Tag Archives: Twitter

(Un)official Twitter Widget

Do you have a WordPress blog, but hate playing about with the source code of your theme to insert the Official Twitter Widget?
Do you wish that instead you could just have a WordPress widget which did all the hard work for you?
Well now you can, with the (Un)official Twitter Widget.

This simple WordPress widget allows you to have the Twitter widget on your sidebar.

I wrote this widget for a client who wanted the new Official Twitter Widget, however all the WordPress plugins I came across either used the plain old widget, or did their own thing with the data.
It’s based (heavily) on the work from seanys, which used the old widget.

To install either use the built in plugin installer and search for (Un)official Twitter Widget, or visit the WordPress Plugin page and download the file, unzip it, and FTP it to your /wp-content/plugins/ folder.

Lessons from Twitter #2: Don’t use the UK shortdial (86444)…

…for the time being.
For some reason all tweets to 86444 are appearing multiple times in the timeline. Each message has a unique tweet id, and as the Vodafone traffic is only showing one message the fault must be with Twitter (the same issue is happening with a Canadian shortcode 21212)
As I do all my tweeting via the browser on my phone I can’t confirm this, however I believe sending tweets to the UK long number +447624801423 won’t result in duplicate tweets.

Lessons from Twitter #1: Don’t use TwitPic

TwitPic is a sort of add-on for Twitter. You can upload an image via their website, a 3rd party twitter client from your mobile or send them an email/MMS with the picture. They then tweet on your behalf with a link to the picture.
The problem is that sometimes the picture they link to isn’t your picture. Below is an example of what happened to Philip Schofield during the Brits last month.

Schofe Schofe 19:38
http://twitpic.com/1k1ya – Nearly showtime!
Schofe Schofe 20:08
http://twitpic.com/1k2l3 – Oh my God!
Schofe Schofe 20:23
http://twitpic.com/1k2vr – Nearly took a pic of Girls Aloud! Name that TV exec?
Schofe Schofe 20:24
http://twitpic.com/1k2wj – Nearly took a pic of Girls Aloud! Name that TV exec?
Schofe Schofe 20:37
http://twitpic.com/1k36f – Coldplay!
Schofe Schofe 21:10
http://twitpic.com/1k3wr – Take That proper show biz!

As you can see unless Take That had gone abroad to do their piece, the picture wasn’t the one which Philip Schofield wanted. The give away to the picture being wrong is the grey “bars” at the bottom of the image.
From my guess it would seem that an image got stop part way through a process to resize and then attached to the wrong users tweet. You know that no one has hacked Phil’s account as the words follow from the previous messages.

So far not really a problem, Phil noticed the issue and applogised for the lack of Take That. However this wasn’t the case for BBC Tech corospendant Rory Cellan Jones.
He spent quite a large amount of time at the BBC News studios covering the YouTube / PRS story, and showing of Twitter to the journalists took some pictures.

ruskin147 ruskin147 18:18
Tellng George Alagiah about YouTube and music. http://twitpic.com/1yki0
ruskin147 ruskin147 18:38
Now BBC World with the lovely Tanya Beckett. http://twitpic.com/1yl1w
ruskin147 ruskin147 19:32
And now Joanna Gosling and Ben Brown on the News Channel. Ben has just joined Facebook. Not so keen to tweet.. http://twitpic.com/1ymo3

Now two images have been removed (from TwitPic, so the links go to an error page). The one of Tanya Beckett was quite a nice shot of her. However the picture of Joanna Gosling and Ben Brown clearly wasn’t them. Nor was it safe to view whilst at work.

Rory followed up with these tweets:
19:37 oh my god i’ve been hacked – really really sorry.
19:46 Very very shaken by that Twitpic hack. Has that happened to anyone else? The tweet was genuine – but not the picture
20:01 Not sure how keen I am ever to use Twitpic again. Is there another way to link pix?
20:51 To clarify for those who missed my Twitpic horror earlier I uploaded a pic of BBC studio – instead something very post watershed appeared
21:59 Twitpic tell me I wasn’t hacked – it was “a random bug that we are working on..”. Oh, fine! About to go live on 10 – hope no random bug

So the simple lesson is AVOID TwitPic.

Liberal Tweets

The eagle eyed of you may have noticed the “Tweets” tab on LibDemBlogs. With conference now starting (I’ll be there tomorrow), it though it was time to let the latest project go live.
Liberal Tweets is a sort of LibDem Blogs for Twitter and hopes to cover the micro-blogging experiences of those both at conference and away from the venue.
It’s still in quite an early phase, but hopefully will hold out whilst I’m away from ftping for the week.
Feedback and suggestions in the comments.

Twitter fun

This weekend I have been mostly playing about with Twitter.

First I created a CNPS (Consecutive Number Plate Spotting) TwitterBot. The bot watches for @ and d messages to it, it then adds the plates to my database. Anyone with a Twitter account AND and Artesea account can get it to work, just visit the mashup page here for more info.

Next I managed to exceed the weekly allowance for tweets to my mobile. Think it was something to do with a large number of followers at Conference.

And just now I’ve installed a New Post -> Twitter plugin. This one seems to be one of the best as it’s run from my webserver (doesn’t require frequent polling of the rss feed), and it has the option to enable/disable tweets for draft, edits or new posts, so unlike other who have similar plugins you should only get a tweet from my blog when I hit Publish.