Tag Archives: twitter

Twounter: Display Your Twitter Follower Count in Plan Text

For the Twitter-obsessed who want to display their follower count on their blogs, ThemeSphere has put together a WordPress plugin that will get it in plain text.

Installing the plugin gives you access to a function and a shortcode that will return the follower count for a user you specify.

Example: <?php echo twounter('redwall_hp'); ?>

You could use this to simply display your Twitter follower count, or you could use it for something more interesting, like displaying the follower count for each user in a multi-author blog. If you look around at sites like Net.Tuts+ and Blogging Tips, they often have brief bios after posts, complete with a Gravatar and link to the author’s site. Why not add a follower count to the mix?

wpTweety – Twitterwall for WordPress Tweets

wpTweety is yet another one of those “twitterwall” sites (like Helveti-Tweet), where Twitter postings on a certain topic are harvested from the Search API and dumped onto the site. By the name, I’m sure you can realize what topic wpTweety searches Twitter for… WordPress!


The wpTweety design is fairly simple, but very interesting visually. It’s color scheme reminds me of both the Twitter and WordPress colors.

From a functionality standpoint, wpTweety is well-equipped. It automatically refreshes the content (via an AJAX request, of course) every so often, and handy reply and retweet links are included next to each tweet.

Kind of fun, but I still wonder who actually uses these things. :)

WordPress: Tweet Shortened URL of Current Page to Twitter

A month or two ago I had an interesting idea involving WordPress permalinks. I realized that is would be very simple to automatically shorten WordPress permalinks for usage on Twitter. With a little .htaccess tweak, you could have something like yourdomain.com/s123 redirect to yourdomain.com?p=123. The default WordPress permalinks always work, and will forward to your preferred permalink. You end up with an easy way to have a short link for each of your posts, and it’s all self-contained within WordPress. No third-party services.

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Nambu: Social Messaging Streamlined

Nambu Networks, the people behind Tr.im and Pic.im, recently released a beta of Nambu OS X, a new desktop Twitter client with an impressive feature set and a native integration with OS X. (I assume that a Windows version will be released eventually, judging by the moniker they picked for the application.)

Nambu OS X

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TweetStats: When Do You Tweet?

TweetStats is a semi-useful and interesting website that pulls information from Twitter via the API and generates graphs of your Twitter usage. Just enter your username and wait a moment or two while some numbers are crunched.

You get a bar graph of the number of postings per month, aggregate daily and hourly tweets, who you @reply the most; you also get a graph that shows your tweet density, or what parts of the day and week you tweet the most.

@redwall_hp's tweet density for April 2009

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Display Your Latest Tweet on Your Website

More and more bloggers are displaying their latest postings to Twitter on their sites, most frequently in the sidebar.

There are WordPress plugins that can accomplish this, such as Alex King’s Twitter Tools plugin. Then there are the simple widgets offered by Twitter themselves. But with such an extensive API available, wouldn’t it be more fun to do it yourself?

Joost de Valk has an article that explains just how to Easily display your last Tweet.

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Is Retweet The Next Digg This?

Jeff Chandler has a short, interesting article up on Performancing about Tweetmeme, and the explosive popularity of their “Retweet This” widgets, which make it easy to retweet a post (and display a count of the number of times it has been retweeted).

If you couldn’t tell by now, the whole thing works much in the same was as Digg with a few notable exceptions. First, there are no comments for the stories on the Tweetmeme website. There is also no way to bury a story because if it’s not popular, it won’t show up on the front page anyways. There are no categories so the front page has a higher chance of maintaining a diverse round of stories.

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Post to Twitter From a PHP Script

If you’ve used Twitter for long, you’re probably aware of their impressive API. Nearly any day-to-day task that you can perform on Twitter.com can be done programmatically via the API. (This enables us to have useful applications like Twhirl.)

Now, suppose you would like to enhance a website with some sort of automatic Twitter alerts. A blog automatically tweeting new posts is one obvious example.

The Twitter API Wiki contains all the documentation for the API. It’s best to read up on how it all works before you get started with too much API work. If you head over to the REST API page, the part we’re mainly interested is the statuses/update function. To make use of it, we need to send an HTTP POST request to http://twitter.com/statuses/update.format. The format part would be replaced with either xml or json, depending on the format we want the response to be in. Let’s go with XML.

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How Twitter Could Monetize Their Service

Twitter Sidebar AdTwitter has been growing rapidly. As I write this, they have passed the 8 million mark for unique visitors to their website, according to Compete.com. (And how many people use desktop clients, cellphones, etc. for their day-to-day tweeting?)

The question that has been brought up countless times throughout last year was “how will Twitter make money?” It’s obvious that they need to find a way to monetize the service before it all falls apart, and they have said that they have plans. But what are they? There are reports that text ads might be part of their master plan, and I’ve seen the tiny ads myself.

What they have right now might work, providing Twitter handles ad sales themselves and avoids selling them on a CPC basis. Advertisers might pay for something like that, despite how out-of-the-way and diminutive the ad blocks are. (Though they are above the fold, and near the username and follower stats, which is a plus.)

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Twitter Background Design

Spoon Graphics has a new post on how to stand out on Twitter: Twitter Background Design How-To and Best Practices.

With Twitter quickly becoming the hottest site to be seen on, everyone wants to stand out from the crowd. There has already been a range of quality designs showcased on various sites, which has shown an emergence of trends such as the ‘sidebar’. Let’s take a look at some of the best practices around Twitter background design and get to work creating our own.

It covers how to make a striking Twitter background, teaches best practices, and includes plenty of examples and inspiration. If you’re at all into Twitter, it’s definitely worth a look.

Several approaches are mentioned, and there are plenty of tips and suggestions throughout the article.

If you have a copy of Photoshop, or a similarly equipped graphics editor, you should be able to follow the tutorial portion and end up with a background that will set you apart from the masses of pre-built themes and badly-tiled background graphics.