I often share material on Twitter when I find something interesting. This is the primary purpose of Twitter for me: share and find interesting links. Right now, the process is a bit cumbersome. I have to switch tabs and paste the URL manually. Sometimes I need to also copy the title which means another set of tab-switches. It is not much time, but it adds up in the long run.

Thus, in the spirit of Automate the boring stuff, I wanted to see if I could find a way to speed it up a bit. Essentially, what I need is a pop-up menu or some equivalent so that I can quickly share material and with useful defaults (html title and URL as defaults).

I tried (search results):

  • https://addons.mozilla.org/EN-us/firefox/addon/power-twitter/
    Does not seem to have any effect.
  • https://addons.mozilla.org/EN-us/firefox/addon/twitter-app/
    Useful, but the sidebar hotkey does not work and the menu method of opening it is too slow, and I don’t want it open all the time. Lacks useful defaults.
  • https://addons.mozilla.org/EN-us/firefox/addon/tweetright/?src=search
    Bingo. One button to open the share-link, has both the defaults I want.

Very often, I also share images from the URL in question. Thus, it would be nice with a system such that I could choose which images from the site to use (if any). Facebook has a similar feature when one posts (one can choose the picture for the thumbnail).

While I’m at it, I want to see if Twitter can otherwise be made better. One frequent problem is that I need to search a person’s tweets (often my own) to find something I think or know is there. However, Twitter lacks satisfactory search functionality, so one has to rely on Google custom searches (for instance, to find my tweets about publication bias) or find a better solution. I did not find a better solution.

Items on my wishlist for Twitter

It seems useful to write up functionalities that I want for Twitter.

  • Limit search to one or more users.
    Current workaround involves using Google custom search, but this is not easy to expand to multiple users. For instance, if I know it was a tweet in my feed but don’t know who posted it, I would want to search all tweets from all users that I follow.
  • Filter tweets by type by person.
    Twitter has 3 filters built in: tweets, tweets and replies, and media content. However, their first category actually includes retweets as well and some people post good tweets but retweet a bunch of stuff I don’t care about, thus decreasing the average interestingness of their output that I see. This could be solved by filtering out retweets from those persons, but that is currently not possible.
  • Filter out promotions.
    Get rid of ads. Twitter Inc. itself will not like that idea, but it is useful to me.
  • Relative importance of users.
    Some people post things that are more interesting to me than others. However, Twitter offers only two options: see stuff from that user or don’t see stuff. Facebook has introduced a tiered approach to following people’s updates: normal, see first and close friends (one can also hide stuff from friends while keeping them on the friend list, but this is not very applicable to Twitter).