I wrote previously how to pull simple search queries (tweets from a particular user, for example) from Twitter and form these into a RSS feed. From there you could either view in your RSS reader of choice or manipulate the feed and fire it back into Twitter. However, there’s now a problem. A big one. It appears that since I wrote my earlier post Twitter has pulled the plug on two of the three methods I wrote up (it did it sometime in October this year) and not just that, all of this type of RSS functionality is set to go out the window by 5th March 2013. For good
Boo hoo. Seriously, I’m pretty annoyed at this, mainly at myself for not clicking sooner. I think I was experiencing a selective la la la when reading the Twitter verbage about version 1.1 of its API back in September. It won’t affect me, oh no it won’t, everything will be alright, la la la la la
Well, it will. Not immediately, but it certainly means I have to rethink quite a few of the things I’ve been fiddling with by March of next year
But I don’t get my RSS feeds from Twitter…
You’re alright then. It’s important to note that it won’t affect you if you are getting your RSS from somewhere other than Twitter and, for example, feeding it back into Twitter. This is what I’m doing with @BAILII (the RSS feeds come directly from BAILII itself and are then fed into Twitter after some playing with). However, if you do get the feeds from Twitter, you’re trashed. It will effectively demolish all Twitter accounts operating like @Assanganista, for example, who relies on forming RSS directly from the Twitter search facility. It may also be an issue for those of you who embed tweets directly into your blog and who are not using the native Twitter embed option/tools
Twitter’s attitude is that they are going because they were “infrequently used”. What tosh. Even if they were, so what!
Anyway, for anyone interested, Twitter has confirmed that the following queries at least will still continue to work up to 5th March 2013 and you will be able to pull feeds from the results. Everything in bold in the search string is there as an example; replace it with the relevant term for your own particular search – once done, all queries to go in your browser as a URL:
To get a feed of a particular user:
A feed of all the Tweeps mentioning you (or any other Twitter user):
A feed of your own or someone else’s ‘favourites’:
A feed made up of tweets containing a particular word or term:
…which is a one word search only, or:
…where searching for more than one word (here “legal aid”). Note that %20 acts as the ‘space’ between the two words
A feed made up of tweets using a particular #hashtag:
Here, looking for “#legalaid”. Note that %23 acts as the ‘#’ hashtag symbol at the beginning of the word
What happens after 5th March next year?
I don’t know. I’ll be working on a way to get around it otherwise I’ll have to say goodbye to some of my bots. I daresay there must be a way to generate a feed somehow, it’s just how to do it. It will probably mean having to use third-party apps/software
Thinking of that, there are already third party developers who offer access RSS access to Twitter content, such as Topsy, which might provide a route. This lot are already recommended by Twitter to journalists that are wanting to use Twitter professionally as a source. Assuming their service continues, if I can get a reliable feed somehow then it can be tidied up in Yahoo Pipes, I would have thought. There will probably be others
Anyway, that’s all for another day. If anyone does have any good ideas and is kind enough to save me the pain of working it out myself, please share!