Charlie Harvey

Au revoir Twitterfeed. Bonjour RSSTwit.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Twitterfeed’s founder, a chap called Mario. In unnecessarily jolly prose, it announced the demise of the service which turned RSS feeds into Tweets and recommended moving to or Buffer.

We’re writing to let you know that Twitterfeed will be shutting its doors on October 31st, 2016. It’s been one heck of a run and we can’t thank you enough for your loyal usage and support over the years.

Oh great.

Along with the usual social media stuff, I use my Twitter account as a feed merger; taking occasional entries from the feeds of sites which I like and Tweeting them. Twitterfeed had become some essential infrastructure for that job.

Relying on free web services for your tech infrastructure can work remarkably well, but there is always a risk that the service will, like Twitterfeed, go away. I took to Twitter to seek free alternatives to Twitterfeed.

And there were some suggestions, including services like IFTT, and Zapier and programs like RSSToTwitterPy3.

In the end, however, I decided to write my own tool in Haskell. Its called (excitingly) RSSTwit and it implements a number of the features that I liked in Twitterfeed.

You run RSSTwit from the commandline. You add feeds to its database and set some details like how often the feed will be checked, how many Tweets will be sent at a time and some text to prepend and append. Then you can set up a cronjob to run the program in cron mode; that takes care of actually sending the Tweets.

Here is a video demo.

The code is functional now. I am using it in production to send Tweets for me. Naturally there are some features that I want to add, listed on the RSSTwit issue queue but I am generally happy with this first release of the tool.


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