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You first have to authorise this tool to get some info from Twitter.

Click on this link to acquire the authorisation from Twitter

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Explanation

twitter2opml terminology

Twitter [Wikipedia:] an online social networking service and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters, known as tweets.

OPML [Wikipedia:] (Outline Processor Markup Language) is an XML format for outlines. [..] the most common [use] being to exchange lists of web feeds between web feed aggregators. [..] Support for OPML is available in Mozilla Thunderbird. Google Reader, along with many other RSS reader web sites and applications, can both import and export OPML files of subscriptions.

twitter2opml is a free online tool that generates an OPML file of your Twitter friends (who you follow) and/or followers (who follow you). The OPML file is suitable for import into an RSS aggregator, such as Google Reader.

twitter2opml rationale: Twitter is one big time-ordered but otherwise unstructured list of tweets. For glancing into tweets, this is fine. To structurally read all tweets, this is somewhat cumbersome: one easily misses tweets, or rereads already read tweets; all users mixed up in one list requires quite some concentration. For people who would like to read each and every tweet only once, and per user, reading tweets in an RSS reader like Google Reader might provide some pleasure.

twitter2opml usage

  1. Recommended: use Twitter lists:
    • Create Twitter lists
    • Go to Following (= Friends, who you follow) and add your friends to the lists
  2. Click on the link to grant this tool access to your Twitter account. You will be redirected to Twitter
  3. In Twitter, click the Authorize app button.

    You will be redirected back to this tool
  4. Select what you want to include in the OPML file: friends (who you follow) and/or followers (who follow you)
  5. If you want to exclude from the followers people who are already in the list of friends, select that option
  6. Click Submit and have some patience. The tool will look up your friends and/or followers and generate the OPML file.
  7. Once ready, it presents link to you can click to open/save the OPML file (or right-click and choose save as)
  8. In your RSS reader, import the OPML file. For example in Google Reader:
    • Go to Google Reader (http://http://www.google.com/reader/)
    • Go to Settings (the icon on the right) and click on Reader settings
    • Go to tab Import/Export
    • Click on Choose file (next to Select an OPML file), and select the file you just downloaded from this tool
    • Click Upload
    • You now have one or more new folders in Google Reader:
      • Twitter Friends and/or
      • Twitter Followers and/or
      • Twitter list &st;list name>, for each Twitter list. Example: Twitter list Music
      If you select Show updated, you will only see Twitter accounts with new tweets
    • If you would import them again (now or later),
    • If you want to remove what's been imported (for whatever reason :) do the following:
      • Click on the Folder options and select Unsubscribe from all. All the Twitter accounts are removed from that folder. The folder effectively becomes a so-called Tag. Please wait for Google Reader to finish its task.. Google may encounter difficulty in case of a large number (say more than 100) of subscriptions.
      • Click on the Folder options and select Delete Tag
      • Do not do it the other way around! If you first delete the folder, all Twitter accounts will go to the root of the Subscriptions and you will have much trouble removing them!! You can go to Reader settings, Subscriptions and select Unassigned, but Google Reader has much difficulty removing more than say 100 feeds at once..

    twitter2opml versions

    • v1.0: export Twitter friends, generate proper OPML
    • v2.0: export Twitter friends and followers
    • v3.0 (this version): export Twitter lists
    • v3.1: providing OPML file without storing it
    • v3.2: more configurable elements
    • v4.0: let me know! (below)

    twitter2opml disclaimer

    • If it doen't work (e.g. because of time-outs): please try again..
    • You have to grant this tool access to Twitter
      • This is read-only access. We can not and we do not want to change any of your Twitter settings. Or as Twitter tells you when autorizing:
        • This application will be able to
          • Read Tweets from your timeline [yet the tool will not do that]
          • See who you follow [the tool will do that, and additionally see who follow you]
        • This application will not be able to
          • Follow new people
          • Update your profile
          • Post Tweets for you
          • Access your direct messages
          • See your Twitter password
      • This is one-time only access. We do not access your Twitter account later for whatever reason
      • We do not store any of your Twitter data, except for the OPML file for you to download. The OPML file will be removed in due time for privacy reasons. A better method to provide you with the file without storing it will be developed

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