Twitter4j

Recently I stumbled across Twitter4j a Java library for the Twitter API, which allows you to integrate Java applications with twitter activities. My use for this was with Processing, to see what cool things could be made integrating the visual focus of Processing with data and information from Twitter. The library is capable of looking at tweets, profiles, trends, pretty much anything that is available on Twitter.

To get started I had to signup as a Twitter developer and create a new ‘application’ to get certain codes specific to my account. From there I just had to import the library into a Processing sketch and link it to my application to start playing around with it. I looked at a few tutorials and guides of how it all works, It’s a lot more complicated than anything i’ve done before, but I like a challenge. Following a basic tutorial, I managed to create a simple sketch which searched for strings in tweets, and then made that tweet appear in the window. It did this over and over again until every tweet had been displayed.

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Here’s a screenshot of (part of) the code, next to it running. I’ve got it searching tweets for the string ‘@kuuurttyy’ which is my username. This finds any instances where someone has mentioned me in a tweet. The tweets appear randomly positioned in the window and then slowly fade away as more tweets are found. This was a great start into looking at interactive digital media, as it allows people to, for example, tweet a certain phrase or hashtag, then have it appear. In the future I plan to develop this idea, perhaps using pictures, or other ways to make it more visually interesting. For now I just need to fortify my vague understanding of Java and Processing.

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