Christian Heilmann

Displaying useful tweets on your blog (second version using YQL)

Friday, January 16th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Back in September I showed a solution how to display filtered tweets on your blog using Yahoo Pipes which is in use on this page in the sidebar on the right.

There were a few issues with it: the data returned was pretty big and slowed down the page (yeah I could delay this after page load, but size down the wire is size down the wire) and I only used the last 20 updates, which – with my twitter pace – meant that a lot of times there wasn’t any ‘blogworthy’ tweet available any longer.

So, I dug around and realized that instead of analyzing the RSS feed of your tweets it makes much more sense to use the API, in detail the user timeline which allows me to get up to 200 of the latest tweets using the count parameter.

This is awesome, however, as the API repeats all my information in every status (I guess to cover changes, like location) the result can get very large, right now for example the JSON output of my twitter updates is 120KB – not good.

By using YQL I can easily cut this down to the bare necessities using the following command:

select status.text from xml where url = '' and status.text like '%§%'

Using this with JSON output and wrapper I only get the updates I need as a 1.2KB large JavaScript file!

The HTML and JavaScript solution doesn’t change much:

Now I got a faster useful tweets badge with information that stays longer. Easy.

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