Tweetworks Python API

Tweetworks Python API

Version 1.0.0b1 of the tweetworks package for Python 2.6 is now available. This package implements the web service API for Tweetworks, a Web 2.0 service that facilitates threaded conversations on top of Twitter.

This is definitely a beta, because while I’ve tested everything I can think of, I haven’t tried writing anything seriously complicated with it, although I certainly plan to. Comments and questions are welcome here, or find me in the Tweetworks Developers group or as @UltraNurd. I admit that the documentation is a little light at the moment.

If you’re interested in using Tweetworks programmatically from Python, or want to know more about the service, read on.

What is Tweetworks?

Tweetworks is a service and site built on top of Twitter allowing a user to create public and private groups (instead of hashtags) with threaded conversations and more.

Tweetworks is a Boston-area startup created by @MikeLangford. I first heard about it at a WBUR tweet-up hosted by @KenGeorge. Mike was there, promoting his then-brand-new site, and handing out wearable plastic toucan beaks (part of the Tweetworks logo).

Naturally, I checked it out right away, and ended up becoming Tweetworks user #15! I would not call myself a heavy user of the site, and this is not a review thereof, but it is a useful place to have Twitter-based discussions with threading and without having to rely on the sometimes unreliable Twitter hashtag searches.

Why did I make this?

As Tweetworks’ usage increased, my computational linguist side became interested in the threaded data about short-form online conversations that the site was accumulating. I was therefore very excited when they released a public API.

It’s my hope that creating this library will help other developers get started playing with Tweetworks from a service perspective, as well as facilitating my own site mash-up ideas.

Finally, there is also the totally selfish reason that I like coming up with small projects like this one to hone my programming skills, both in terms of design and learning new best practices for interacting with different systems and built-in libraries. In this case, I learned a lot about Python’s urllib, as well as setuptools.

Getting the Package

The easiest way to obtain the tweetworks package is using setuptools to grab it from PyPI. Assuming you have Python, with setuptools installed, you should just be able to run this command in your shell:

easy_install tweetworks

For alternative methods, or if you’re interested in contributing to the development of the API package, check out my Tweetworks page.

This software is released under the GNU General Public License.