What’s Happening Now: Hashtags on Twitter Lists

So over the last few days, there’s been so much chat around the roll out of official Twitter lists that some people have probably even blogged about them. Ad hoc lists (aka ‘groups’) have been available for some time on a variety of twitter clients, of course, but now there’s ‘central support’ so it seems like everyone is hyping around them (OMG, OMFG, Twitter has lists. Lists! etc.)

I’m still waiting on the API (though a draft spec has been posted) so I can have a go at creating lists automagically from hashtag groups (various posts), but in the meantime, here are a couple of little toys that try to spot what’s going on within the context of a particular list.

First up, a pipe that will look to see what hashtags are being used by folk on a particular list. The pipe feeds off a list of tweets by list members (using the URI pattern http://twitter.com/USERNAME/lists/LISTNAME/statuses.xml ) [UPDATE: it now uses URLs of the form https://api.twitter.com/1/lists/statuses.json?slug=LISTNAME&owner_screen_name=USERNAME&per_page=100&page=1& (not shown in the screenshot below)] and then reuses pipework from Searching for Twitter Hashtags and Finding Hashtag Communities, replacing the search elements with a list feed:

So what? So you can enter the URI of a list and see what hashtags folk on that list have been using recently – Twitter list hashtags pipe:

A second, related pipe (this time reusing the Twitter name search pipe (that looks for people who’ve been tweeting particular search terms) and the Twitter names atomiser (i.e. tokeniser) pipe) will look for the names of folk who are part of a recent conversation on the list by virtue of being @d at… Twitter list conversants pipe:

One thing to note about each pipe – make sure you enter the URI in the correct form – http://twitter.com/USERNAME/lists/LISTNAME

If I get a chance, I’ll harden the pipe with a regexp to defend against the missing lists path element; but at the moment, if you donlt use the correct the URI pattern, the pipe will break…

That’s all…

PS the pipe should be hardened now to accept URIs of the form http://twitter.com/USERNAME/LISTNAME

[UPDATE: the pipe now requires you to enter a userna,me and the listname/slug]

PPS I’d forgotten I’d written this post/already built a pipe to do it, so I ended up creating another one… hashtags used by list participants pipe. This one does a couple of different things to the pipe mentioned above: it changes all the tags to lower case, thus removing ambiguity in capitalisation; it uses a twitter API parameter to search over the last 250 tweets sent by list members).

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

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