Simon Willison’s Weblog

138 items tagged “twitter”

2021

A museum bot (via) Shawn Graham built a Twitter bot, using R, which tweets out random items from the collection at the Canadian Science and Technology Museum—using a Datasette instance that he’s running based on a CSV export of their collections data. # 5th May 2021, 7:09 pm

2020

Reducing search indexing latency to one second. Really detailed dive into the nuts and bolts of Twitter’s latest iteration of search indexing technology, including a great explanation of skip lists. # 26th June 2020, 5:06 pm

How much can you learn from just two columns?

Derek Willis shared an intriguing dataset this morning: a table showing every Twitter account followed by an official GOP congressional Twitter account.

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Weeknotes: Datasette 0.40, various projects, Dogsheep photos

A new release of Datasette, two new projects and progress towards a Dogsheep photos solution.

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2019

twitter-to-sqlite 0.6, with track and follow. I shipped a new release of my twitter-to-sqlite command-line tool this evening. It now includes experimental features for subscribing to the Twitter streaming API: you can track keywords or follow users and matching Tweets will be written to a SQLite database in real-time as they come in through the API. Since Datasette supports mutable databases now you can run Datasette against the database and run queries against the tweets as they are inserted into the tables. # 6th October 2019, 4:54 am

Weeknotes: ONA19, twitter-to-sqlite, datasette-rure

I’ve decided to start writing weeknotes for the duration of my JSK fellowship. Here goes!

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My Twitter thread collecting behind the scenes content about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. I absolutely loved Spider-Verse, and I’ve been delighted to discover that many of the artists who created the movie are active on Twitter and have been posting all kinds of fascinating material about their creative process. I’ve been collecting examples in this Twitter thread for a couple of months now. They definitely deserved that Oscar. # 25th February 2019, 2:57 pm

2018

Twitter conversation about long-term pre-paid archival storage. I kicked off a conversation on Twitter yesterday about long-time archival storage of web content: “Anyone know of a web hosting provider where I can pay a lump sum of money to host a file at a reliable URL essentially forever? Is this even remotely feasible?”. The thread is really interesting—this is definitely an unsolved problem, and it’s clear that the challenge is more organizational (how do you create an entity that can keep this kind of promise—does it need to be some kind of foundation or trust?) than technical. # 5th November 2018, 6:50 pm

python-twitter/get_access_token.py. Creating an OAuth token for accessing a specific Twitter account is way harder than it needs to be. I was about to write my own command-line script for doing this using PIN-based authentication (where you pop open a browser showing the Twitter login flow, then get a PIN number at the end which you paste back into your script) when I discovered that the python-twitter library already ships with a script to do exactly that. Just run “python get_access_token.py”, paste in your app’s consumer key and secret, follow a link, enter the resulting PIN and the script will spit out the consumer_key / consumer_secret / access_token_key / access_token_secret combo you need to start using the Twitter API. # 28th October 2018, 5:25 pm

How about if, instead of ditching Twitter for Mastodon, we all start blogging and subscribing to each other’s Atom feeds again instead? The original distributed social network could still work pretty well if we actually start using it

@simonw # 18th August 2018, 8:59 pm

If I tweeted a throwaway comment in appreciation for McDonald’s apple pies and some other randos on Twitter happened to also tweet similar thoughts over the last few months, it doesn’t mean by extrapolation that ‘Millennials Can’t Get Enough Of McDonald’s Apple Pies’.  The Twitter search box is not a polling agency and Twitter doesn’t include everybody’s thoughts on everything. Just some people’s thoughts on some things.

Nick Walker # 28th January 2018, 4:18 pm

Analyzing my Twitter followers with Datasette

I decided to do some ad-hoc analsis of my social network on Twitter this afternoon… and since everything is more fun if you bundle it up into a SQLite database and publish it to the internet I performed the analysis using Datasette.

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2017

Early this year, the U.S. intelligence community named RT and Sputnik as implementing state-sponsored Russian efforts to interfere with and disrupt the 2016 Presidential election, which is not something we want on Twitter.

Twitter PublicPolicy # 26th October 2017, 2:38 pm

2014

Why did Twitter move away from being a single-page application?

Twitter is still a single page application, it’s just built properly now (one result of which is that you can’t easily tell).

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2013

What do Twitter and Gawker think of hash-bangs URLs?

As of December 2013 (and potentially much earlier, I don’t have the exact dates) both Twitter and a Gawker have moved away from hash bang URLs, so my guess is they turned out not to be a good idea.

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How do I put my Twitter picture on my company’s about page so that it automatically updates?

This used to be pretty easy, but Twitter made it a lot harder with their APIv1. You need to do authenticated API calls to access their image API now, which means it’s best to set up a cron job and cache the correct URL.

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How did The Voice implement Twitter voting?

You don’t need full firehouse access to implement this—you can use the statuses/filter API to get a feed of tweets that match a specific hash tag: https://dev.twitter.com/docs/api...

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It is posible to send an RSS feed to Twitter geolocalized?

Yes, this is possible using the Twitter API. A competent web programmer should be ale to build this for you in a few hours.

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Why can’t Twitter Web Intent pages be loaded into an iframe?

I imagine this is to discourage clickjacking: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

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Using userstream to listen to events for each user doesn’t seem practicable for an application with thousands of users.

Sounds like you need Site streams: https://dev.twitter.com/docs/str...

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If one were to bring the concept of Twitter to a VC today, would it be invested in, or turned away?

If someone brought just the concept without any form of actual implementation (of something that is pretty easy to prototype) I don’t think they would get very far.

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Does Twitter still care about Tweetdeck?

Anecdotal: I personally know two people who have joined the TweetDeck team at Twitter in the past year. They frequently ship improvements, and seem to be enjoying themselves.

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What are some good examples of tweets used to attract visitors to a new website?

Without knowing what the site does, I’d go for the personal approach: "I just launched my new project, example.com—check it out and let me know what you think!"

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Where is Twitter’s office in London?

Just off Great Portland Street.

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What could be the reason my login with Twitter stopped work in web site?

Yes, there have been breaking changes recently. You need to make sure you are running on Twitter’s API v1.1: https://dev.twitter.com/docs/api...

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2012

Is Twitter using its public api for its own website?

You can use Firebug or the Chrome network inspector to answer this question for yourself. They used to use the API for pretty much all of the site, but I think they’re backing off that a little know heat they serve real pages with real URLs for things like individual profile pages.

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What are the ways to get your links expand in Twitter inline?

This feature is called Twitter Cards - you need to add some metadata to your pages, then apply to Twitter for inclusion in the program (they currently operate a whitelist of sites). See the documentation for more details.

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How does Twitter select trending topics?

They use stream processing algorithms—they mention trending topics calculation in their technical blog entry about Storm, their open source stream processing software: http://engineering.twitter.com/2...

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What is the most efficient way to lookup an object (e.g. a user) by only a string?

Yes—an index on a varchar column is exactly how you would implement this.

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Why does Twitter use a hashbang instead of using the History API?

I asked a friend who is an engineer there about this a while ago. When they shipped the first version of Twitter that used fully Ajax driven pages there was a critical bug with pushState in a widely deployed version of Safari, which made it impractical to commit to.

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