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December 7, 2007

some help needed

this is regarding twitter and creating a feed out of "replies":: read on if you are a huge nerd ::

here's the deal : Joshua Rothhaas has a project called Twitter / 140story where he is posting a new story each day that is exactly the length of the max twitter input. what i Joshua and i would like to try is a communal version of the project where a single story is written in a short period of time by teams of twitter users. Josh had the idea of using "replies" but we can't figure out how to create a single feed that way...any suggestions?

below is a part of our communication ::

"Well, do we want people to be able to use their current twitter account?
because if people where willing to sign up for a second one for story
telling we could create blog and just publish everyones RSS and then the
only monitoring we will have to do is to delete the post that aren't
following what ever set of rules we decide on. But if we want people to
use their current account then this wont work because there will be to
much clutter.

Ok, Idea. when people start their post with @accountname (eg. @140story)
it shows up in a section of your account called "replies" I am having
trouble figuring it out, but if we could figure out how to publish the
"replies" feed of the account then anyone who wants to participate
simple starts their post with @ze or @story or @1 or what ever we name
the account. But I have no idea how to figure out the replies rss. its
not as easy as simply finding the main accounts public time line rss.
Then, if its possible (i have no idea) publish this feed to a community
editable wiki and everyone else can pull out what doesn't jive with the
concept. - more work to implement, no work to monitor.

Those idea's are applied toward triyng to make some on going continuous
story. A group based competition could be pretty cool too. Could set it
up possibly in such a way that people volunteer to be put in groups of
what ever size. then at a set time (over an hour or a day or what ever)
they each get to submit one post to their groups story. the group with
the best story is declared victor? I personally prefer an ongoing post
by post story if we can get one to work.

oh oh, another idea - we set up an account and people send direct
messeges to the account (same character limit) or @'s the account if we
can figure out the reply's rss thing and then tell people to send a
chunk of story 140 characters long and then we can post the chunks to a
wiki type page and the sub pages of the wiki could be people arrangments
of the available chunks of story"

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Comments (16)

have you seen this:

it may take care of some of the conerns? maybe too simple an approach though.

will ask my many geeky friends for advice.

Posted by: ingrid at December 7, 2007 11:21 AM

This is a great idea. You might post the question on Satisfaction (http://getsatisfaction.com/twitter)--the Twitter staff is on there and responsive. Maybe the Twitter staff and the community there can help--

Posted by: Kristen at December 7, 2007 11:31 AM

One way to make your replies feed public would be to have a script that grabs the replies feed using curl (because it needs authentication) and just spits out the response. For example, here are my Twitter replies:


and here is the code (PHP) for the script that grabs them:

$ch = curl_init();
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, "http://twitter.com/statuses/replies.rss");
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_USERPWD, "username:password");
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);

This would solve the "getting the replies RSS" part of it, anyway.

Posted by: Christopher Finke at December 7, 2007 11:35 AM

I was just looking at the Twitter API the other day, getting my tweets to integrate into my blog. I think I may have an answer for you.

You can get a feed of all replies to a certain user (i.e., tweets from friends of that user that start '@username') from the URL: http://twitter.com/statuses/replies.rss

It requires HTTP authentication, which you can do quite easily by putting the username and password in the url like this: http://username:password@twitter.com/statuses/replies.rss

So you just need all of the participants to follow and be followed by the account you set up for the story, and subscribe to that feed.

Posted by: Rory at December 7, 2007 11:36 AM

Ummm...I'm not 100% sure I understand what you're trying to do, but if I'm reading you correctly, you want to grab the RSS feed of @replies to a given Twitter account and publish that?

If that's the case, the RSS button at the bottom of the 'Replies' tab of your account will, once authenticated with your username and password, give you a feed of replies to your account. It appears to be using basic HTTP authentication, so it would be pretty easy to jive up some code that would grab that feed and republish it either to a feed based on another URL or to a wiki or whatever...

The only issue is, as I'm not exactly sure how Twitter works, does the '@140story' at the beginning of your post count towards your 140 character limit? If so you're being slightly short-changed. Probably not that big a deal.

Anyway, hope that helped.

Posted by: Louis S at December 7, 2007 11:43 AM

Sorry: bad link before. Try this: http://writeboard.com/

It is created specifically for collaborative writing projects.

Posted by: ingrid at December 7, 2007 11:43 AM

Posted by: ingrid at December 7, 2007 12:01 PM

Aren't you already doing this at http://www.zefrank.org/new/notices

There's an RSS feed there... points to http://feeds.feedburner.com/theORG-RecentNotices

Posted by: transiit at December 7, 2007 12:15 PM

Your primary problem here is going to be with the editing, as you explained above.

Have you seen The @ioubeer application http://foamee.com/? This does something similar to what you're asking.

Rory's suggestions seem to be the right way to go about it.

Posted by: Phil Nelson at December 7, 2007 2:21 PM

Just use the following feed URL:


I use that to follow my Twitter replies, and it works great! Unfortunately only 20 replies exist in the feed at any given time, so you'll have to refresh the feed at least as often as it takes 20 replies to accumulate.

Posted by: augmentedfourth at December 7, 2007 3:27 PM

whoops... HTML gremlins ate some of that comment. Should've been:

Posted by: augmentedfourth at December 7, 2007 5:15 PM

why not start a new section and topic in one of the forums?

Posted by: forum at December 7, 2007 6:07 PM

this may be close enough: http://www.buzztter.com/en/k/@140story

Posted by: Steve Malloy at December 7, 2007 10:10 PM

You could use Tweet Channel (http://tweetchannel.com/). They have RSS feeds for every channel created.

Posted by: Andrea at December 9, 2007 12:08 PM

You could use Tweet Channel. They have RSS feeds for every channel created. http://tweetchannel.com

Posted by: Andrea at December 9, 2007 12:11 PM

Wouldn't the @reply eat into the 140 character limit? Dave Winer built something similar for kicks...


He might be willing to give you the code. Maybe leave a comment for him on this post...


Good luck.

Posted by: Joe Lazarus at December 10, 2007 9:15 PM

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