Been a while since I posted anything here – was prompted to do so by the beta launch of Twurly, built by Darren Greaves. I’ve a deep-seated love of those tools which do something simple, elegant and useful… and a strong dislike for those which get overblown. In the case of Twurly, it does one thing: it delivers a daily digest of the links that appear in your Twitter stream, via email.
It’s about the simplest sign-up process possible:
- Click to sign up
- Click to authorise Twitter
- Add your email address
- Click the confirmation link in the email that comes through
So why bother? You can just read Twitter, surely? Well yes. However, I follow a fair number of people, and see a fair number of links coming through. It’s my main, most trusted source of news (since I curate who I follow to make sure I get the mix of news I most need). However, some days I don’t get to spend much time surfing through. Other days, I might miss things I really should have spotted. Twurly helps. It grabs the links (ignores all other tweets). Then it unwraps any shorteners or link jumps to get to the source, grabs the accurate headline and starts to compile the digest. It also has a processor of some kind in there, which assigns what it calls a “readability score”. I don’t know quite what’s going on here, but from what I can tell, it does a decent job of dumping the dross and keeping the decent articles.
The daily digest email just a minute to scan through (it caps at the top 50 links). Any headline that catches my eye, I can click straight through to the original story – but more interestingly, any link that’s been shared by multiple people stands out. Twurly lets me know not just that a link was shared, but by who. Just shared by one person? Sure, that might be interesting. Same thing shared by six people in my stream? OK, that’s probably important news or great content that I really don’t want to miss.
If I get the curation of my stream right, this essentially prioritises my catch-up reading. Lightbulb moment, right there!