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Twitter API: Up and Running: Learn How to Build Applications with the Twitter API Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0596154615 ISBN-10: 0596154615 Edition: 1st

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Twitter API: Up and Running: Learn How to Build Applications with the Twitter API + 21 Recipes for Mining Twitter + Social Network Analysis for Startups: Finding connections on the social web
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (March 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596154615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596154615
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #867,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The purpose of Twitter API: Up and Running is to provide an introduction to using the Twitter API--the means to get at the rich Twitter data--to build web applications. This book has three main parts: an overview of the Twitter ecosystem and culture; background information on the languages and environment you need to create your applications; and working code for a suite of sample applications meant to get you started on your programming adventure. As Twitter lowers barriers to publication through its simplicity, so this book will provide easy access to the skills and resources you'll need to build web applications for its API.

Kevin Makice
From Author Kevin Makice
One of the strengths of Twitter is its flexibility. Every information stream is unique and can be customized in the way that best fits the individual at that moment. Are you getting too much information? Unfollow some people. Do you not have time to tweet? Don’t. Want to chat with your two best buds for an hour and chase away all your other followers? Feel free. Because of this versatility, there are no universal rules for how to behave on Twitter; each user can control his own experience.


Meet the Sample Apps
This small suite of sample web applications is offered to you as a way to illustrate use of the Twitter API, the collection of web service methods that bring Twitter data into third-party programming. These applications explore some common reasons to access the API:
Administration Tool
A master account is needed to do things like send direct messages and conduct data mining on the backend. Unlike most of the user-driven tools, the master account must be available even when the account holder (you) isn’t around to log in. This simple tool allows the master account’s password to be saved to the database in a safe way. Only you will use this tool. In fact, without knowing the password attached to the master Twitter account, others shouldn’t be able to do anything with this application.
Tweet Publisher
This application is a straightforward status updater. To publish to your own timeline, enter your Twitter account information and a short 140-character message. After doing so, you will see a link to the new tweet.
Auto Tweet
Each member account can be associated with a single RSS or Atom feed, from which a new tweet will be automatically generated. There is an automated task associated with this application that checks each registered feed for new content in six-hour cycles and posts the most recent article.
Tweet Broadcast
This is an aggregation tool, where you can collect daily tweets from a handful of other Twitter members into a single RSS item. An RSS feed is generated that contains information for up to 20 days of activity, collected by an automated task that checks for new tweets once a day. Each member account can have one aggregation feed.
Tweet Alert
Tracking tweets based on keywords is made easy with the Twitter search API. Each member can list a few keywords in Tweet Alert and receive a notification when any of those terms appears in a public tweet. The content scans are performed every 15 minutes. If a match is found—and the member is following your master Twitter account—a direct message is sent to that member with a link to the search results.
Network Viewer
Probably the most useful among the suite of tools, this web application allows Twitter members to see the profile images of all the people they’re following. Private accounts are outlined in red, and (in most modern browsers) mousing over each picture reveals additional detail about that member.

About the Author

Kevin Makice is currently a Ph.D. student at the Indiana University School of Informatics, the first such doctoral program in the nation. His research interests center around local use of technology and the application of relational psychology to complexity and design. Prior to completing his Masters of Science in Human-Computer Interaction in 2006, Kevin was the primary Internet programmer for TicketsNow, a clearinghouse for sports, theatre, and entertainment tickets available in the secondary market. Along with three others, he won the CHI 2005 student competition by designing a concept for ad-hoc volunteering system for elderly residents in assisted-living centers. Past research includes political wikis, tangible interfaces for children's games, machinima, and network analysis of ball movement in basketball. Much of his blogging and academic efforts over the past year has focused on exploring Twitter as a means of community building.


More About the Author

Kevin Makice is currently a Ph.D. student at the Indiana University School of Informatics, the first such doctoral program in the nation. His research interests center around local use of technology and the application of relational psychology to complexity and design. Prior to completing his Masters of Science in Human-Computer Interaction in 2006, Kevin was the primary Internet programmer for TicketsNow, a clearinghouse for sports, theatre, and entertainment tickets available in the secondary market. Along with three others, he won the CHI 2005 student competition by designing a concept for ad-hoc volunteering system for elderly residents in assisted-living centers. Past research includes political wikis, tangible interfaces for children's games, machinima, and network analysis of ball movement in basketball. Much of his blogging and academic efforts over the past year has focused on exploring Twitter as a means of community building.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mark J. Szymanski on June 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book provides a nice overview of the Twitter API with a few examples, but the organization of the book could make learning a little more engaging. There is a lot of up-front description of the disparate features, with no working examples presented until the latter chapters of the book.

I'm also not sure if the author had a clear idea of the intended audience. It seems odd that there are things like detailed walkthroughs of how to set up a Twitter account, but no thorough discussion of data parsing.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service where users send and receive very small text-based posts. The short length of these messages and the simplicity of the service causes the message traffic to be labeled descriptively as tweets. However, even a very simple messaging service requires programming these days, and that is where this very accessible book comes in.

This book is an introduction to build web applications via the Twitter API. This book has three main parts: an overview of the Twitter social issues; background information on the languages and environment you need to create your applications; and finally code for sample applications that will get you started. Anyone familiar with computer programming and web applications should be able to just read the PHP scripts used to create the sample applications and understand how the underlying syntax works.

The reader needs a basic understanding of how applications are built and hosted on the Web. However, strangely enough, you don't need to be a professional programmer. The XHTML, CSS, PHP, and MySQL code necessary for building the example applications will be provided and explained.

Chapter 1, "Hello Twitter", is not your usual intro chapter on a basic Hello Twitter program. Instead it is a chapter on the culture and social aspects of Twitter. Anyone can pick up this chapter and understand what Twitter is and where it is coming from in a social and historical context.

Chapter 2, "Twitter Applications", reviews third-party Twitter apps. The purpose, however, is not to present you with a directory of the world's best Twitter applications. Instead, the purpose of this list is to show you some of the things that can be done with a web application using the Twitter API.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mike Schilli on August 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author did a pretty good job of explaining the Twitter API, some basic Web programming techniques (PHP, CSS), a whirlwind tour of current and past Twitter-related websites and some more or less useful sample applications.

However, the editor at O'Reilly should have talked the author into whipping the book into better shape before publishing it. First, in a book that has more than 400 pages on a pretty simple API, one would at least expect a section that explains how Twitter actually works. A sample flow of messages, responses, direct messages with illustrating screen shots. A bit of history maybe? Was Twitter like that from the beginning? What changed? When? Also, the publisher should have looked at the index and said: "Dude, this is okay for an auto-generated index, but if you want people to actually use the book to find something, put some more effort into it". Again, not the authors fault, that's the editor's responsibility.

I'm giving 4 stars because the author's writing is solid, but, man, a big minus point for O'Reilly to let this slip into the open without stricter review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason Perretta on July 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book wasn't new or up to date. But, the concept is the same. Though, I may be buying an updated edition soon.
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