However, the lack of links to sources as well as the obvious limitations of Twitter mean this idea could be executed much better.
> Not to execute a cool-lean-webscale-startup.
Now you're just attacking a straw man, aren't you? :)
You're right. This would be so much better on app.net.
And before you tell me how I expect to follow Twitter accounts without one of my own, let me tell you that I follow dozens of blogs without having an account in any of them or their platforms.
I think Twitter is absolutely the right way to go on something like this. Your post is even more peculiar since Twitter supports RSS.  Does your reader not support RSS? (Okay, okay, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, since it actually __isn't__ all that obvious that Twitter does support it; I had to Google it myself).
 Here's the one for shit_hn_says: http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/752430234.rss
Add it to Google Reader and enjoy! You don't need a Twitter account, so your major concern should be alleviated at this point.
Your post is even more peculiar since Twitter supports RSS . Does your blog client not support RSS?
It does, I just wasn't aware that Twitter supported RSS, since nowhere in the page (not even in the source) do they link to it. Can one find its URL without doing arcane magic?
That said, the I do agree that Twitter is a decent place to publish these, although it still has the length limit that prevents them from putting links to the comments.
Perhaps, but I think my sarcastic tone was warranted, at least before giving a serious answer. You could have said:
"I don't have a Twitter account. How would I follow something like this?"
Instead, you chose the more snarky:
"Guess what: not everyone has a Twitter account. Freaky, I know."
which takes on an almost condescending tone.
Anyway, I've been annoyed myself with the walled garden approach that many of these social sites are taking. Even Facebook has RSS feeds, but it isn't exactly obvious how to get to them. And Twitter seems to be more and more going towards the route of closing off third-party access. But if you're determined enough (and I realize most people won't be; even my finding of the RSS feed was mostly an intellectual exercise), it does appear possible to satisfy your requirements of using your existing Feed system to keep up to date with Twitter posts without having to have a Twitter account.
But like you, I would also have expected that I could simply put the Twitter URL directly into my Reader and have it auto-discover the RSS feed as most proper implementations do. Sadly, this is not the case, and having to somehow know the internals of the Twitter API as a user and not a developer is incredibly convoluted.
Edit: For posterity, I went ahead and removed the snarkiness. Chain broken.
But my post was itself snarky in response to narcan's "Pro-tip". It's a snark chain!
Your link  referred to a post which specifically said: "Last month, without warning, Facebook and Twitter killed-off access to RSS feeds. With the launch of the new Twitter interface, you could only access RSS feeds on Twitter if you were logged out of your account. Now, it seems you can’t access them at all. [... followed by a work around ...]"
Furthermore, it then goes on to say: "The process doesn’t work in all instances. Google Reader was unable to recognize the RSS feed." But this isn't a true statement, so now the information is actually misleading.
That seems to echo what I've been saying as well. There used to be an obvious way using established practices to access Twitter via RSS that was auto-discoverable by RSS clients and Web browsers. Now there is not. Judging by the number of RSS-related comments generated in this thread alone, it seems like a legitimate gripe, particularly since adding a simple meta tag isn't exactly an onerous burden.
However, I imagine with the advent of the thin-client AJAXification of the entire site, they don't dynamically create meta tags for this purpose (indeed, I'm not even sure if browsers would support this).
At least when I say something unpopular or downright insulting, I still have enough integrity to say it in person instead of through sock puppets - not that I remember ever stooping as low as "narcan" in either form or content, but that's a matter of opinion. Also, when did it become OK to talk like that on HN? It's getting to a point where I don't recognize this place anymore.
But about the content, does it really sound reasonable to you that I don't know how Twitter works? Does it strike you as plausible that my critique about the execution of this idea stems from my inability to understand the follow button?
So ok, you probably don't have a twitter account. Ok, you're one of those people that prefer RSS feeds for everything and you know what? There's nothing wrong with that. I mean you could use the twitter api and get the rss feed for it (http://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_n... would be the one for this particular twitter account) but that's not the reason why you don't like this format.
Apparently the reason you have such reservations for this twitter account is because there's a "lack of context" or "140 chars is too limited". With the lack of context I agree it's a bit of a problem but It's not anything that a simple google search can't find. Plus, in many cases you don't need any context. These quotes can be self contained without knowing when and which thread they were said. These are quotes which are likely to pop up in any HN thread.
As for the "limitations" issue, I don't see the problem. What do you expect? A huge essay on why a quote is silly? As far as I can see, the format that the creator has chosen and has displayed works pretty well. I can't think of anything else that could be added to it or any problems coming from this because of "limitations".
The twitter format doesn't work for you. We see that. That doesn't mean that this is a "poor execution" and that it could be improved. Not everything should be the most perfect execution. Sometimes something as simple as a twitter account works and it's clear that from some of the posts in this thread, that it works fairly well.
Sorry, at the time you posted this I had already taken the 4chan reference out because it was bound to be misunderstood. Let me clarify: 4chan has a bad rep, but its quality is rapidly improving. For example, people are there getting more friendly and helpful, whereas HN seems to be moving in the opposite direction. Even childish "gotcha" type responses are now rewarded by HN moderators.
I do have a Twitter account, but as you probably guessed I don't use it that much. I know about the RSS feed, but that does not address my point. In fact, that's where my disappointment comes from. narcan-style responses seem to work in distorting the subject. My criticism was actually about two things: the lack of source links and the 140 character limit.
> These quotes can be self contained without knowing when and which thread they were said.
That's your opinion and a valid one at that. We disagree, but that's why we have discussion threads.
> The twitter format doesn't work for you. We see that. That doesn't mean that this is a "poor execution" and that it could be improved.
I didn't mean to shit all over the idea. It's good. The quotes are well picked. It's not a startup, I didn't mean to launch into a 10 point critique on execution. It could be improved for users like me, it's perfect as it is for users like yourself. And that's all equally OK, the entire thing was blown way out of proportion.
Btw, this isn't a throw away account, it's just my first comment so it's not as sinister as you're making it out to be.
There should be a higher standard. I'm still operating under the assumption that most of us do not come here to play trollish games of oneupmanship, but instead to exchange ideas and opinions.
Watch for this on ShitHNSays...