Connecting Pocket to Twitter on your iPhone

Please note the addendum to this hack at the bottom of the post.


With the latest Twitter for iPhone update, I lost the ability to Pocket.

For me, this change is a major disruption to my workflow. I scan Twitter throughout the day for headlines and links of interest, and when I happen upon something that I don’t have time to read, I send it to Pocket, a handy read-it-later app like Instapaper.

It used to be easy: Hold your thumb on the tweet to get a contextual menu, choose “Save to Pocket,” and boom, it’s saved.

Not anymore.

Now, when I hold my thumb over a tweet, I get these options:

Pocket1No more “Save to Pocket.”

But all is not lost. Click on that “Share via…” link. You’ll get a new menu.

Pocket5Hmmmm. No Pocket option. Fret not.

Click on the “More” option in the top row, and you’ll get a list of apps (or “activities”) you can add. Trello and Evernote are also available here, which is nice. Choose Pocket.

Pocket4Now, the next time you choose “Share via…,” you’ll have the option available.

Pocket6And when you click on “Pocket,” you get the satisfying dialogue response:


Update: There’s a slight problem with this solution. It saves the URL to the tweet, not the actual article. If you want the article itself, you have to click on the tweet and then save it to Pocket.

Be your own follower: Turning an RSS feed into a Twitter buddy

My first instinct after discovering a thought-provoking blog is to follow the author on Twitter — unless he or she isn’t on Twitter.

Yes, I know. Not on Twitter?! Are you serious? Unfortunately, not everyone shares my love of the social medium.

These days, I scroll through Twitter much more often than the mass of RSS feeds in my Google Reader. Twitter has become my primary source for news and information.

But there’s a solution to this conundrum: Create your own Twitter stream of non-tweeters using their RSS feeds.

Here’s how:

1. First, set up a new Twitter account to serve as the delivery stream for your feeds. (I created an account with the brilliantly creative moniker @grovesfeeds.)

Twitterfeed2. Sign up for a feed-delivery service such as Twitterfeed, which feeds RSS streams into your Twitter account. A variety of services offer this functionality; I use Twitterfeed because it’s free, easy to use, and allows you to add prefixes and suffixes to posts. Twitterfeed also lets you time your posts so you don’t get a flood of tweets crowding your Twitter stream.

3. Link your feeder account to your new Twitter account so it can automatically post new links.

4. When you find a Twitterless blog, search for the site’s RSS feed. When you click on the link, it will take you to a feed page. Copy this link from the address bar.

The RSS link on Poynter's Mobile Media site


5. Paste the URL of the feed into your Twitterfeed account. You can access features such as update frequency and post prefixes by clicking on the arrow by “Advanced Settings.”

6. Once you’ve entered the feed, proceed to the “Publishing Services” step, and choose Twitter.

7. Check your Twitter account to make sure the feed is appearing in the stream.

Thus far, I’ve added five feeds to my @grovesfeeds account. I get the added bonus of knowing most of these links are clickworthy because I’ve personally selected these feeds for delivery.

The most powerful tweet in the world: Chuck Norris, the iPhone 4 and @ceoSteveJobs

Most tweets exist in the Twittersphere for a few hours. They enter followers’ streams with dozens of others, soon to be cleared out by the latest links, thoughts, and observations of other Twitterers.

Some may last a bit longer in the form of retweets. But a rare few survive for weeks as retweeted retweets, restatements, and reiterations.

Such was the case with a recent tweet about Chuck Norris and the iPhone 4.

I first saw this tweet a couple of weeks ago as a retweet of the parody account @ceoSteveJobs, who tweeted on Aug. 10:

The tweet had the right mix of timeliness, humor, and universality, three critical criteria for anything to go viral.

A strange thing then began to happen. I noticed people began appropriating this tweet as their own, without giving credit. I saw it in my stream as “original” content. I also noticed it among self-proclaimed tech gurus.

I’m sure such repetition happens often on Twitter, but here, the Twittersphere began policing itself. People challenged the copiers and demanded that they give credit through retweeting or the “via” tag.

Bartlett responded with a tweet explaining he had overheard the comment from a friend and tweeted it.

Like a Chuck Norris action hero, the tweet kept on going as aggregators embraced the meme, again without sourcing the original tweet.

Then, like the old game of Telephone, the tweet began to morph into new iterations. People with dozens of followers tweaked the words, and the tweet began life anew in retweet after retweet.

@davidrisley posted this form on Aug. 18, a full week after @ceoSteveJobs:

A couple of days later, it spread in other languages, to other countries.

By this point, I became curious how long a tweet could linger. I’ve been on Twitter for almost three years, and I can’t remember a tweet with such a long lifespan. So I began digging.

Lo and behold, @ceoSteveJobs was not the original creator.

I found a tweet from June 25 crafted by @vowe, a consultant and systems architect from Darmstadt, Germany, with more than 1,600 followers. His tweet had been retweeted more than 100 times.

Is it the original most powerful tweet? Only the Twittersphere knows.

(Note: This post focuses on tweets surviving in real time on Twitter proper. Some do live on for months and years in web archives and leaderboard-type sites such as Favstar.)

Jay Rosen: A lesson in transparent humility

NYU professor and blogger Jay Rosen is well-known and recognized in journalistic circles for his work and thoughts on public journalism, new media, and democracy.

He is also a prolific Twitterer (@jayrosen_nyu) with more than 35,000 followers.

Today, he showcased one of the primary — and these days, underappreciated — journalistic virtues on Twitter: humility.

In this age of punditry, the assertion has become the rhetorical tool of choice. No longer is discussion prized; instead, it’s whether you “win” by talking over the other panelists. If you admit ignorance, you lose.

So color me surprised when Rosen posted a simple query about the World Cup:

Jay Rosen World Cup tweet

My guess is many non-soccer fans have asked this same question (full disclosure: I have wondered about this issue myself). In this case, Rosen did as great journalists past have done.

He asked the question without fear.

From many corners came raised eyebrows and howls. And instead of cowering, he again did what any self-respecting journalist should do: He shared the comments with his followers.

Here’s the full rundown from his stream:

  • Okay, who wants to hear the top answers from my Twitter subscribers to my question about why there are so few goals in international soccer?
  • Okay, here we go… top answers from my subscribers to 1.) The teams haven’t played together (me: and the defense has?)
  • Top answers to 2.) At higher levels of skill, the defenses are WAY better. (Me: uh, this just re-states the question.)
  • Top answers to 3.) Because scoring goals is HARD, you soccer moron. (Me: whereas preventing goals is easier? But why?)
  • Top answers to 4.) Why do you need an article? Just watch the game and you will see (Unstated: you moron!)
  • Top answers to 5.) “OMG, the Americans are trying to understand football. Don’t, just… don’t.” (You morons!)
  • Top answers to 6.) Because goals basically come from screw-ups and at this level there are fewer screw-ups. (Me: hmmm.)
  • Top answers to 7.) Tactical decision to play a certain (cautious) style, popularized by Italy. (Me: okay, makes sense.)
  • Top answers to 8.) You are insulting the beauty of the game by asking that question, and no I don’t have a URL for you.
  • Okay, the storm has passed. That concludes my review of the answers I received to my (sincere!) question about goal scoring in int’l soccer.

That exchange is a model more journalists should emulate. Be humble. Be transparent. And for God’s sake, ask the question without fear.

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

The rule of engagement: Be authentic

Confession: I am an Internet idealist.

I first started using the medium in 1993, when Gopher was cutting edge and people used Lynx browsers to explore the World Wide Web. Back then, people shared information via newsgroups and listservs, and swapped shareware at FTP sites. It was a communal era, before the dot-com gold rush struck.

In many ways, we are at a similar point with social media.

Most of these sites began as a way to connect and build communities around shared interests. Few worried about returns on investment or social-media strategies. Now, the prospectors are flooding the social space.

Unfortunately, many are missing one key element when they “get on Facebook” or “jump into Twitter”: authenticity.

It isn’t about amassing a huge number of followers or friends, which can raise its own issues. It’s about being transparent and honest, engaging with community members on their terms.

Since 2008, I’ve spent many hours — probably too many, by my wife’s accounting — on Twitter, learning the ways of the Twitterverse and trying to understand the whys and hows of engagement.

Over that time, I have developed a framework for thinking about authenticity and levels of engagement on Twitter:

I see connectivity as a deeper, more emotional communication need than information. And two-way communication — conversation — establishes a greater sense of engagement than one-way communication, or lecturing. (For more on the importance of conversation in the new-media environment, check out the excellent Journalism as a Conversation blog).

  • Level I: One-way, information. These are the tweet blasts: “Hey, folks, I’m on Twitter. Here’s my random tidbit. Take it or leave it.” In some cases, these can be useful. I love @nytimes for my news. But the account ignores my @replies and has no interest in following little ol’ me.
  • Level II: One-way, connectivity. These are the links that provide value beyond self-promotion, the ones that tell your followers, “This is for your benefit.” Think @amazonmp3 with daily download specials or @Twitter_Tips with links to sharp commentary about the medium.
  • Level III: Two-way, information. Retweeting is a deeper form of engagement than mere links. It says, “I’m listening to you, and I think what you say is valuable.”
  • Level IV: Two-way, connectivity. @replies and direct messages are Twitter conversations that inspire the deepest level of engagement. It shows you are actively participating in the community and acknowledge the value of the communal conversation.

Reaching Level IV is no small task. It takes time, dedication, and most of all, a willingness to open yourself up to the Twitterverse, accepting of its praise and its criticism.