweets,” and those annoying “you might also like” banners. It also lets you set the “Following” tab as the default for every time you go to Twitter.
Tweaks for Twitter is available for Safari, Chrome, and any Chromium-based browser like Microsoft Edge, Arc, Opera, and Vivaldi. I use it all the time, as well as Jeff’s other fine extension, Stop The Madness.
With TweetDeck — RECOMMENDED option
One of the best ways to go is with Twitter’s own TweetDeck.
TweetDeck used to be a third-party app for you computer but now it’s just a web site run by Twitter. There’s nothing to install and it’s free to use. TweetDeck really is terrific and typically up on one of my screens.
When you go to TweetDeck the first time you’ll have to log in to your Twitter account with your name and password. Then click the “+” button to add a column. Select “User” as the column type and then type in RSNStats to add a column of real-time stats and notes to your display.
Mastodon: A better way — HIGHLY RECOMMENDED option
If you’re tired of Twitter—and who could blame you?—there’s a whole other animal worth checking out. It’s called Mastodon and it has much of what Twitter offers without the annoyances. Better yet, it’s free, it’s not owned by any one entity, and there are no ads or algorithms to push content your way.
RSNStats is on Mastodon right now and it’s great. Like Twitter, you can follow along with your web browser. Unlike Twitter, there are tons of great options for apps to read your Mastodon timeline on your computer or mobile devices.
There are many good guides to learning about Mastodon, but you don’t have to be an expert to sign up for a free account.
On Mastodon, people are identified by a name (like “RSNStats”) and the name of their server. In my case, the server is Opalstack.social, so my full Mastodon identifier is @RSNStats.
There are thousands of Mastodon servers all over the world, some catering to special interests, some more reliable that others. You can use the one I use by clicking here and then clicking “Sign up,” or you can choose a different server. It doesn’t matter because once you have a Mastodon account on one server you can follow any other account on any other server.
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