Goodbye Sidebar Twitter Feed

John Scalzi

A note for the folks who visit the site directly, rather than see these posts via email/RSS feed:

For several years I’ve had a sidebar widget that posted last several tweets here; Athena has one too. However, at the end of the month Twitter is severely restricting access to its API, the process that lets tweets and other information be operable with third-party software. I’ve been informed by WordPress that their Twitter widget is one of the things that will be hamstrung by the new policy. So between now and the end of the month I’ll be taking the widgets down.

Which is fine. Look, if Twitter’s owner wants to be an asshole about the API, and also if he doesn’t want what is essentially free advertising for the service on my own site, that’s literally his business. I’m not going to argue with him about it, nor am I going to bend over backwards to find some way to keep the Twitter feed here. It’s neither worth my time nor my effort. It’s not as if the sidebar needs to be any more cluttered.

So, if you’ve been enjoying having our tweets in the sidebar, sorry, you’ll have to go to Twitter itself for them now. Would I recommend that? Meh. If you’re already on there, sure, follow us. If you’re not, I don’t know that it should be an inducement to start. The new owner has, shall we say, not done wonders with the place.

— JS

18 Comments on “Goodbye Sidebar Twitter Feed”

  1. I am sad to see that go. Following you was one of the reasons I had twitter, although I seldom used it. I could get most of your tweets from here. I wonder how long until one of the various other social media companies “reinvents” twitter and kills off the current iteration.

  2. At the rate Musk’s going, Twitter is going to be a shadow of its former self if it survives at all. Not that that’s a bad thing.

    John, as a side note, do you think it’s even possible to do a good job at policing something like Twitter or Facebook?

  3. You and the sidebar are literally the reason I joined Twitter. I saw your tweets over there, said “Wow he’s even funnier on Twitter than he is here!” and went to the site to see your stuff. Then I wanted to reply to something you’d tweeted and, well.

    Then I quit when he took over, though that was really just the push I needed to do something I’d been thinking about for a long time.

    It is just amazing how short-sighted he’s being.

  4. If, and I realize this is an “if” of a size rivaling the Burj Khalifa, Mastodon takes off well enough, you can use an RSS sidebar widget to show that feed instead. (I’m doing this on my not-a-blog and it works moderately well.)

  5. I’ll miss that widget, as it is my only contact with the twits. Will no one think of the Scamperbeasts!

  6. So, getting your product (tweets by users) out to people in a way that wants them to go to Twitter to see more is bad.

    You know, most successful organizations do the opposite of this.. they want to have teasers (headlines) or partials (e.g. tweets, not replies) out there to draw people to their site.

    This will only make Twitter a less desirable place to post.

  7. I don’t think there is anything that Twitter can do that Substacks can’t do better. The best use for Twitter is to be a pointer to your Substacks account.

    Twitter bites the big pickle.

  8. I started reading this and thought “I don’t remember seeing tweets, unless they were in a post”. I’ve double-checked and can confirm I don’t see a Twitter widget on the site, using Firefox. So won’t miss it ;-)

  9. Maybe it’s time to consider leaving Twitter? Musk is turning it into a fascist megaphone as quickly as he can, and popular people such as yourself are the only reason it remains afloat. Might be worth considering if your values are compatible with propping up a man who wants to do things to the world that he wants to do. I understand you have a big following that you are attached to, but maybe larger things are more important here.

  10. @Sandra Connor — you said what a lot of us are thinking.

    @John Scalzi — yes, this is YOUR forum to use as you see fit. And… that was a pretty heavy-handed response to a comment that many of us are thinking.

  11. @Sandra Connor — you said what a lot of us are thinking.

    @N Near — Appallingly heavy-handed.

  12. N Near & Dan:

    I’m skeptical of your collective mind-reading abilities, and also, don’t recall asking for your opinion, either.

    Additionally, if you don’t like how I choose to run this site, including how I respond to unasked-for advice, you know where the door is.

    If there is any additional confusion on this matter, please see the site disclaimer and comment policy.

  13. It’s funny. I always checked your Twitter sidebar and sometimes followed it, and will miss it, but never subscribed to Twitter; not my thing. I like SpaceX but think Mr. Elon is a world-class asshole and his handling of Twitter has been…unsound.

  14. @N Near and @Dan, on the other hand, OGH merely implied he doesn’t appreciate being leaned on, which seems fair enough.

    Speaking for myself, I decamped for Mastodon ( in November along with the entire rest of the InfoSec community, but never pressure friends to kiss off PayPalpatine’s Hellsite. I figure they’ll do that whenever they’re good and ready.

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