Twitter threads are the worst. Don’t make them.
…is advice I myself don’t listen to. Neither do you. There’s nothing you can say in a Twitter thread that can’t be said better in a blog post, but something about getting feedback for individual sentences is intoxicating, and just too compelling for us to not do it.
This is great for the person creating the tweet storm, but Twitter is a terrible user interface for actually reading long strings of text. Which is where Spooler comes in.
This tool parses any Twitter thread and puts it together into something resembling a blog post. No RT and Like buttons, no replies from randos, no dateline; just the text you want to read, along with any images or videos included in the thread.
Using the tool is simple. First, find a thread you want to turn into a post.
Find the last post in the thread, then copy the URL by right-clicking the date, then clicking “Copy Link” (or whatever specific wording your browser of choice uses.)
Next, head to Spooler. If it’s your first time using the site, you’ll have to log in using your Twitter account. Once that’s done you can paste your URL.
The tool will take a while to parse things, particularly for very long threads. This has to do with Twitter’s API limits, but eventually you will see the Tweets turned into a collection of text.
This is a lot easier to read, and can be a godsend for long threads. It’s particularly useful if you want to quote a long thread in something you’re writing, because it saves you from having to copy-paste from a bunch of different tweets.
Even better: if a given thread includes images, or links to YouTube videos, all of that will be embedded.
You can even link to the threads you’ve blog-ified, though users need to log into the service in order to see the result. And there are a few downsides, like needing to scroll to the bottom of a thread in order to convert it. You can read the reasons for these and other decision in this blog post about Spooler’s creation, if you’re interested.
If there’s a thread people keep telling you to read, but you can’t be bothered to sort through all the tweets, this is a pretty good tool for the job. It be nice if people would start posting their extended thoughts to blogs again, instead of tweeting them out en masse, this is a decent stopgap solution until that happens (it won’t.)
Photo Credit: Jamie
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