As first appeared in DC Journal
By Aron Solomon
Twitter has been a popular platform for breaking news. It was one of the things that defined Twitter at its peak, the ability to keep you up-to-date on news literally the second that it broke.
But what has, in the eyes of many, broken over the past year or so is Twitter itself. Since Elon Musk’s acquisition, many Twitter users feel that the service has, for lack of a more artful term, become a dumpster fire.
I found myself in that category and, consciously or unconsciously, began to use Twitter much less since the Musk acquisition. As New York lawyer William Cooper observed, “An increasing number of Twitter/X users feel that the platform is no longer honoring their terms of service. What was designed to be a reasonably safe space for a public and global exchange of ideas is no longer seen that way by people who have dramatically reduced their usage or left the platform entirely.”
Recently, after months of reduced Twitter use, as well as an inability to call the platform by its new moniker, I simply left. I have been trying various ways to fill some of the information void I find having left the platform, and the very good news is that if you have decided to leave Twitter, there are other viable ways to stay informed.
Here are some ways to configure Google Alerts and other sites to replace and replicate the news feed that you used to get from scrolling Twitter.
Google Alerts is a free service that sends you email notifications when new content is published online that matches the keywords you specify. To set up Google Alerts, all you have to do is go to google.com/alerts and follow the instructions listed there.
Google News is a personalized news aggregator that delivers news stories based on your interests. You can also use it as an RSS feed reader.
You can use Google Alerts to monitor the web for interesting new content by going to Google Alerts and logging in with your Google account info. Search for a topic at the top, choose the frequency, sources, language, region, and delivery address, and then select “Create Alert.”
Finally, Feedly is an RSS feed reader that allows you to subscribe to websites and blogs and receive updates in one place. I have been experimenting more each week with Feedly since reducing my Twitter usage and then leaving the platform. So far, the free version is fine for me and probably will be for you.
You are limited to three folders in which to organize your feed, so this really isn’t a problem. I named one of mine “Stuff,”’ which means it is the catch-all. Feedly also auto-refreshes 24/7, so if you are saving relevant feeds, you can get what you need and replicate your former information-gathering on Twitter.
There are many more ways than I have covered here to stay informed about breaking news without relying on Twitter. If Elon Musk and what Twitter has become is no longer your cup of tea, it just takes a little creativity to stay up to date with the same topics you did on your former favorite social media platform.
About Aron Solomon
A Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer, Aron Solomon, JD, is the Chief Legal Analyst for Esquire Digital and the Editor-in-Chief for Today’s Esquire. He has taught entrepreneurship at McGill University and the University of Pennsylvania, and was elected to Fastcase 50, recognizing the top 50 legal innovators in the world. Aron has been featured in Forbes, CBS News, CNBC, USA Today, ESPN, TechCrunch, The Hill, BuzzFeed, Fortune, Venture Beat, The Independent, Fortune China, Yahoo!, ABA Journal, Law.com, The Boston Globe, YouTube, NewsBreak, and many other leading publications.