No more free Twitter updates - can iNat help?

unfortunately i think twitter is, or is soon to be, a total loss. I liked twitter a lot and there were communities on it that were important to me. But it’s completely broken now, the algorithm intentionally sends specifically unwanted things, it’s now impossible to tell which accounts are verified and which are fake, and many of the good people are left. Sad as it is to say it, i don’t think there’s any sense in spending any dev time on twitter, if it even continues to exist it’s going to be useless for years if not forever.

I tried getting into mastodon and i just can’t. it doesn’t keep my attention and the app i have is clunky and the content, while its got good people, doesn’t spread the way it does on twitter. I don’t think it really works as a twitter replacement. I want it to, but i’m not convinced.

I guess for now i’m just on a mostly social media break.


I didn’t have time to look into it, but that’s what I’m afraid of.

edit: My fears are somewhat allayed by the thought they might be sufficiently well-supported by contributors to pay the $100/mo to keep operating the site.

if i’m reading things properly, the basic tier allows 10,000 pulls. how far does that go? will Twitter negotiate an enterprise license for these guys knowing that they drive viewers away from the site (and thus reduce ad revenue)?

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Hmm, true. I didn’t think about the volume they handle being a bit much for rsshub if they’re only on basic. Well, it’s anyone’s guess at this point. My takeaway is that being able to pull tweets off of Twitter in the future is uncertain, so if I invest any further effort into this, it should not be to get Twitter working, but instead to fill in the missing bits as much as I can by other means. That probably means:

  • use the iNat blog atom feed
  • supplement the feed with new observations (sans staff comments) as they appear in the Observation of the Day project

And that’s about it. We end up with an 80% solution that delivers some of the content formerly obtained from Twitter for the time being. I’m inclined to rename our channel from #inat-tweets#inat-social reflecting the move away from Twitter, and just be on the lookout for ways to improve the postings in that channel as time allows.


That would be an interesting study to undertake, but is out of scope for my investigation.

blog.atom instead of blog.json. makes sense.

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You don’t know how many drafts of this post I discarded that expressed similar sentiments about Twitter and what they’re doing to communities that depended on them! It’s truly a shame. But ah well, what can we do? Just doing my best now to serve our community the best I can … if Twitter doesn’t want to be a part of that anymore, I’m not losing any sleep over it.


Less social media = more time out in the field.


The value added by aikaterna’s rss cog is that it deals with stuff like decoding the html-entity-encoded payload of the html format tags (via feedparser) and further parsing the tag contents (e.g. via bs4, finding all the <img> tags) and then outputs it into a nicely formatted Discord embed, formatted with a user-configurable template string.

i don’t usually use social media during times i can be in the field, more when i can’t.


Update: I found and fixed the bug in this cog that made it fail to recognize some images:

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