Simon Willison’s Weblog

146 items tagged “twitter”

2013

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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Why did Twitter have so many problems if it is made with Ruby?

The technical problem Twitter solves (distributing millions of short messages per minute to an enormous graph of follow relationships) is extremely hard in any language.

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Do Twitter API limits rest at the top of the hour or is it floating?

I’m pretty sure they are calculated from the time of the first hit you make to the API—resetting on the hour would likely encourage API users to run large batches of queries at 1 second past the hour, resulting in huge and unwanted traffic spikes.

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What is a Twitter alternative for internal teams?

Yammer is the most obvious tool here.

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How to get a Twitter user’s join date?

It’s included in the standard user JSON that comes back with any tweet—or you can hit http://api.twitter.com/1/users/s... and look at the created_at key

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2011

Twitter API: What is the best data storage mechanism and client library for analysing tweets using Python?

It depends on how much data you intend to collect, and how you intend to then share that data.

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Is there a way of tracking shortened URLs with Twitter streaming API?

Think about it like this: the whole point of the Twitter streaming API is to get you the tweets as soon after they are posted as possible. If the API were to provide access to the lengthened URLs, it would have to delay emitting a Tweet on to the stream until a resolver had gone through each shortened URL in the tweet and checked to find what it redirects to. This would mean that the speed with which the streaming API could deal out tweets would be dependent on the speed of the third party servers that serve up the redirects. I doubt Twitter would ever want to implement this.

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The science of the hashtag. Interesting analysis of how the #lessambitiousmovies hash tag took off thanks to retweets from a couple of key users with very creative followers. # 14th January 2011, 4:02 am

How do Twitter apps handle username changes?

Twitter assigns each user a unique numeric ID which does NOT change when the user’s Twitter name changes, so triic number one is to key off that, not the username itself.

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2010

How do you correctly send the oauth_verifier parameter using python-oauth2 and the Twitter API?

This seems relevant: http://groups.google.com/group/t...

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Are there any well-known websites that use Facebook connect or Twitter OAuth as the only sign-in solution without its own sign-in password?

Our site http://lanyrd.com/ only accepts Twitter OAuth logins (at least for the moment).

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Is it possible to link to a Twitter user’s page with their user_id instead of their screen name?

You could always build your own URL to do this as part of your own application—something like http://your-twitter-app.example.... which does a Twitter API lookup for that user and then redirects to http://twitter.com/their-twitter.... You can cache the ID-to-screen-name lookups that you’ve made in the past (not forever though, remember people occasionally change their screen names).

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Does Twitter use a 3rd party software for rate limiting their APIs? If yes, who’s the 3rd party?

I wrote up a technique for doing simple rate limiting using memcached a while ago, which I later found out was somewhat similar to how the Twitter API does it.

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WebKit is Dropping HTML5 “popstate” Events (via) Really nasty bug with WebKit’s pushState support, discovered by Ben Cherry from Twitter. popState events get dropped if the user navigates while an outbound network request is in progress. # 30th October 2010, 7:41 am

Twitter.com 2010 Redesign: What things don’t people like about #newTwitter?

I absolutely love the improved functionality, but I don’t like the way it’s implemented as a heavy single-page JavaScript application. It’s extremely slow to load, which is a big problem for me because I habitually open new tabs with e.g. twitter.com/username in them, and each of those tabs now takes far longer to load and show me information than old Twitter did (especially since I’ve been suffering on very slow hotel WiFi connections recently).

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While I don’t expect Twitter to master its own destiny as far as the decentralization of the medium goes, I do support the idea, and I hope that Twitter as a business can coexist with the need for the world to have a free, open, reliable, and verifiable way for humans to instantly communicate in a one-to-many fashion.

Alex Payne # 16th September 2010, 11:07 am

RasterWeb: Lanyrd. Pete Prodoehl calls me out on Lanyrd’s integration with the Twitter auth API at the expense of OpenID. I’ve posted a comment with my justification—essentially, tying to Twitter’s ecosystem means I can actually implement the features I’ve been talking about building on top of OpenID for years, with far less engineering effort. # 31st August 2010, 8:49 pm

Lanyrd—the social conference directory. Nat and my new project, launched today and doing pretty well despite some early server hiccups. Sign in with Twitter to see conferences that your friends are speaking at, attending or tracking, then add your own events. We’re particularly keen on helping people build up a detailed profile of their previous talks, so adding older conferences is encouraged. # 31st August 2010, 7:41 pm

A little deeper investigation showed that nothing I had posted on Buzz had gone public since August 6. Nothing. [...] No one noticed. Not even me. It makes me feel like everything I’ve posted over the past four years on Twitter, Jaiku, Friendfeed, Plurk, Pownce, and, yes, Google Buzz, has been an immense waste of time. I was shouting into a vast echo chamber where no one could hear me because they were too busy shouting themselves.

Leo Laporte # 22nd August 2010, 6:43 pm

simplegeo’s python-oauth2. The Python OAuth library scene is frighteningly complicated at the moment. This seems to be the most actively maintained, and the readme includes working example code for talking to the Twitter API (including integration with Django auth). # 18th July 2010, 5:22 pm

Twitter is an open, real-time introduction and information service. On a daily basis we introduce millions to interesting people, trends, content, URLs, organizations, lists, companies, products and services. These introductions result in the formation of a dynamic real-time interest graph. At any given moment, the vast network of connections on Twitter paints a picture of a universe of interests. We follow those people, organizations, services, and other users that interest us, and in turn, others follow us.

Dick Costolo # 25th May 2010, 4:54 pm

Realtime Election Tweets. Jay Caines-Gooby’s realtime election tweet service, using Node.js, nginx and WebSocket with a Flash fallback. # 6th May 2010, 9:20 pm

Twitter is turning itself from a social network into a gigantic tuple-space pubsub platform that just happens to have a big social network implemented on top of it.

Daniel Lucraft # 17th April 2010, 5:23 pm